South African commentator slams Western media for racist remarks on Ukraine war
Trevor Noah, a US-based South African comedian and political commentator, has blasted ethnically European journalists for their racist coverage of the war in Ukraine, which they compared with conflicts in regions such as Africa and the Middle East.
On Monday’s episode of “The Daily Show,” Noah sharply criticized a TV reporter who described Ukraine as a “relatively civilized,” “relatively European” country that is “not a developing, Third World nation”.
Ethnically European journalists have garnered widespread criticism over the past week for implying that the people of Ukraine deserve more sympathy than people living in places with mostly non-European populations.
To underscore his point, Noah presented a compilation of TV reporters talking about Russia’s military operation Ukraine, launched last week by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“These are prosperous, middle-class people,” said Al Jazeera English anchor Peter Dobbie, who is British. “These are not people trying to get away from areas in North Africa. They look like any European family that you would live next door to.”
“This isn’t a place — with all due respect — like Iraq or Afghanistan,” remarked CBS News correspondent Charlie D’Agata. “This is a relatively civilized, relatively European — I have to choose those words carefully too — city where you wouldn’t expect that or hope that it’s going to happen.”
After playing a few more clips of pundits comparing the situation in Ukraine to attacks on areas that “could seem very far away, in Africa or Middle East or whatever,” Noah denounced racism in the media and gave viewers a quick history lesson about war.
The South African commentator said Europe has waged numerous wars throughout its history, and World War l and ll were both started in that continent.
One of the European wars that Noah mentioned was the so-called Hundred Years' War, a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of England and France during the Late Middle Ages.
“Let’s forget the racism — oh, how I wish we could forget about the racism. You do realize that, until very recently, fighting crazy wars was Europe’s thing? That was Europe’s entire thing. That’s all of European history.”