Crossing the Border as a Black person during the war in Ukraine
We are February 27, 2022. Equal Chance just received a call from a second year medical student in Ukraine named Vukile Dlamini. She was afraid. She was desperate. She was attempting to cross the border. She was waiting alongside other Black people people for 8 hours at the front of the line, only to be pushed back and asked to "go to the back of the line" because "that's where Black people belong". Mukundzei, an international student from Zimbabwe refuses to go to the back of the line. He is severely beat up and dragged; the result: he now has a broken shoulder. Mukundzei is crying behind.... we can hear him... we feel helpless. We switched on our television screens and no one is talking about this. But on the internet, Somtoh Orah (@nzekiev) is exposing the racism at the borders. Others are sharing videos too. What can we do? What should we do? Where do we start? How do we ensure that history doesn't repeat itself? How do we and can we concretely support the most vulnerable members of our community. It starts now. It starts today. Let's organize! Let's build a coalition of Black organizations in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia … all over the world. Let's work with Allies because we need all people in our society to combat racism and advocate for the equal treatment of vulnerable members of our community.
Everyone should have an equal right to safety!
They say that all humans are born equal in rights; but once again we realize that this seems to be a mirage. Black people are treated like second class citizens and it will take every single one of us, community members and Allies to put an end to this!
“We were asked to walk for hours to reach the borders, while Ukrainians were transported in buses and taxis to the borders. Once we arrived at the border and reached the front of the line, they asked us to go all the way to the back of the line because the front belongs to white Ukrainians.”
We don't know where this work will take us, but we know that this journey that we are starting will change the lives of many people for the better.