The world is watching Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Money, sympathy, supplies and free and unfettered passage into many nearby countries (with resettlement packages) is all but certain, for White, “European” Ukrainians.
We are inundated with images of White European refugees “who look like us.” Reporters have cried and invited everyone watching to also cry for these refugees fleeing Ukraine by the millions. And we do. We cry for these Ukrainians. We pray for the Ukrainian people and the Russian people. It’s what humans do; we feel with and for each other.
However, even as we witness an outpouring of humane, compassionate treatment towards European Ukrainian refugees, we are aware of reports of the inhumane, brutal treatment of African, Asian, East Indian and Muslim refugees who are also trying to find safety and sustenance for themselves and their families.
These people who are also suffering the terrors of war, displacement, hunger, and cold are not treated as human beings worthy of the same sympathy and resources as “European” Ukrainians. Instead, they are pushed and pulled off buses and trains, told to walk if they want to make it to the borders, and met not with blankets and sandwiches when they get there, but with drawn guns.
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We invite all who see and hear those whom Ukraine routinely leaves behind to send donations to help African, Arab, East Indian and Muslim fellow human beings to leave Ukraine to get back home or to other places of relative safety. They need our help.
If you, your congregation, mosque, synagogue or other houses of worship and social service organizations would like to help, please contribute to BlackWomenforBlackLives.org.
Rev. Brenda Brown-Grooms, Co-Pastor New Beginnings Christian Community
Apostle Sarah A. Kelley, Pastor of Faith, Hope and Love Int’l Healing and Deliverance Center
Rev. Dr. Alvin Edwards, Pastor, Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church
Rev. Dorothy Piatt-Esguerra, Associate Pastor for University and Social Justice, Westminster Presbyterian
Rev. Sandra Wisco, ELCA retired pastor
Rev. Wm T. Stewart, ELCA retired pastor
Rev. Ellen Longmoore, Retired Chaplain
Rev. Maren Hange, Co-Pastor, Charlottesville Mennonite Church
Rev. Robert Lewis, Pastor, Hinton Avenue United Methodist Church
Dr. Elizabeth Emrey, Co-Pastor New Beginnings Christian Community
Pastor Devin Coles, Amazing Changes Ministries
Elizabeth Shillue, Charlottesville Friends Meeting
Rev. Carol C. Sims, Episcopal Priest, Retired
Rev David Garth, Westminster Presbyterian Church
Rev. Alex Joyner, Pastor, First United Methodist Church
Sharon Beckman-Brindley, Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville
Rev. Susan Steinberg, Presbyterian Church (USA) Minister-at-Large
Rabia Povich, Cheraga, Inayatiyya
Adam Slate, Seminarian, Unitarian Universalists of Charlottesville
Rev. Alexandra McGee, Unitarian Universalist
Rev. Dr. Michael Cheuk, Charlottesville Clergy Collective