In a second special edition of Nyimas Bantaba for Get The Trolls Out!, show host and CMFE
Board member Nyima Jadama invited Marianna Karakoulaki (Communications Manager at
Media Diversity Institute), Jennifer Kamau (activist from International Women Space Berlin)
and Alexander Gorski (migration lawyer) to discuss double standards in reporting and in
welcoming refugees around Europe.
The war in Ukraine has made double standards toward refugees and migrants once more
apparent. Media narratives have been particularly disappointing. As Angelo Boccato writes,
“Many remarks (…) aim to diminish the experiences of other refugees, by dividing them
between “real” and “false”, pointing out that members of the latter group are supposedly
not fleeing from a conflict and therefore should not be helped. (…) Though it may go
unspoken, underpinning this broadly welcoming attitude [towards Ukrainians] is the fact
that most of the refugees from Ukraine are white and Christian. (…) This discourse takes
many forms, across different countries and sides of the political spectrum, making visible
the pervasiveness and persistence of racism and Islamophobia within European identity.”
Marianna Karakoulaki already sees a shift in narratives about Ukrainian refugees, as in 2015
when public opinion turned from compassion to rejection towards Syrian refugees.
Jennifer Kamau comments on the persistence of anti-black racism on the 10th anniversary
of the Oranienplatz movement, made evident by reactions towards Ukrainian refugees upon
the realization that black refugees were amongst them.
Alexander Gorski, who offers free legal counselling every Wednesday, especially to young
people of colour, sees a chain of discrimination starting when people have to flee (through border controls, profiling, and permits…). The good migrant / bad migrant narratives stem from racism and geopolitical interests and are embedded in international refugee law.