Black Journalist In Ukraine Calls Out Double Standard In Reporting Racism

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Terrell Starr, a Black journalist based in Ukraine, is speaking out after receiving criticism for his coverage of the racism Black refugees continue to face amid Russia's deadly war.

"I understand why so few people of color enter East European, Eurasian studies: it’s extremely hostile to us," the Detroit native tweeted Thursday (March 31). "I spend each day supporting Ukraine on TV, but let me post ONE tweet about how differently Ukrainian refugees are treated vs POC ones and I’m spreading Russian propaganda."

Starr has delivered on-the-ground reporting from Ukraine since Russia invaded in February, launching a now months-long war on citizens and military forces. In the midst of the attacks, disturbing footage surfaced online showing Black people being forced off trains and buses or being refused entry into neighboring countries.

In a follow-up tweet, Starr called out the people who applaud his work for Ukrainians, but say talking about racism is "a distraction."

"So, for many people, I’m of use to you when I’m a cheerleader for Ukraine, but when I see inequality in how my country responds to Ukraine versus others I get messages asking why I’m posting, saying it’s a distraction. It’s beyond frustrating," Starr wrote.

"I know people cheer me on for being in Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe and I’m grateful for it. But I also stressful because I’m Black and refugees who look like me aren’t being seen with the same humanity as us. It’s painful to witness," he added later in a follow-up tweet.

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