The Hypocrisy of Support for Ukraine Must Not Harden Black America’s Hearts

By Shaun King

You don’t know what you don’t know. I’m 42 years old and I’ve been with my wife since I was 15. I’ve grown up with her. I’ve seen her through every stage and challenge of life that a girl and woman can face. I have four daughters in elementary school, middle school, and college. I’ve been a girl-dad since I was almost a kid myself.

But still, I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman. I just don’t.

I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman in the workplace. Or walking the streets of New York. Or in a classroom. Or at the doctor.

Similarly, if you’ve never faced the exhausting gauntlet of racism, bigotry and white supremacy in the world, it’s hard for a book or a Black friend to close that knowledge gap. And while I don’t think my next 500 words are going to do the trick, I’m hoping they can at least open your minds and hearts.

The war and refugee crisis in Ukraine is absolutely terrible. Millions of women, children, and elderly adults have been forced to flee the country with nothing but the clothes on their backs. It’s the fastest, largest forced migration of Europeans since World War II—and the crisis is truly only getting started. The sheer scale of this human rights catastrophe makes me shudder. ⁣Millions of people have lost everything. Many have lost their homes and their most prized possessions. Many more have lost children, parents, spouses, friends and lovers.

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