Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Christmas Eve assaults in Ukraine
Yulia often teases me about my listening to my iPod so often. I have become accustomed to wearing headphones as I work. I wear them while doing the dishes and while gardening. I was wearing them yesterday while I was installing wood paneling on our veranda. I do not listen to music, but get my news through podcasts from sources like Milwaukee Public Radio or NPR. When we first moved to Ukraine, listening to the news really helped me bridge life in America to life in Ukraine.
But my beloved podcasts are breaking my heart. With a few exceptions (like "On Point," "Radio Times," "University of the Air," and "Here and Now") there has been silence about the Euromaidans in Ukraine. I feel like American news media are basically telling me, "We don't care about you, Ukraine, or your Ukrainian family." I realize this is hyperbole, and I am being a bit histrionic. American coverage of the situation has been OK.
But here is the stark contrast in the news that I woke up to this morning:
My favorite state public radio station (I'll be nice and not name names) is debating whether or not "whatever" is the most annoying word in the English language. Another show is pondering the future of shopping malls in America.
Here is what is happening in Ukraine:
Late last night the organizer of Euromaidan Kharkiv was stabbed.
Almost simultaneously, in Kyiv, Journalist Tatiana Chornovol was driving her car when she was cut off and then beaten severely. Article here.Video here.
And this is not all. Several days ago a journalist from "Road Control" was attacked in his car and shot. His car was burned. Luckily, he survived.
These attacks are not random. All three of these people have been critical of the Ukrainian government.
I fear that because of the big Christmas holiday these tragedies will get no attention. American journalists (again, I won't name names) have already fallen into the groove of pronouncing the dwindling of Euromaidan because of the holidays. One Washington based newspaper keeps insisting that Ukraine doesn't need another revolution. They ask: Why doesn't the political opposition just sit at a roundtable with the government (who just had men armed with machine guns storm opposition party offices) and work everything out?
As Kurt Vonnegut once said, "So it goes."
Merry Christmas to everyone. Our hearts are with all of our friends, family, and readers of this blog. Let's not let the holiday make us forget about all those who are fighting for freedom right now. It's not a cliche. It's a real fight.
Let us know when Fox News finds out if Santa Claus is white or African American.