CBS Ukraine Coverage Hammers Home America’s Withering Grasp of the High Stakes – Opinion

It is no longer possible to be a responsible society.

Case in point: On Tuesday — amid a brutal Russian invasion killing thousands — CBS News published a piece on what it must’ve considered urgently important.

Via Twitter:

It isn’t common for Ukraine to accept transgender people. To change legal documents in order to make them gender-neutral, it requires extensive psychiatric evaluations. CBS News spoke with one woman in Kyiv who is now battling a “war within a war” amid Russia’s invasion.

The post linked to an article titled “‘A War Within a War’: Transgender Woman Says Transphobia and Discriminatory Laws Keeping Her Hostage in Kyiv During Russian Invasion.”

“Zi Faámelu was born and raised in Crimea, an area of Ukraine that was invaded and taken over by Russia in 2014,” the report began. “Now the 31-year-old lives in Kyiv, the capital city that has been under Russian siege for nearly a week. She is running out of food and hasn’t left her house for days as gunfire erupts outside.”

“She says she can’t leave,” CBS relayed.

Faámelu, who is transgender, said that transphobia is pervasive in the city and neighboring countries, and fears that if she leaves, the tension of the ongoing conflict will make her more susceptible to violence. Faámelu was previously a popular contestant on the Ukrainian singing competition show “Star Factory.”

Zi Faámelu is unwilling to conform to a male presentation in order to escape:

If she makes it to the border of a neighboring country offering refuge, she’s not even sure if they’ll let her in, as her passport identification does not match her gender. The LGBTQ community has become more visible and accepted over the years, but for transgender people, it’s more complicated.

Let’s be very clear: Ukrainians may obtain IDs displaying a sexual difference that is not compatible with their biology. But that requires a protocol Zi Faámelu hasn’t chosen to endure.

The 2017 legislation sought to slow down the process but would still mandate that transgender Ukrainians be subjected to outpatient psychoiatric evaluations.

“I don’t want to go through that. This is like, humiliating for the world,” the shut-in explained. “I decided to keep my passport, keep male in my passport, and now I cannot leave this country.”

“There’s no way Ukrainian border people can let me through,” Zi Faámelu said.

Of course, everyone in Ukraine is in need of our prayers — including Zi Faámelu. All of them may be safe.

Putting the spotlighted Kyivan entirely aside, CBS’s choice of Ukrainian exploration — while headlines such as “Russia Invades Ukraine in largest European Attack Since WWII” hit the global front page — says a lot about the state of America.

I believe we’ve lost our sense of scale. The understanding of the importance of stakes. We’ve Please become so weak that all perception of all endangerment has become all the same.

The country’s conception of struggle has radically transformed.

And it hasn’t come from the bottom up; we’ve been leveled by our leadership.

We’re told that disagreement is “hate” and words are “violence.”

We’re informed we must be bolstered by our environment — and we must not only beSeen but “feel” so.

Anyone who does not wish to confirm us must obey the rule of law.

Any incident unsupportive of our ideas, we’re assured, causes us “harm.”

In any such instance, we’re advised, we’ve been robbed of our dignity. We’ve been aggressed. We’ve been erased.

Erased —Our existence can only be made possible because the entire world tells us that we are correct.

So disagreement isn’t just hate but also death.

What could be weaker?

At a time when bodies litter the Ukrainian earth, pulverized by military might, a major news organization presents a story of self-expression — as if the general subject reaches the same heights as the threat of a world war.

Talking of:

True self expression is beautiful. Everyone should be themselves.

Social issues are also newsworthy.

But I believe CBS’s choice of Ukrainian coverage so perfectly hammers home the fact that we are no longer a serious nation. It is impossible to grasp the real threat and not hold tight. Perhaps it’s one reason so many Americans suffered paralyzing fear during the pandemic — many had lost sight of the fact that the threat of actual death was a perpetual part of life.

And our evolution isn’t only evident among the citizenry; it’s in our institutions. The Armed Forces — an apparatus whose sole function is to kill people and break things — recently made headlines for its socially-conscious interior decorating. Last month, the federal government proclaimed, “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Are Necessities in U.S. Military.” No, they aren’t. Although they may be fascinating, They may even be admirable. But where blowing things up is concerned, they’re neither here nor there. Is any military less “diverse” than China’s? It seems to be quite lethal.

We’ve conflated small things with medium things, and medium with large. Each issue is now the same size.

As a result, it doesn’t seem to really matter.

We’re no longer serious.

Therefore — the best I can tell — we’re in serious trouble.



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