December 20, 2019

Time for Ukrainians to stop being silent


Dear Editor:

With the impeachment hearings under way, President Donald Trump is being accused of withholding weapons from Ukraine for his own political gain. That’s bad enough, but it’s now open season on Ukrainians in the right-wing media. Fox News is attacking Ukraine and Ukrainians, and Mr. Trump is tweeting up a storm of hatred towards friends of Ukraine such as Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Ambassador William Taylor and, most despicably of all, towards Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a decorated war hero.

But why listen to me?

According to the Daily Beast, here’s what RIA Novosti columnist Ivan Danilov wrote: “Some witnesses and sources of information, on which the charges against Donald Trump are based (and for which he, in fact, faces impeachment) are ‘Americans of Ukrainian descent’… At the same time, supporters of the current president are already demonstrating a clear willingness to use their background as the proof that they are ‘traitors to America.’ It isn’t as evident now, but after several months of actively promoting the thesis ‘Ukrainians are Clinton’s agents and the enemies of the United States, who are trying to overthrow Trump,’ a significant part of American society and the political elite will want nothing to do with Ukraine or the Ukrainian leadership, nor will they harbor any warm feelings toward the Ukrainian diaspora.”

Now is the time for all Ukrainian Americans, regardless of party affiliation, to stand up to the attacks against us. As a boy, I remember my father taking me to a large gathering of Ukrainians in Washington (I think it was around 1962). Maybe it’s time we all converged on D.C. again and made our voices heard.

Alexander J. Stepanyk
Hollywood, Fla.