Sunday, October 08, 2006

Racist graffiti

"Albanians out"

Golden Dawn - Hellas

I was surfing over at Devious Diva's blog and came across a post she had written recntly on hate graffiti in Athens. Here in Thessaloniki we have equally virulent examples of such racism. The one that particularly appalled me was one that said;

Αλβανος καλος μονο νεκρος"

"The only good Albanian is a dead one"

or a favourite in my neighbourhood;



This crap often stays on the walls for months, if not years and sends the message to the world that if you're not Greek you don't belong here. Even "respectable" politicians such as Psomiadis blithely state that you can only be born Greek.

Am I angry?

You bet! Already my daughter, born in Greece is learning an object lesson in the demonisation of the "other". She is being teased and made fun of relentlessly in school because her surname is obviously not Greek. This is just the mildest form such prejudice takes. Yet she in her own way is bearing the brunt of the kind of chauvinism that has become taken for granted here in Thessaloniki, fed by hate graffiti or the endless hours of hate TV that pollute the airwaves everyday.

Despite all this there is a state of denial about the situation. Even on the state - run channels such as ET3 I have seen Greek TV presenters belittle and demean immigrants on live TV for daring to suggest that racism maybe a problem in the city.

Now, you might say why stay in such a place? Why not go back home and forget all about it?

First, I decided to make this place my home and so I'm not going to let these bas####s tell where I can or cannot live and secondly, my daughter was born here. This is the only home she knows.


Just because you don't dress up in a bed sheet and go racing acoss the countryside lynching folk and burning churches, doesn't mean you're not a racist.


dorapap said...

Luckily all Greeks are not the same!
Take care

Liverpool said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
teacher dude said...

I'd have to go with Dora on this one. I hate to categorise everyone as being the same (which is exactly what racists do), but sometimes a problem is so widespread that no longer becomes a matter of individual maliciousness.

Liverpool said...

Teacher, I guess you are right. But sometimes, when you are victimized, it feels good to verbally lash out sometimes. Maybe it's not right, but with those mean people who say horrible things, it can be ok to justify your actions on a case by case basis.

So, save my previous mean comment for those who really deserve it and not the decent Greeks who (as Dora says) are not all like that.

teacher dude said...

Thanks Liverpool, for your comments. I know how you feel, believe me. We all have a need to vent our anger now and then. It's just that if say, "all Greeks, Brits, Germans etc, are...." then we become as bad as the people we fume against."

Anonymous said...

"Remember, Greeks are mainly just Balkanites with nicer teeth. We Brits just have to remind them of that sometimes."


Anonymous said...

I’m portuguese, not greek, but that comment from “Liverpool” made me sick. What do you think you are? Teacher, I hope you understand my anger too, as you understood Liverpool’s – “higher category on the world food chain” - racist crap.


teacher dude said...

I understand your anger, Anon. I think my opinion on it is clear from my replies.

"At that moment I stopped being a person and became a nationality."

Shiva Naipul

Anonymous said...

Ok, Teacher, I’m sure that’s a very intersting phrase, from Shiva Naipul. But you shouldn’t allow racists comments in your blog, like that one from “Liverpool”. Remember the theme of the post. That's only my opinion off course, and this is your blog.


Anonymous said...

You removed it. Thank you very much, Teacher.


teacher dude said...

I reread the comment and decided that its sentiments have no place in a post decrying racism.

I think we all say things in the heat of the moment that we later wish we hadn't, I hope that is true of Liverpool.

Will said...

Everyone made such a fuss about Liverpool's comment which was NOT a racist comment. Greece and Britain are countries and not people first OFF, and it's a known fact that Britain is taken more seriously as a country than Greece. Again, it's not racism, it's just reality.

Also, for the geniuses Antonio and Anon: Racism is discrimination based on race, not national origin.

But, more sad was that people didn't comment on the "national origin discrimination" being done against Teacher dude's daughter which made me think that Antonio and Anon quietly approve of it since remarkably no mention was made of it.

REMEMBER: Just because you call someone's comments racist doesn't mean they are JUST because you think it's cool or in fashion to say they are.

Anonymous said...

Are you joking? Imagine this writen on a wall, in England: “Greeks are mainly just Balkanites with nicer teeth. We Brits just have to remind them of that sometimes." What do you call this? Racism, right?


Will said...

I don't think Liverpool said that. It was Anon who said that. Look at his comments above.

Also, Antonio, why don't you acknolwedge teacher dude's concern about his daughter's treament. Now, you have not mentioned it twice and I think you must be making a point of ignoring on purpose. Are you only protecting rights of Greeks or other people?

Anonymous said...

Liverpool said that. That racist comment was erased. Look all comments above.
My point is: I condemn all forms of racism. Beeing portuguese, I know very well what racism is, what it is to be considered inferior by people from certain countries. Needless to say, I condemn the situation described by the Teatcher. It is not only mean, it´s stupid, too.


Will said...


Ok, thank you. Now, you are fair, and you did right thing and condemn all forms of racism.

Maybe Liverpool just had bad day?

We can now end discussion and move to next topic now.


Ελληνικο Παρατηρητηριο των Συμφωνιων του Ελσινκι said...

I may have come too late into this -deviating from devious diva :)- but in a way all Greeks ARE the same: they dont give a damn when they see this graffiti and ask no one to erase it; ministers, intelelctuals et al drive by that and are insensitive; thise of us who care are called exaggerated extremists, which by Greek standrads we are. Ask an Albanian, a Jew, etc how they feel when they see all that.

Ελληνικο Παρατηρητηριο των Συμφωνιων του Ελσινκι said...

One more thing. Could Teacher provide some fotos of that crap?

teacher dude said...

Thanfully, Panagioti, somebody has already sprayed over the anti - Albanian slogan, Greek anarchists, most likely, judging by the other messages. I went by the street yesterday in order to get a photo and found that it had been sprayed over.

teacher dude said...

However, as well as the graffiti, there is plenty of anti-foreigner sentiment on the smaller TV channels here in Thessaloniki, such as Vergina TV, Thessaloniki TV and 4E. That is just as bad any graffiti scribbled on the walls.