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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 25 February 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2017 25 GREECE an authentic conversation in their concern for their daughter's looming marriage. At long last they were human and real. The conversation they shared could have been my father and mother – could have been anyone's parents. – Kosta: "Is he a good boy? I don't know. know. "Is he from a good family? I don't "Is he respectful? I don't know … because nobody talks to me about nothing no more. "A respectful boy would come here and ask for my permission." – Maria: "They fell in love. It happens." Despite the nuances with this conversation and modernity's and post-modernity's unfolding social justice vocabulary in terms of selfdetermination, it is a conversation that resonates with every parent and that brings on a coming together in terms of human understandings and meanings. Critical race theory is a framework of intersections on the examination of societies and cultures and intertwined are discriminatory laws and power imbalances. It is our duty to strive to do away with discriminatory laws and to correct power imbalances and not to reinforce them. The tragedy of white supremacy, nowadays sold as white privilege, continues. White supremacy and its racialised powerbase maintain their horrid obscenity despite the outrage that has been increasingly unleashed at them during the last 100 years following centuries of white privilege expansionism. No nation that peddles a dominant culture is free from the ugliest forms of racism. Privilege in its rawest self is about exploitation, but even in its greatest calm it is about selfishness. In all its forms privilege is an intended means of control. Those who scoff that there is no oppressor and oppressed dichotomy deny grim realities. Self-labelling oneself as a 'wog' or 'nigger' evidences the grim. These derogatory terms subordinate the 'wog' and 'nigger' to white privilege scholarship – to a dominant culture that one must deal in instead of calling out. 'Colour-blindness' can only arise in an inalienably equal poly-cultural society – one where differences are positive norms and the shared storytelling of these norms brings people together. An educative transformative approach is more powerful and profound than the presumption that rights-based laws alone in race-conscious-based societies can equitably transform societies to inalienable egalitarianism and to the embrace of coming together understandings. The political and various educative landscapes need to be soaked in shared stories, in storytelling where society is illuminated to not only the norms of one another but also to the experiences of one another. We can discuss critical race theories and frameworks, liberalism's rights-based remedies, civil rights scholarship, anti-discrimination efforts, the intersections of this and that, and other critical pedagogy, but in the end racism is racism de- spite its veils and layers. The onus on racism needs to be two-fold; calling it out and shining the light on the ways forward. But the ways forward are intertwined with the calling out of the racism. Racism is not called out as often as it should be, and the calling out is often poorly articulated or it's called out by proxy – that is by a white person who hopes to mean well. Hence there remain many Australians who do not understand that racism exists or that it can be overwhelming. They instead regress to a 'let us move on' narrative. Internalising racism is toxic. Any serious commitment to challenging racism must be an intellectual one, not a reductionist one where we mock ourselves and perpetuate the racist's reality – the 'black face' minstrels, Wogs out of Work, etc. Racial power imbalances remain maintained. Wog is a racial slur. Paul Keating was right about institutional racism, of white privilege when he said that an event such as "the Cronulla riot has in its antecedents the notion that somewhere in officialdom at the top of the country it's all right to think poorly of people who come from a different background to yourself". "This is, I think, a dreadful letdown for the country after it had succeeded so greatly in settling so many people from abroad." The Bulletin was a highly influential political newspaper/magazine first published in Sydney in 1880. Its final issue was published in 2008. However, its motto had originally been ‘Australia for the White Man and China for the Chows’. It was changed in 1886 to ‘Australia for the White Man’. This premiseladen masthead slogan was only removed in 1961. In 2015, the production Wog Boys performed to large audiences around the nation. I understand the well-meaning intended when Nick Giannopoulos discussed the term 'wog', "It's become a brand for this type of comedy, which is a good thing. I'd much prefer it to be a brand than a racist term." Despite understanding the premises behind his argument, I disagree. It remains a racism term. It is not true that we can laugh off racism – this has been tried right across the world for three-quarters of a century and it does not work. It deals in a constancy of diminution, trauma and reinforces white privilege. Some now claim that 'wog' is an "endearing term". Some argue this of ‘nigger’ or ‘Abo’. There is nothing endearing about these terms. There is nothing positive, nothing good, about calling oneself 'wog' and 'nigger'. These terms do not 'diffuse' racism. They are racism. * Gerry Georgatos is a suicide pre- vention and prison reform researcher and advocate with the Institute of Social Justice and Human Rights. He is a member of national projects further developing suicide prevention and prison to hope to well-being to education programs. He is also a prolific writer in understanding racism and on the ways forward from racism. PHOTOS: YANNIS ASIMAKOPOULOS. Metaxourgeio’s carnival the talk of Athens GEORGIOS HATZIMANOLIS The gritty but hip inner-Athens suburb of Metaxourgeio played host to one of the city's most anticipated annual events last Sunday. Imagine a street party that resembles something between a traditional Macedonian carnival, the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and scenes from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and that's what you can expect from this wild, Dionysian-like festival. This was the eighth consecutive year the residents of Metaxourgeio organised their carnival in the form of a street party, and it seems this event is getting bigger, and surprisingly more fun, as the years go by. Despite its growing popularity, it has remained authentic, with local residents and shop owners making sure it maintains its unique colour and vibe. Revellers of all backgrounds and ages, in an array of crazy outfits, started the party early from around lunchtime, drinking and dancing well into the night to the rhythmic sounds of the many percussion groups that come to perform. For more photos go to yannisasimakopoulos.com Milo Yiannopoulos’ unwholesome energy In what is arguably a first, Milo Yiannopoulos has apologised for his offensive remarks. Not for his usual vitriolic remarks, which make each of his public appearances seem like a study in hate speech, but for a statement that came off as an endorsement of paedophilia. The feisty right wing commentator was captured in a video defending sexual relationships between teenage boys and older men as an experience that "can be hugely positive", as "those older men help those younger boys discover who they are". The usually unabashed contrarian claimed that his statement was taken out of context and that he was speaking about his own experi- ence as a young gay teenager when he claimed that the age of consent is "not this black-and-white thing". His apology remained unaccepted as this revelation cost him a speaking engagement, a $250,000 book publishing deal with a Simon & Schuster imprint, as well as his position as senior editor of Breitbart News, after employees threatened to step out if he remained in place. Breitbart News has been instrumental in spreading the 'alt-right' ideology that Donald Trump campaigned on, and its former executive, Steve Bannon, is now the White House's chief strategist. Some predict this turn of events will mark the fall of Yiannopoulos, who changed his name from Han- rahan, adopting his grandmother's maiden name. In one of his editorials, the agitator described Greeks as lazy, hairy people who deserve all punishment sent to them for their financial conduct. Artemis Sorras’ questionable political party swears oath to the gods under the Acropolis Tourists and bystanders were surprised to see 300 people gathering under the Acropolis on Monday swearing an oath to the gods of Olympus. What’s more surprising is that the happening was staged by one of the most controversial quasi-political movements in Greece, the Hellenes Convention. The leader himself, Artemis Sorras, who is claiming to be in possession of trillions' worth of old bonds from the now-defunct Banque d' Orient (a claim largely disputed by the National Bank of Greece which owned Banque d' Orient and merged with it in 1932), was present at the happening and gave a speech presenting the platform of his new political organisation. His Hellenes Convention has established a large number of offices throughout Greece, accumulating hundreds of thousands in membership fees, from people who believe that Sorras' fortune will pay off the country's debt. Sorras himself has urged Greeks to go to tax offices and claim that their taxes should be paid from his alleged trillions.
18 February 2017
4 March 2017