Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 08 June 2019
OPINION 24 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 8 JUNE 2019 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM The evolution of racist language in Australia MARY GLEEKO Prue MacSween is a loud and opinionated journalist and social commentator. She has a very public profile and she uses that profile and the platform she's given, to say what she wants, when she wants, with seemingly little consequence. She's no stranger to controversy, and in fact, it's probably her propensity to offend and alienate, that gives her the arena in which to spout her racist stream of consciousness. In short, she's a ratings winner. But at what cost? MacSween has a long history of casting aspersions and spitting venom at individuals and community and sub-cultural groups that she either does not understand or blindly refuses to understand. She has degraded ethnic groups, she has disrespected women in the military, she has attacked Australian parents stating that 'they're lazy' and don't know their responsibilities, and she has made inflammatory and deeply offensive comments about indigenous Australians and the stolen generation. And yet, MacSween continues to have a platform to express and share her views, with seemingly little consequence. Most recently, Prue Mac- Sween appeared on Nine's Today Show where she stated that divisive Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios 'should have been slapped as a child.' She continued to say that 'he's a spoilt little Greek brat who's probably being treated like a Prince' and that ‘Greeks do spoil their kids…' And if the abhorrence of these words wasn't enough to turn viewers away, in an attempt to recover, Prue unwittingly dug deeper into her casually racist repertoire to follow with her claim that she actually loves the Greeks and loves souvlaki. And again, this woman, with all of her baseless views, uneducated opinions, and complete lack of cultural sophistication, continues to have a platform to speak in this way with seemingly little or no consequence. Because we let her. As it turns out, Kyrgios is an Australian tennis player. And interestingly, he is labelled an Australian tennis player when he's winning; be- Prue MacSween lashed out against Nick Kyrgios in reference to his Greek upbringing. cause we love the glory. But when he's losing, in game and in attitude, people like Prue MacSween comfortably shun him and call him anything but Australian not realising that by doing so, real damage is being done to the Australian image and psyche; more than any damage, a young and emotive tennis player can do. Now this isn't about defending Kyrgios in any way. His behaviour at the Italian Open was so obviously out of line that it hardly warrants dis- cussion. As such, Prue MacSween could have expressed her outrage in any number of ways that would not have pained Australians of Greek and non-Greek heritage alike. She could have said that she was disappointed in him or that his behaviour was inappropriate and should have no place in the game of tennis. She could have called him juvenile, a sore loser, or an example of bad sportsmanship. None of these labels would have caused an entire community to recoil and pulsate in united disapproval and derision. But the moment that she called Kyrgios a 'spoiled little Greek brat,' she spoke from a place of racial superiority and racial intolerance. The kind of casual, run-ofthe-mill racism that Prue espoused so unabashedly on the Today Show was cringeworthy, yes. But more than that, it has again highlighted the importance of language and the dangers of leaving comments like Prue's unchecked. Met with seemingly little consequence, this form of racism, can take on a disturbing trajectory. It can easily be trivialised and turned into a joke, and it's difficult to take a joke seriously. From there it can very quickly move toward tolerance and acceptance, and, before you know it, it isn't really racism at all. When in fact it is. Kyrgios is Australian, and like many Australians, his heritage is colourful and unique. His mother is Malaysian and his father is Greek. But none of this has any bearing on tennis or how he plays it. He is an adult and like any adult is accountable for his actions and inactions. The ethnicity of his parents has no relevance to his performance as a tennis player. What Prue MacSween said was, quite simply racism at play. And so long as we have a society of people with views like Prue's and people willing to air those views and give them a wide audience, racism will not only remain in this country, but it will flourish and thrive. * Mary Gleeko is a former law- yer turned freelance writer. For more of her writing, visit gleekoblog.com All was not right in the Byzantium A letter of reply to Alexander Billinis’ article, titled “How to talk to your kids about Byzantium” SAVVAS GRIGOROPOULOS A few days ago was the anniversary of the fall of Constantinople (29 May, 1453), the capital of the Christian Eastern Roman Empire, or if you like the Byzantine Empire as it was coined by a French news reporter many decades ago. As always this is a day of remembrance and reflection and many modern day historians write articles on this topic. One such articles was written in the leading Greek newspaper of Australia Neos Kosmos of the English edition by one of these guest historian writers. Normally I would hesitate to criticise an article in our newspapers, but when I see an article blatantly commit historical censorship by omission and sugar coating some very important aspects of history concerning our Hellenic people and ancestors, I cannot but feel a certain anger and disappointment. Therefore I ask the editor of the English edition to allow me the right of reply with this letter to the editor. Here I feel obligated to point out what was not stated or reported in this article. Sometime about 315 AD to 325 AD the Roman Emperor and his government made the decision to accept the ancient Hellenic religion and the Christian religion to coexist legally. However at the insistence of Christian agitation and violence towards the pagan Hellenic world of the empire after 325 AD, precedence was given to Christianity and not long afterwards the Hellenic religion was outlawed and banned. As time marched on more An illustration of the Ottoman armies marching toward the walls of Constantinople. and more harsh and inhuman decrees and edicts were put into place against the Hellenic religion and its followers, resulting in the Holocaust of about 19 million Hellenes and Hellenized people who refused to convert to Christianity. First they had their properties confiscated and they lost all their privileges and political rights, then if they did not conform they were horribly tortured. If they still refused to convert to Christianity, they were executed. To bring about the total Christianisation of the Hellenic people, this Byzantine empire banned the (Ancient Greek) Hellenic religion, it demolished temples and built church buildings on top of them, (using the materials from these destroyed temples), and it also destroyed ancient Greek statues. Furthermore this Byzantine empire set about demolishing the Hellenic libraries and burning books, they banned and demolished all the Hellenic philosophical schools, they banned the theatre, singing and dancing and they also banned the Olympic Games. Eventually a decree was issued forbidding people to say they were Hellenes (this law remained in place until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D.), if anyone was caught defying this law, the punishment was the death penalty. This is how everyone eventually over time was brainwashed into declaring that they were Romans or Rommie (Romioi). From the time Greece came under Roman occupation in 146 BC, both the Latin language and Greek language were widely used and recognised. However, later on in the Christian Eastern Roman Empire, where the Greek language was known and used by the great majority of the population, the Greek language in 600 AD became the official language of the Christian Eastern Roman Empire. In summary, this is what the Christians of the Christian Eastern Roman Empire from the 4th century AD onward did to the Hellenic people. The first step to exterminating a nation: • Delete its memory, to destroy its books, its culture, religion and history. • Put somebody to write new books, to build a new culture, to devise a new religion, to devise a new history. It will not take long for this nation to begin to forget who it is and what it was. The rest of the world around it, will forget it even faster.
01 June 2019
15 June 2019