Greek-Australians “Look Like Aborigines”

Greek-Australians “Look Like Aborigines”

Flickr Deetrak

I received a lot of feedback from my previous article (“Aren’t you sick of being called a WOG?“), whilst most people were supportive, and some were negative, what surprised me the most was that some people actually told me they believed “racism ended in Australia in the 1980′s”.  For a moment I took a step back and I wondered if that could possibly be true. Have I simply imagined the racial vilification I have received for the last 20 years? Is that possible? Did I simply spend too much of my time on hallucinogens I didn’t know I had taken?

Unfortunately my self doubt on this subject did not last very long, as I had the pleasure of reading the comments below a recent Greek Reporter article applauding the progress of some Greek-Australians “Greeks Among Northern Territory’s Top 150“.

This wonderful, educated, and above all decent human being going by the highly sophisticated name of Wyatt, had the kindness to share with us his personal and well thought out comments on the matter. You can see the comment for yourself here.

Now, it doesn’t matter if this little boy needs to hide behind a keyboard and hurl anonymous abuse at us, nor does it particularly matter if he is just bidding his time reading Greek Reporter whilst he sits in his caravan drinking beer whilst waiting for the next dole cheque to arrive in the mail.

None of that matters.

What matters is the psychology behind what our dear friend Wyatt said and the psychology behind the response, lack of response, and the cultural interplay that they represent.

First of all it’s interesting to note that of all the articles he chose to comment on, it was one that was lauding our progress as a community. God forbid we receive praise (even modest as it was given that the Northern Territory probably only has a population of about 200 – just kidding!) as a community, as a culture that brings something of value to this country. Not acceptable apparently, we need to be put in our place and be reminded of who is in charge of this country.

Does this experience sound familiar? When I once told a co-worker I was planning on visiting the beautiful Greek islands where my parents are from, she told me loudly in front of a group of people “isn’t that a country where people get around on donkeys?”. I felt like saying to her “no, you pasty skinned ignorant cow, it is the country that invented democracy, laid the foundations for today’s sciences, maths, and architecture, whilst your ancestors were running around in caves beating each other over the head with sticks”. But like most Greek-Australians I felt humiliated and just shut my mouth and accepted it.

Secondly, the sad, somewhat limp response to Mr. Wyatt’s comment was one of accepting the idea that darker skin is inferior, and denying that we have it. Does it really matter? Are we really in such a defeated state in Australia that we need to deny or apologize for the color of our beautiful olive skin? Why have we accepted that pasty skin is better than olive skin?

And finally, the lack of any other responses to this Andrew Bolt reading-Pauline Hanson loving- “true blue” – Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi-Liberal party voter. I imagine most of us who read his comments probably thought “just another idiot” and ignored him.

And that’ s where the problem comes in.

For too long we’ve stood by with our mouths shut, agreeing to the B.S. of a loud minority in Anglo-Saxon Australia about wog-this and wog-that, letting these people get away with claiming that they are the only “real Australians”, internalizing their racism, and none of us daring to tell them otherwise.

No one daring to tell them that we have all made this country what it is today. Regardless of the color of our skin, our eyes, or even our hair — our hopes, dreams, and values are not so different. No matter how long ago (or not) our forefathers came here, they and we, all have migrant routes*,  we all came here looking to work hard and build a better life for ourselves and for our families. We are all in this together.

This is the second in a series of articles exploring racism in Australia. If you’d like to be notified of future articles, join the facebook group From All the Lands on Earth we Come.

* except of course for the Aborigines.

  • TrueBlue

    The reality is that overt racism on a society wide level in Australia did end generally in the 1980′s and had been on the decline since the early 1960′s. Racism still exists and probably always will within small groups and individuals of all cultural and national backgrounds, lets not try to assert that the only racist people are white skinned folk, that is clearly rubbish. People like Wyatt are allowed their view but they don’t now or did they ever represent the majority. A democracy is underpinned by free speech and all views (except those that call for or directly incite violence or retribution) are relevant and should be tolerated without the diversity of views we simply don’t live in a true democracy.

    I’m sorry you and many other people have experienced racism that is unacceptable, but one must not confuse a name calling like (POM, WOG etc) as pervasive racism or in many cases as negative at all. I simply don’t understand your comment about white skin being superior I think that notion is in your head.

  • Lemi

    dear writer,
    Forgive my facetious comments to your previous article. however, your irritating opinion has now been upgraded to pitiful. It is not Hellenism vs Anglo Australia, but Hellenism vs ignorance. The opinion you express is presupposes Hellenism is pegged to victimisation, yet up until recently the whole of cultivated civilisations benchmarked Hellenism to empirical explorations of human, spiritual and technical truths.

    Apart from exceptionally debased instances, that history agrees to characterise, such as communism, nazism, Popeism, etc, the virtues established and demonstrated by Hellenism up to and including the post WWII Greek migration to Australia and the like, were highly regarded by all ‘Hellenic derivative’ civilisations.

    If then, Hellenism was maintained somewhat by all modern civilisations, regardless of cultural deflections, understandably made by time and geography, and if the current state of all ‘modern’ societies is to be compared with, then my dear writer it is now not Hellenism vs any race but ALL RACES vs CHRISTLESSNESS.

    PLEASE READ THE CLASSICS, STAY CLOSE TO THE CHURCH, PARTAKE IN THE HOLY MYSTERIES AND PRAY FOR US ALL.

  • Striker555

    Anglo-Australians can be rather ignorant and uninformed. It comes from the years when Australia was isolated. Anybody not from the British Isles or Northern Europe was seen as an alien from another universe. Australia is being swamped by Muslim and Asian immigrants but yet they concentrate on Southern Europeans give me a break. They’re the same race but just from the Southern part of Europe.

  • Wyatt

    Dear Greek friends,

    I have to admit the reason I was reading your website was
    that I was following an article on Golden Dawn being set up in Melbourne. It is
    funny that my very simple response elicited my own article where I have been
    portrayed as a beer drinking caravan dwelling racist.

    Racism is often the last
    card of the uncompetitive. Immigrants are normally hated by those who have most
    to lose – people who compete in the unskilled labour market with the new
    workers. The irony is that despite being an immigrant culture itself, the Greek
    community brings with it the hatred espoused by its leading figures back home.
    With people like Metropolitan
    Seraphim in your government-paid-for church spouting anti-Semitic rants –
    without being removed, or a parliament filled with neo-Nazis , with Greeks who
    took part in the Srebrenica genocide being labelled as heroes by mainstream
    media, it appears that mainstream Greek society has no problem spending the
    currency of racial vilification.

    I did like the line “whilst he sits in his caravan drinking beer
    whilst waiting for the next dole cheque to arrive in the mail”. I am actually tertiary educated to a
    post-graduate level, and hold a responsible position within a government
    agency, but thanks for trying to portray me as a stereotype – I think you made
    my point for me. I don’t drink beer either.

    In relation to your subsequent rumination of the virtues
    of olive skin, it leads me to the thread I first pulled on in visiting your
    newspaper – Greek (and white) supremacism.

    Whether it be a nationalist parade through a Melbourne
    street on the way to a soccer match chanting racist slogans, the opening of a
    Golden Dawn office in Melbourne, the anti-Semitic ravings of Greek priests like
    Metropolitan Seraphim or Greek politicians like Ilias Kasidiaris or Nikos Michaloliakos , it is quite obvious to
    the casual observer that the Greek community has not moved on from the ethnic
    insecurities it had as a result of being a synthetic state cobbled together
    from a number of ethnicities in the 19th century.

    And now, thank you very much, we have a Greek hate group
    in Melbourne. The irony of this is that it is also a white supremacist group.
    While, white supremacy is idiotic, white supremacy by non-whites is doubly so.
    How do you solve this logical conundrum?

    A typical response is like that shown by one of the white
    supremacist group Stormfront’s most active Greek members, Λευκός
    εθνικιστής, who stated “White
    is IN your head and heart, NOT on your face or in your blood.” Right,
    OK, so you can have Turkish blood and an olive face and still be a white
    supremacist based on what you think. By that logic, you should allow some
    Pakistani or African members into Golden Dawn – just as long as they feel ‘white’.

    You profess to hate the Turks whom you consider another
    race, yet autosomal DNA matching services like DNA Tribes lump Greeks and Turks
    together because they have so many of the same DNA markers. When they are
    walking down the street in normal western clothing, can you tell the difference
    between the average Greek, the average Turk, and the average Lebanese? No, you
    can’t.

    Look, if you are going to persecute others – don’t call
    yourself ‘white’ while you do so – it makes us real ‘whites’ look bad. Remember
    that when the Ottomans reached the Gates of Vienna on the first 9/11 in 1683,
    that the Greeks were fighting against ‘white Christianity’ with their Ottoman
    brothers. Maybe that is why so many Greeks cheered on the second 9/11 in 2001.
    Remember that Greek fans booed during the minute of silence for the victims at
    a football match in Scotland the week after 9/11.

    Modern Greek identity is one of confusion – it denies its
    Middle Eastern origin, claims every ancient figure as its own, lives on the
    charity of Western Europe and appears to hate the USA and most of the West.
    Greek phone books are full of Turkish names like kara-something or
    something-oglu, yet Greek nationalists claim to be hermetically preserved from
    those ‘middle eastern Mongols’.

    You receive government funding for Greek Orthodox schools
    here, yet in your own country you don’t allow a mosque to be built for your
    large Muslim population with their own money. You call for special rights for the
    Greek minority here (there was a push to allow Greeks to immigrate here by
    bypassing the point system), yet you claim the Macedonian minority doesn’t
    exist within your own borders.

    The way you blame the rest of the world for your problems
    is childish. While Greece attempts to live a Western European lifestyle on an
    economy driven by an Eastern Mediterranean culture, it will undoubtedly fail.
    The rest of Europe shouldn’t have to pay to drag you into some semblance of
    Western society. So you can drop all of the ‘Germans & Jews conspire
    against the Greek nation’ garbage that seems to be all over the internet.

    In summary, if you are going to live in Australia, dump
    all the Greek nationalism and white supremacy garbage. The average Australian doesn’t
    even consider you ‘white’ – the police describe you as being of ‘middle eastern
    appearance’. We didn’t sponsor you to come over here and engage in petty neighbour
    hating that is more at home in the Middle East. Leave the Turks, the
    Macedonians, the Albanians and the Jews alone. We have no problem you coming
    here, but dump your ethnic hatreds in the quarantine bin before you enter the
    country.

    Wyatt

  • Proud Wog, Maco style

    Lmao. Well said Wyatt. You just kicked Ilias’s olive skin coloured ass. Lets hope he is man enough and not remove your highly intelligent response and whips up another pathetic article crying ‘racism’ at particular responses. Grow some balls you malaka. I’m a wog and I’m proud of it!

  • Proud Wog, Maco style

    ‘Malaka’ was meant for Ilias not the beer guzzler Wyatt. Lol

  • Steve

    Proud of WHAT? you WOGS are full of disease. Go back to where you came from. You should be exterminated along with the rats in the sewers.

  • Anibal

    Hahahah a. With a name like Steve that reads Greek Reporter, it’s you who invented the butt secks brudda. Keep it real re

  • Steve

    hahahaha you are a tool ;)

  • Opa

    My lil’ indigenous mavro…sssh. :)

  • Steve

    Hahaha you are still a tool ;) keep it real you little wog ;)

  • MushangaBoy

    go drink some warm beer you damn criminal. Get back to your roots… head-butt a few freinds…. oi oi oi, lets go Abo-hunting! Anglo culture at its finest!

    Everywhere you people go, you bring genocide, slavery and oppression…in that order. Im actually glad you dont consider us “white” . We’re Greek. Just like our language is unique (ie non germanic, latin, slavic etc), so is our race.

    fact is, Aegean turks do in fact share DNA with us. most are descended from local asia minor greeks that became muslim (turkified) over the centuries. the same is not true of interior turks. they are of turkic asiatic descent. Even turks will tell you this. the ottomans were the invaders, not the majority local populace. you do the math

    fact is, Greeks, Southern Italians and most Aegean turks are quite simply the amalgamation of Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian people. We know who we are. We are quite proud of our continuous lagacy and heritage. Citations of race by our anglo firends is the excuse du jour for keeping stolen artifacts in thier museums. In line with that is also the annointment of essentially Yogoslav-Bulgarians as the heirs of Alexander. classic divide and conquer, only this time, the attempt is cultural..and btw, no one denies the existance of a small Bulgarian, Vlach and Muslim minority in Greece.

    fact is, Greeks were not allowed to enlist during the early years of the ottoman empire. any Greek present during the siege of Vienna was probably there against his will…perhaps a kidnapped child jenisary or other. same cannot be said of our so called Western bretheren during the 4th crusade who took great pleasure in sacking the great Christian city of Constantinopolis.

    same cannot be said of Smyra, Cyprus and the countless other times our one sided friendship has left us with a bitter after-taste. In fact, your supply of steady, cheap oil has been paid for in full with Greek blood in 1919-1922.

    fact is, we de-railed the nazi machine in WWII and handed you the first allied victory, and consequently victory therafter. Hitler won the battle in Greece, but it cost him the war…and he acknowledged it. Then along came our anglo friends, liberators? no, they had colonization on thier mind till Stalin insisted on a piece of the pie, and as such, the dodecanese was returned to Greece

    we have been dragged into your ethic hatred escapdes over the centuries with nothing to show for….by design. We do not fit into your idiotic paradigm of West is good and East is bad, as we are niether. But alas, as history has shown, our geography dictates that we cannot be left alone and as such, must pick our devil. EU, Anglo World, Russia?

    now we have our fair share of idiots, of which soccer hooligans (more anglo culture for you by the way), communists and fascists are a special breed. Im not about to make excuses for thier deplorable and disrespectful behaviour, but as you can see, when you point a finger, three point back at you. our wounds run deeper than 10 years. This is not meant to incite pity nor hatred. just a simple statement of fact

    by the way, i would’nt brag too much about the fact that you’re a government worker. Governemnt worker is an oxymoron after all

  • Giannis

    Well said!!

  • Drone

    Oh, God! This is delicious! A racist jerk called Wyatt, giving a lesson to other racist jerks, the proud, pure, greeks, the greek suprematists, with a special DNA, fathers of all the civilization! The irony is that you can’t even create a decent state in the your fatherland, without technical advise from foreigners. You only produce cheese, sun and beaches. People living in Greece thousand years ago invented democracy and technology? Well, people living in Irak invented agricuIture and urbanism. I wouldn’t say this about any other country, but you deserve that, oh so proud and special greeks, so diferent from the turks and albanians, so superior! This is hilarious! Thank you very much for the laughs!

  • Opa

    Ooops. Somebody got a nose bleed. Mavro

  • Wyatt

    Government worker with a 180k salary, 36 hour week without sweating it. Yeh…a moron

  • Opa

    Stevie. You’re getting kinda angry manga boy.

  • Pasty

    The reality is this: Greeks were complicit with ‘pasty skins’ in helping to encourage anti-Muslim racism and now they are getting a taste of their own medicine.

    Lap it up, guys.. You asked for it. Now you’re getting it. Stop complaining.

    ps Greek Golden Dawn ain’t going to save you now. And by the way the Middle East introduced democracy, science, civilisation and even language to the world so stop kidding yourselves. Greeks only introduced it to Europe so stop with the bullshit already.

  • India

    100% agree with Pasty.Greeks are always quick to point the finger at Muslims and Asians so these racist bastards don’t deserve any sympathy.

  • Peter

    ” Yogoslav-Bulgarians as the heirs of Alexander. classic divide and conquer, only this time, the attempt is cultural.”

    This is ingorant. you mihgt not want to see the reality, but those Yugo-Bulgars or Slavo-paeonians from Skopje, as Greeks refer to them, are virtually the same as northern Greeks. Genetically and even cultural pretty much the same people on the different side of a lingusitic divide. Hundreds of years ago, people in Greece were tri-lingual: Greek – latin- Slavic (bulgaro-Macedonian branch). And lets not forget what most of northern and central Greeks, ie Greek Macedonians are – greekocized Slavs, Armenians, Sicilians and Anatolians . So whilst Macedonians are not right in stating they are the real and only eirs of Alexander, neither are greeks. The Ancient Macedonians lived 3000 years ago. NO ONE is exectly , directly descended from them today

  • halfasian

    So now you can fit in with the Anglos (to a degree) and be racist too! Score!