Frankly, this is a dumb story. But then, considering how politicized everything "Olympic" really is, it makes me wonder whether there is more to this one that meets the eye.
Pretty simple summary: a Greek athlete called Voula Papachristou posted the following joke on her Twitter account:
"So many Africans in Greece at least West Nile mosquitoes will eat homemade food."
I don't know about you, but I cannot say that this is absolutely hilarious. Can't say that I find that offensive either. Am I missing something here?
"So many Africans in Greece". Dunno if that is true, but for the life of me I cannot see what could be considered offensive about this statement either.
"West Nile mosquitoes will eat homemade food." Okay, calling any human "food" is not very respectful but, hey, we *are* food for the mosquitoes. Here were I live, in Florida, tourists even purchase T-shirts with a nasty looking mosquito on it and with the caption "I gave my blood in the Everglades". Human, including Africans, are potential food for many animals, even if we rather not think about it.
So its got to be the "at least" part which suggests that Africans in Greece are a negative phenomenon which is only partially compensated by the fact that "local African" mosquitoes get some homemade food.
Fine, let us assume for a moment that Ms. Papachristou really does not like seeing Africans in her country. So bloody hell what? Its her right to like or not like whatever she wants, no?
Is her "crime" (as in "crimethink" of course) that she actually expressed her displeasure in this tweet? Well, either its a crime and she should be prosecuted or is a lack of "sensitivity" towards those who might find her statement offensive. But she did not get sued, so her only fault, assuming that it was one, was to have shown a lack of humor, a lack of sensitivity, or both.
So, okay, maybe her coaches should remind her that Olympics are a high-visibility international events which includes participants from all over the world and that she, being part of the official Greek team, might show some common sense and not share any of her opinions without thinking about this context.
Voula Papachristou actually got banned from the Olympics!!
Poor Ms Papachristou could not even get a break by publishing the following snivelling apology:
"I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published on my personal Twitter account. I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights. "My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values. Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races."
Setting aside the usual misconception about the existence of some "African race" that type of completely over the top apology did not do the trick either: Papachristou is out, no clemency considered.
But the worst part comes now. Its not even the International Olympic Committee which kicked out Ms Papachristou: its the Hellenic Olympic Committee! The Greeks did this one to themselves!
“The expulsion of an athlete in the wake of backstage political interventions -- simply because of a joke that is going around the Internet -- proves how miserable and anti-Greek our state and the international bodies that use the Olympic ideals as their own are (...) The only racism in Greece is the racism against the Greeks,” (...) “Anybody who says even a word against illegal immigrants is held up to public ridicule... It would be more honest to pass a law condemning everybody who has different views to death by stoning”
Now this is no laughing matter. Why? The current pro-banking coalition government has absolutely no chance of survival, and everybody knows that. It is also very likely that the anti-banking coalition of the radical Left "SYRIZA
" will win the next elections. So what do the bankers do? They fan all types of extreme movements inside Greece to turn the anger of the Greek people away from its legitimate target (the international plutocracy) and pitch one community against the other, in this case Greeks versus immigrants.
Unlike SYRIZA, the Fascist Golden Dawn is - like all Fascist parties - more of an ugly joke than a credible force capable of actually administrating a country, nevermind leading it through, and out, of an inevitable crisis. However, just like all the other "official bad guys" parties in Europe, Golden Dawn might be very useful to the bankers to take just enough votes away from SYRIZA to make the difference.
The French author, sociologist, historian and philosopher Alain Soral has devoted a great deal of time to this most interesting topic: how the "system" creates and promotes all kinds of extremist parties and movements with the double aim of a) channeling the people's anger away from itself and the trans-national plutocracy ruling the West, and b) taking away as much of the "protest vote" as possible from any party which might successfully challenge the status quo. And this is exactly the tactic which we see now used in Greece.
Kicking out Ms Papachristou will achieve only one thing: it will give votes to Golden Dawn. Nobody in the IOC forced the hand of the Hellenic Olympic Committee and no African team or country has demanded that Ms Papachristou be kicked out. Frankly, if some oh-so-clever "observers" had not made a huge deal out of nothing, I don't think anybody would have cared.
Cui bono is, as usual, the key question. And, in this case, I think the answer is self-evident.