What if a politician or his/her campaign chair made a derogatory comment that negates the ethnic origin of an entire group, and continued a policy that ignores persecution of this group and seeks to change its ethnic identity?
Breaking news, right?
Only if it’s a higher-profile group. Good luck to this group of people if they’re not as well-known. This happened during the US election, but, of course, got no mainstream media coverage.
Not only do lesser-known groups have to explain the reasons why certain terms are racist, they are often obliged to justify the reason for their outrage and fight an uphill battle in doing so.
If society, as a whole, doesn’t understand why something is offensive, the impression given is that the minority group is being “too sensitive.” Case in point, Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins…need I say more?
I shouldn’t, but I do.
How someone could not understand how the term “Redskins” is offensive is beyond me, but the main point is, even if you, inexplicably, do not understand why something is racist, if the affected ethnic group says it’s racist – it is.
A well-known Canadian politician, Jim Karygiannis, has made numerous anti-Macedonian comments in the media, defended his use of the derogatory terms, and was even caught on video praising a lecture which glorified the bombing and killing of Macedonian civilians by Greek-government forces.
Credit to the mainstream media for covering MHRMI’s exposure of this story, and to the various organizations who issued statements in support of MHRMI and the Canadian-Macedonian community, but there were no repercussions for Karygiannis.
The Liberal Party, of which he was a federally-elected member at the time, did nothing.
Here’s the Clinton example all over again, as the Liberal Party had taken a specific anti-Macedonia, pro-Greece stance a decade ago. Karygiannis has since become a municipal councillor in Toronto, but Mayor John Tory or city council have done nothing.
While Tory does have his strong points, quick-action is not one of them. Hopefully this is the case here, but, more than likely, he is hoping that this issue just “goes away”. Well, we’re not going away. Here’s hoping for some actual action on these issues instead of the usual hypocrisy.
Bill Nicholov, is the president of Macedonian Human Rights Movement International.
The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.