“We are not Nazis!”

The fuck you’re not Nazis.

In 1994, I was sitting smugly at an Athenian cafe terrace sipping coffee when an angry young man encountered me. By his looks I figured he was Greek. “I am Albanian,” he told me. After informing me that he dug black music and that Albanian men dug black girls, he said, “what are you doing in this fucking Greek shithole?”

I told him I was on vacation. “Why? The Greeks are all fascist. And the Greek girls are ugly. Albanian girls are much better. Even the Greek language and food is just very, very shit.”

I took his complaints seriously because I understood something. I was not walking in his shoes. I was walking around in white sneakers and an outdated 1980s fucking Miami Vice jacket with money in my pocket and access to the cheapest whores in Europe. At the time I was still something of a greenhorn when it came to fathoming the depths of Greek racism. Of course, I knew it existed; I saw the tension on the young Albanian’s face when I encountered him later–I saw him, but he didn’t see me, so wrapped up was he in his rage. I understood that look on his face: I had the same look on mine when I was back in Adelphi, Maryland. I did not dare contemplate that one day that in Greece, I would have that same angry, haunted look as the young Albanian chap.

In the late eighties and early nineties, whatever racism Athenians showed me was far outweighed by the near-total indifference I received overall. Nobody paid me any mind. I could walk the streets of the city any time of the day or night, unmolested. Like James Baldwin in Paris, I was left alone to be me. And even though I sincerely despised Athens and thought very little of Greeks in general (truthfully, few expats did; most of them sat around complaining about how horribly rude Athenians were), I still felt grateful to be there in spite of the obscene pollution, in spite of the killer heat, the flies, the poverty, the drugs (Athens had and still has an outrageously bad heroin problem) and the cold shoulder I got from Greeks.

But there were other issues. A strong sense of Greek chauvinism persisted, particularly in tavernas and night-clubs, where even a Scottish friend of mine was bodily thrown out of. A German guy stupid enough to seduce a young woman in Crete found himself stoned and hurled off a cliff. Greek madams and pimps back then had a policy of generally blocking non-Greeks {read: non-whites} from Greek prostitutes. And I did get a sense of what Greek police were capable of doing to foreigners when in the proper mood: that same year (1994), a black South African friend of mine showed me horrific scars on his forehead that some sadistic Greek officers had given him.

After 1999, when Apostolos Apostolou and Pandelis Kazakos went on a rampage in Athens killing a Georgian (George Godesiani) and wounding immigrants from Ghana, Egypt, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the xenophobia in that country began to climb through the roof. I remember being called a “nigger” by some dipshit Arab racist near Omonia Square that year (the first time I heard that word uttered in Greece) and some other encounters in night-clubs that seriously pissed me off. The night-club encounters were a manifestation of a more subtle yet no less lethal form of racism: young Greek girls were seeking out “primitive”-looking black men fresh off the boats. If that sounds funny to you remember that racism in Europe often takes on strange forms. Many European women are sexually fascinated with Africans whom they can look down on and slum with. (Actually, this is an American thing, too. Check out Calvin C. Hernton’s book SEX AND RACISM IN AMERICA where he talks about the Greenwich Village scene of the early sixties and the interracial “love” that used to go down there.)

By 2002, I had had enough. The racism had gotten to the point where I could hear myself being called “mavro” (Greek for black) several times a day. While there was also a concomitant cultural detente between open-minded Greeks (those who didn’t have any real problems dealing with blacks) there were a lot of ugly incidents in which white as well as Asian tourists had begun to jump on the Negrophobic bandwagon. One British bitch snarled something about “niggers” while standing outside a youth hostel, apparently delighted that “mavro” apparently meant the same thing. Some chickenshit Chinese tourist saw me walking behind her and became horrified at my presence and nervously clutched her bag beside her. Athens had become another New Orleans and I wasn’t fucking having it.

The final straw came when a so-called “friend” of mine–half-Liberian, half-Lebanese–put a knife to my throat and demanded my laptop. When I refused he slashed me across the face. I kicked him in the balls SEVEN times but he was so zonked on PCP it didn’t even affect him. The sonofabitch held me up for 600 Euros. I had him arrested after he pocketed my money (which was never returned) and he was imprisoned for a short while, then released. While waiting on the ferry to get back to the Greek mainland, three fucking greaseballs threatened to kick my ass while I was sleeping and I had to pull out my pepper spray on them.

The next day I was on a plane heading for Berlin. I have not bothered to return to that shit-hole, and from what I know of Athenians and their disgustingly rude and childish behavior, they largely brought all of their miseries on themselves. What did Greeks expect when they spent so much time goofing off in tavernas with a fucking frappe under their fat noses while Sri Lankans, Pakistanis and other “mavri” washed their dishes and hosed down the jism from their whorehouse/hotel rooms? That these clowns are now crying for fascism seems logical given their basic inability to think though shit logically.

And as for my Lebanese-Liberian “friend,” he became a drug dealer, then a heroin addict. The last I heard of him, his badly decomposed body was found in one of those dusty rat-trap/bordellos that pass for hotel rooms in the junk-ridden Vathis Quarter of backstreet Athens.

I can't relax in Greece

29/06/14

By IOS GROUP: Tasos Kostopoulos, Anta Psarra, DimitrisPsarras

ios@efsyn.gr

[…]

golden-dawn-salute Group Nazi salute at a gathering of the organization

Of particular interest was the reaction of Golden Dawn to the photographic revelations. […] Without disputing any of the photos, the organization, in its unsigned announcement further claimed that “these photographs, had been in their possession since September of 2013 and they chose to release them today, in June of 2014”. Thus, up to this point, the only thing they chose to respond to with these revelations, was the fact that the photographs are old, implying that, since Michaloliakos and Pappas posed with swastikas, their Nazi beliefs have changed. Of course the organization avoided commenting on the three very recent photographs, in which Pappas was shown giving the Nazi salute over Mussolini’s grave and a group of Golden Dawn members, led by Kassidiaris, holding the flag of the Nazi Wehrmacht…

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