Tuesday, January 17, 2017

'Speak F**** English, this is America' : Is THIS the America we want to be Great Again?



 'Speak F*@king English, this is America'
but is THIS the America we want to be Great again? 

Global Greek Thanasi Papoulias and his wife Sophia Antonopoulos-Papoulias were doing what most of us who have grown up abroad done very often,  speak Greek amongst ourselves in many countries of the world!

  Greek Americans who have grown up in a country that prides itself for its values of freedom of speech, democracy, for being the melting-pot of cultural and ethnic diversity, the home of multi-culturalism,  Thanasi and Sophia didn't expect the tirade they got from another customer in the LA store, as he explains in his post on his facebook page:

So this just happened...
Sophia and I were in line at the market, and naturally, speaking Greek. Out of nowhere this lady behind us decides to give us a modern history lesson and tells us, "Speak F*@king English, this is America." Furthermore, she demonstrated her well-versed use of the English language by using every swear word to describe us and how we don't belong here. Imagine if we were with our kids.
Huge props to the manager for kicking her xenophobic, racist ass out. I only caught the tail-end on video, but you'll get the point.
Seriously. This. Just. Happened. It's 2017. #SMH




Seeing this video reminded me of the darker years of Greek immigration, years we thought were well behind us, when being a 'bloody foreigner' was akin to being a criminal and For Rent advertisements in countries like Australia for example, contained phrases like 'No Italians or Greeks' were considered quite 'acceptable' for a country that held its own Aborigines in reservation-like compounds.

I even remember something very similar happening to us growing up on the other side of the world.  

Our mum who was a stay-at-home mother and never had an outside job, made sure that we spoke Greek at home so that we didn't lose the ability to speak our birth language. The upside was that we became fully bilingual and the downside was that her English was not the Queen's!
 

Anyway, on that day, as was usual, our Mum was speaking to us in Greek as we walked along a main shopping street and some drunk ignoramus decided that he would attack her verbally with a barely intelligible but loud 'speak bloody English'. 

My response to the bullying  'you're just jealous you don't speak another language'. 

Not bad for an 8 year old I think, but a response that firmly and quietly put the man in his place. It was just one of many such encounters which eventually ceased to happen as people started to travel extensively and experience other cultures and countries,  as 'multi-culturalism' became the word and we were invited to share our culture, food and traditions with the rest of the world. In short it became glam to be Greek and other immigrant nationalities bore the brunt of the latent racism that exists in some people's mindset .

Incidentally while her lack of fluency in English may have resulted in funny telephone conversations with my English-speaking friends, it didn't seem to hamper her when it came to bargaining, and she earned my everlasting respect when she managed to bid successfully at the fruit and vegetable auctions along with the Chinese Market gardeners! Go Mama! 

We hope that the the soon to be POTUS Donald Trump hasn't opened up Pandora's Box with his stance on immigrants, after all he himself comes of immigrant stock as do all his wives!
 

Racism has no place at all anywhere but in a country like the USA where immigrants formed the backbone of the nation, literally building it to the power that it is today and the white man has all but extinguished the only people who are the true Americans - the native  Indians - it is totally unacceptable and we were glad to read that the store manager asked this obnoxious woman to leave. 

Now Thanasi and Sophia want to reward this courageous lady for her supportive stance and send her to visit Greece so they have set up a Go Fund Me account to help get her there! 

Read more about it on Thanasi and Sophia's site Excuse Me, Are You Greek?
Donate if you can.

Let's show the lady the beauty of our people and our homeland!
 
At Global Greek World, We ♥ Greece...and it shows! 
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