The hypocrisy of the Greek political scene once again on the podium of publicity
Yesterday, November 16th 2016, on his last transatlantic voyage as the President of the United States, Barak Obama was at the Cultural Center Stavros Niarchos Foundation giving a speech, which was applauded by all those who were present.
In his speech he talked about all those things this small but great people gave over the centuries throughout mankind. He talked about the birth of Democracy, the fights that Greeks gave for Justice, the establishment of free will and our ability to govern ourselves. The concept of Democracy, the law of the many, equality and – above all – the primary concept of the Citizen. Even if the Democracy of the ancient Greeks was not perfect, meaning that rights did not belong universally to all, the sparkle of these concepts inspired all the world for a Democracy where no one is superior, the power does not follow a bloodline, that the virtue of ethnicity and nationalism do not override logic. A democracy that allows people to be their own master, and to set the course of their life.
In his speech he said that the course of humanity will be determined by the young people of today, who stronger than ever, with technology and the Internet by their side, they can flourish and choose dialogue over violence towards a peaceful change, for economic prosperity and stability. Because Democracy is stronger than any terrorist and any totalitarian existence that cannot tolerate different. This is because Democracy includes diversity, and that is exactly why it prevails, even if sometimes the balance is very difficult to keep in multicultural societies. But history has taught that all people are born equal. And Democracy over the years has corrected mistakes made in the past. African Americans, indigenous people, women, the disabled, the LGBTQI+ community are all considered equal, each different person, refugees, immigrants who struggle to give their children a better future are welcome and it is precisely those who make our communities stronger.
“Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, human rights, the separation of powers, freedom for citizens to choose their representatives, all these started here.”
Then he passed to global economy, stressing that globalization may frighten many people, because differences among us -with accessibility to information- nowadays is more evident, which causes reactions as diversity intensifies the feeling of insecurity. But the adoption of inclusive political and cultural strategies is what will stop the people from turning against each other.
Governments, he said, should be more open, functional, effective and responsive to their citizens’ needs. A society in which minorities feel safe and enjoy equal rights should be created. To combat corruption, to ensure transparency and to strengthen the civil society. All this, by giving hope and renewal in the hands of young people…
But we wonder if he said all these knowing in which country he was, or if all of it was an ironic commentary on the Greece’s situation in the year of 2016. If he knows that more than 200,000 children born and / or raised in this country are deprived of basic human rights, by not having in their hands the Greek citizenship. That it took many fights and campaigns to create a bill allowing the obvious, that those who cheered this speech were the same people who fought and, eventually, managed to block the law on citizenship. That in the end, with continuous and strenuous efforts the law prevailed, but even today the implementation of it faces major obstacles.
We also wonder how much nerve do some people have to applaud words like “The hospitality you have shown to refugees was higher than any other country and inspired the whole world” and to cheer when hearing the name Yannis Antetokounmpo, when it was them who were – and continue to be – opponent to welcoming refugees in the country, when they let those people imprisoned in camps, and when they fought for not giving equal rights to young people who have grown up or even were born in this country. However, we should not wonder. Generation 2.0 RED remembers the hypocrisy of the state on the so-called “Thee Greek Education” and the repetition of the story of Citizenship.
Barack Obama’s speech was a lesson that should be memorized by all the politicians of this country, but unfortunately we know that this will never happen. In each of his statements about Democracy and the way governments should act, the polarity generated in our minds as citizens of this country was inevitable. Let’s close with a part of his speech.
“From generation to generation, it is the young people who have the courage and the will to lead us to a better future. Wherever I travel, I meet people, especially youngsters, who have chosen hope over fear, who believed that they can shape their destiny, which refused to accept the world as it is and fought to change it and make it as it should be. They inspired me. Around the world I met people who showed in practice that regardless of nationality, religion or skin color, we have the ability to see “the Other” in us […] The most important place in each country is neither the Prime Minister nor the President. The most important title is that of the Citizen.”