The Archivist's Lot
St Pius X and the Olympic Games

I can't say I blame her

"Voula Papachristou 'bitter and upset' over Olympic ban." I don't see why her remark was "racist." Or rather I do, of course--it's because of the extreme-hyper-super sensitivity that so many people exercise about any reference to Africa--but I think it's pretty irrational. I can see objecting to it on the grounds that it was tactless when people are suffering from a disease known as the West Nile virus. But racist? Surely banning her from the Olympics was a serious over-reaction. Another news story mentioned that she's "right-wing." I suppose that probably had something to do with it, too.


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Really? You don't think cracking jokes about the deaths of people of a different color isn't racist? You must have a pretty high bar...

Maybe you have a pretty low one.

Maybe black people, whose ancestors were stolen from their homes, enslaved, brutalized, bred like cattle, spouses and children sold, and whose culture continues to suffer from the effects of 400 years of being treated as subhuman, have a low bar. I am simply in solidarity.
Really, if it were Yankees joking about dead Alabamans I think you'd have a different outlook.

If the bar is set too low, the whole concept is trivialized, which is exactly what's been happening, and a hyper-racial-consciousness sets in, rather than the de-emphasis of race we had hoped to see.

On the face of it, this athlete appears to have meant a geographic reference, not particularly a racial one. And I see no reason to think she had dead people in mind. She should have thought of that, and as I said I do think it was tactless, but it hardly merited the destruction of her career. She made an emotional apology--that should have been enough. If the mosquitoes had been Norwegian, nobody would have raised an eyebrow. And I would certainly think the same if it were Yankees and Alabamians. At most I would have found it annoying, but I wouldn't have demanded punishment. Moreover, I don't think the Greeks were much involved in the African slave trade, certainly not in the 400 years you refer to. Why should she be punished for what our ancestors did?

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