Who’s the Greekest of them all?

Making fun of the helpless is a form of lynching. The giggling could be heard by anyone who watched the shameful scene at the central Athens neighborhood of Aghios Panteleimonas last week.

During one of their advertised campaigns (driven by demagogic generosity), supporters of the far-right Golden Dawn party, led by MP Ilias Panagiotaros, were handing out free food to people in need. However, when they don?t ask for the ID cards of people queuing for food to check if they are Greek citizens, these far-right extremists have the magical power to judge the authenticity of a person?s genes just by looking at them. As was the case with the old lady whom they instantly saw through, as it were. Her Greek did not sound pure enough, as it was delivered by someone who happens to be missing a few teeth. To be sure, she did not possess ancient Greek prosody.

The old lady was denounced with giggles that betrayed emotional immaturity and intellectual crudeness. Acting like nightclub bouncers, the men turned her away. Laughing at her sorry state, they urged her to ?go to Tsipras and Papariga for caviar and lobster pasta.? And she, poor but richer in sentiment than the supposed benefactors, apologized for being a nuisance and for interrupting their show. And then she left; she left without the bag of food that she could have used as proof of Greekness at some other ethnicity tribunal.

But as it turns out, she did not disturb these people without reason, because she was in fact Greek — a revelation that put Golden Dawn to shame even in the eyes of its supporters. She is Greek. The woman, who goes by the name Malamo, used to be a regular on Annita Pania?s trashy talent shows, next to cultish TV personae including Catman and Vas-Vas. She has often been made an object of exploitation precisely because of her edentulous mouth.

Now blogs aligned with Golden Dawn allege that it was supporters of the leftist SYRIZA party who set them up by paying Malamo to pose as a Bulgarian. Despite their ability to sense Greekness from a distance, they fell for it.

These people who claim to be ?more Greek? than the rest of us should keep two things in mind: first, that, traditionally, the Greek people (be they inspired by Christian or Ancient Greek ideals or both) do not provide humanitarian assistance on the basis of nationality; and, secondly, even if they may sometimes tease the weak or the unstable, it is considered very bad form to turn them into objects of ridicule.

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