Before the Olympics have even officially opened, a member of the Greek Olympic team, triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou (disrespectfully referred to in hostile news accounts by the nickname “Voula”), has been removed from the team for posting a joke on Twitter.
News reports seem to indicate that her membership in an “extreme right-wing” Greek political party [highly prejudiced Wikipedia article] was an additional factor in her expulsion from the team.
The offending tweet read: With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!
The international press, including such relatively conservative British papers as the Telegraph [quoted below] and the Daily Mail, fell into PC-lockstep, describing the young lady’s private joke as “racist” and “offensive.”
[T]he Hellenic Olympic Committee came under pressure from within Greece to take action against 23-year-old Papachristou, who had also publicly supported the Golden Dawn politician Ilias Kasidiaris, when he criticised Prime Minister Antonis Samarasâ€™s immigration position.
She had previously retweeted promotional videos from the political party, which gained seven per cent of the vote in the recent Greek elections.
The head of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Isidoros Kouvelos, said Papachristou had â€œshowed no respect for the basic Olympian valueâ€ in her latest tweet.
â€œShe made a mistake and in life we pay for our mistakes,â€ he told Skai TV.
Papachristou took to social media sites Facebook and Twitter to apologise for the â€œunfortunate and tasteless jokeâ€, adding she was sorry and ashamed for the negative responses, especially to her family and coach George Pomaski.
â€œI never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights,â€ she said.
Papachristou said she dreamt of doing well in London and argued that she respected the Olympic values and apologised to friends and athletes whom she may have insulted.
â€œMy dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values,â€ she said. â€œTherefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races.â€
Pomaski said the expulsion from the Olympic team was harsh and out of proportion, especially as she had apologised.
This is the way we live now. There is no freedom of speech on social media. We all live under the supervision of an international authority representing the consensus of the elite community of fashion empowered to punish any case of speech or expression it finds objectionable. Europeans additionally can be punished for affiliation with inappropriate political parties. Unelected bodies like Olympic Committees and the NCAA can apply whatever punishments and penalties they like without appeal.
I’m not myself precisely sure just when it was that we were actually subjugated and occupied and lost our freedom of thought and expression as well as our right to due process and democratic institutions, but it certainly has happened, hasn’t it?