London Olympics 2012: What the racist Swiss soccer player said

By now, most of you are aware that a second athlete from Europe has been ejected from the London Olympics for racism. Swill soccer player Michel Morganella got the boot yesterday for posting a racist message on Twitter insulting South Koreans after his team lost 2-1 to South Korea.

But most of the mainstream media isn’t telling us what Morganella actually said. Only the New York Post seems to have the courage to report the exact words he wrote on the micro-blogging site:

“I am going to batter the Koreans, burn them all… bunch of ‘trisos’.”

Last week, Greece expelled triple jumper Voula Papachristou (pic), after she insulted African immigrants with these vile words:

“With so many Africans in Greece, the West Nile mosquitoes will be getting home food!!!”.

Papachristou’s tweet prompted an avalanche of retweets and postings of YouTube videos, most of which promoted the extremist views of Golden Dawn, a Greek political movement led by Nikolaos Michaloliakos. In recent years, the movement “has grown from a small, fringe group to a widely reported Greek political party with nationwide support”.

The same kind of deliberate half-reporting happens here in Canada when the corporate media reports on racism involving public figures. For example the recent story of the right-wing Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, pausing with Jon Latvis, a member of the neo-Nazi band RAHOWA (Racial Holy War). The mainstream media’s reporting was one big apology on behalf of Ford. The kind that nukes public debate even before it has started.

When the media omit the racist words said when reporting on racism, they promote the worst kind of censorship. The kind that makes us more bigoted and more ignorant. The kind that makes us even more squeamish about discussing racism and other thorny issues.

For example, if the New York Post had not quoted the exact words Morganella said, most of us would never have known that he threatened to “batter” and “burn” all Koreans. We’d never have known that “trisos” is a French slang word for people with Down’s Syndrome.

Photo: Voula Papachristou: via CBC News

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