Two weeks ago, the Greek society was shocked by the carnage that took place in the village of Manolada. Immigrants who work in the fields of strawberry production, had not been paid for six months. When they asked their boss for their salary, he ordered three enforcers to shoot them. They then shot at the immigrant workers with shotguns and a pistol. There were thirty injured, but fortunately no dead. The wounded can be seen in this video. This event unmasked the living conditions of immigrants and the racist behavior of those who believe they have power.
Greece was a country that exported migrants for a long time. Many Greeks fled to America, Australia, Germany and other countries until the late 80s. Whereas the first immigrants towards Greece began arriving in the early 90s. The Greek society was not prepared for this event.
Often the first reaction to something unknown is aggression Racism towards strangers is a naive response of the resident population. Continued and expanded racist behavior causes several concerns for the future. The economic crisis in Greece is a factor that increases racism in a society.
Is Society to Blame?
In every society there are those who hate foreigners, those who do not have a problem with them and those who are indifferent. When racists are acting secretly from the others, then only they are responsible for their actions. However, what happens when racist attitudes are known to everyone?
In this case, society has a share of responsibility, because it always knew of the inhuman working conditions in the fields and no one spoke up. There have been several racist attacks on foreigners but the state never took measures. Now, all the citizens declared how surprised they are, enabling them to clear their responsibility. But there is evidence that contradicts their stance. For example, the tribute of a newspaper five years ago. Everyone knew but no one spoke.
The International Community has responded to the massacre with a campaign to boycott strawberries from Manolada:
This situation has occurred many times in human history. For example, the ignorance of German citizens who lived near the concentration camps during the Second World War. They insisted that they did not know about the atrocities of the Nazis that took place a few meters away from their home.
This corresponding statement was written by John Steinbeck in his book "The Grapes of Wrath". I present an excerpt of the book:
“They brought slaves which were not called slaves: Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, Filipinos. They live on rice and beans say entrepreneurs. They have no needs...
Look at them and how they live.
Look what they eat.
The serfs who brought them from the outside beat them, terrorize them, let them die of hunger. Others came to the place and others were outraged by the desperation and were killed or exiled. And increasingly the estates grew in size”
History can provide us with enough examples to stop us repeating the same mistakes. Ignorance and imperfect knowledge are the worst enemies for social progress. With logic and not in panic, we have to look for the causes of the current situation. Only when we look thoroughly, can we find a proper solution. We will see an improvement in our daily life, when the society starts functioning properly. And above all we must respect each other.