Don Lemon and other journalists have been asking if ignoring racism means you're racist. Well, when a US presidential candidate was racist again my people, questioned our legitimacy as an ethnic group, demanded that my country change its name and identity to appease our oppressors, and led a coup that overthrew my country's government, all in the name of achieving the United States' misguided - and racist - foreign policy, there was no way that I would ever ignore racism. So I repeatedly called Hillary Clinton out.
I never ignore racism - against anybody. And this is why, as the president of a human rights group, I defend ALL ethnic groups against hate. So when Donald Trump (he doesn't deserve to be called President) unleashes yet another attack against a minority group, I will defend them as I always do. Yet, the double-standard astounds when my ethnic group is begging for any kind of support to defend our existence and to prevent escalated attacks on my people - but to no avail. The many op-eds that I've had published in The Hill detail the painful and lonely plight of the Macedonian people. There is a rush to defend any group against hate, and I wholeheartedly agree and participate in their defence.
Correction, I should have said "almost any group”, because Macedonians are not being defended. We want a semblance of outrage on our behalf in the face of mounting attacks against our ethnicity and independence.
There have been times, in the past, where we would be defended. But not now - because US foreign policy dictates it. The United States has decided that, although it recognizes Macedonia using its proper name, it would be easier for Macedonia to succumb to our traditional oppressors' demands (Bulgaria, Albania, Greece and Serbia) and change our name, identity and, soon enough, the borders of our country. Macedonia was already partitioned in 1913, and it's happening again. And don't talk to me about Russian meddling until we address the elephant and donkey in the room - mass US foreign interference continuing to wreak global havoc.
The GOP has actually expressed outrage and launched a Congressional investigation into US State Department meddling in Macedonia (continuing the Obama administration's Macedonia policy), but they've done nothing beyond that.
"Shocking" that the American people have no confidence in Congress because they literally can't get anything accomplished, not even muttering the one word that needs to be told to the State Department - STOP. The Macedonia debacle would be over. It's that simple.
Back to Mr. Lemon's very important question - how someone could possibly ignore racism and still vote for Trump. But this assumes that Hillary Clinton was the obvious, moral choice. If you were Macedonian, what would you do? But let's put the Macedonian aspect to this aside for a moment (everybody else has). The "main stream media” actually has this one right - Trump's words in the face of increasing racism are repulsive. But I would take it one step further - he needs to be called out for clearly BEING a racist. Not enough pundits are answering the question "Is Donald Trump racist?" truthfully and I'm hearing the sentence "I don't know what's in his heart" way too much...
This leads to a crucial point about the main stream media's new nickname ”Fake News". Sadly and shockingly, Trump actually has something right, although not for the ridiculous reasons that he claims. Western media is completely flawed and blatantly biased. It should have been illegal for Fox News to use its former slogan "Fair and Balanced", but for all of the left-wing media's complaints, their self-righteousness and immorality is utterly disgusting. Why? Because, be it for laziness, naivety, or complicity, Western coverage of the Macedonian crisis has completely aided our oppressors.
When two-month long, unparalleled mass protests in support of Macedonia's independence and against US and Albanian foreign interference were completely ignored, yet a comparatively tiny Serbian pro-Western protest was widely covered, it begs the question "why"? Because the US was installing a puppet government in Macedonia that it can control better. A 200-person protest in Macedonia about a municipal issue received coverage in the Western media, but protests by hundreds of thousands of Macedonians, in a country of two million, got no coverage. This would be akin to 50 million Americans protesting in defence of their country, territorial integrity and ethnic identity, but receiving no media coverage. This media policy is deliberate and deplorable.
The denationalization of Macedonia is occurring on a daily basis, and is celebrated by its architect, the US State Department and its European Union allies, but if this happened to any other ethnic group, the outrage would be immediate in DEFENCE of this group. Not in Macedonians' case. The powerful European countries that have come to Macedonia's defence are dismissed and ignored, because it doesn't suit US policy. I've met with multiple newsroom editors and asked this very question. The answer - across the board - was that the vast majority of Western media outlets get their news from one source - the "big boys" on the news-wire. An admission of guilt leading to the destruction of an entire country. I've met with various Western governments and heads of state and got the same answer about the "big-boys", but with more diplomatic terminology. The "big-boys" in their case was, not only the Western media but, more importantly, the United States. There never should be any doubt that the US is the world's puppet master.
So, Western media, don't act better. Be better. Don't claim to be a moral authority when you discriminate against an entire ethnic group. Make sure that you're not a reason for anybody to use you as an example of a double standard.
When you express - obviously justified - outrage at Trump's latest vile act, do not fall into that category with your actions. As I've said in one of my op-eds, "If you, inexplicably don't understand why something is racist - if the affected ethnic group says it's racist - it is."
I wrote that line defending Indigenous groups, rightfully, being offended at the names Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians. Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster, Jerry Howarth, made the decision a few years ago to never use these despicable nicknames in his broadcasts. And it made me proud, as a human rights activist and a Canadian-Macedonian. I do wish that the ethnic groups that I defend would come to the defence of my ethnic group once in a while, but no, I do not expect it. Because it's just "easier" to ignore a blatant human rights violation if it's not well-known. God forbid one looks into it or just re-reads my quote above. Be it for laziness, naivety or complicity, here it is again - "If you, inexplicably don't understand why something is racist - if the affected ethnic group says it's racist - it is."
Bill Nicholov, President
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International - www.mhrmi.org