No politician, diplomat, bureaucrat or journalist I've ever asked this question has answered it. Yet they're quick to tell me to give away my ethnic identity. They try to convince me that the forced renaming of Macedonia, the redefining of what it has ever meant to be Macedonian, and the literal rewriting of Macedonian history is a “good thing because it resolves a diplomatic dispute”. What they're really telling me is that my ethnic group is lesser than theirs.
The artificial “dispute” - admittedly created by Greece to eradicate the existence of Macedonians as an ethnic group – involved Greece (with Bulgaria hopping on board) vetoing Macedonia's NATO and EU membership bids unless Macedonia changed its name, identity and history into “North Macedonians” from “North Macedonia” while simultaneously giving the term Macedonia to Greece and Bulgaria, depending on context. Further, Macedonian history has been rewritten by Greek and Bulgarian “scholars” to reflect Greek and Bulgarian anti-Macedonian viewpoints. In Bulgaria's case, they even threw in revisions of Jewish history (yes, really) to erase their anti-Semitic past.
All of this should have stopped the “dispute” dead in its tracks. NATO and the EU should've reprimanded (or better yet, expelled) Greece and Bulgaria for the blatant violation of the rights their organizations claim to uphold, but instead they chose to aid them, all in the name of increasing NATO and EU membership. The aforementioned group of politicians, journalists, etc. – which espouses the defence of human rights, democracy and the rule of law – should've condemned them and called out NATO and EU hypocrisy.
Failing this approach, all they needed to do was put themselves in our shoes. Would they celebrate the eradication of their ethnic group? No. So we're back to them viewing Macedonians as illegitimate and unequal. Will any of them finally take me up on my request and publicly tell me why?
Bill Nicholov, President
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
* Please SHARE/FORWARD this to all of your contacts, including non-Macedonians. The way to get their support is to put them in our shoes. Change the narrative - get everyone to join Macedonians in denouncing the forced Macedonia name change.