Mr. Mitsotakis, your floating wall made the headlines in the United States. The New York Times just wrote about it and used the word “disgrace” in its headline.
Being a public relations professional for the past 25 years, I can tell you that you don’t want the name of your country and the word “disgrace” in the same headline. It’s bad for business.
What were you thinking, Mr. Mitsotakis?
You do know Greece’s history, right?
There were no walls when hundreds of thousands of Greeks left your country to shine the shit-covered shoes of millions of American businessmen in the early 1900s.
There were no walls in Australia, in Canada, in South Africa and elsewhere throughout the world— where millions of pathetic, hungry, destitute and war-ravaged Greeks— like my own father— fled with the clothes on their backs to clean toilets, wash dishes and dig for coal deep in the bowels of the earth.
The New York Times headline was right. Your proposed floating wall is disgraceful. It’s also dehumanizing. It’s unethical. It’s stupid. It’s laughable and not to mention— unsound from an engineering perspective.
See below a map of the sea border between Lesvos and Turkey with a line drawn to represent the scaled length of your proposed floating wall. Silly, isn’t it?
But most importantly, and what you should be thinking most about as the prime minister of Greece— It’s also immoral.
You have forgotten that your own countrymen and women were once the dredges of society and dehumanized and discriminated against in places like the coal mines of Ludlow, Colorado the diners of Pensacola, Florida and the factories of Lowell, Massachusetts.
They were spit on in the hotels they cleaned in Munich and the coal mines where their backs were broken in Belgium.
These people you are building a wall to keep out are this generation’s Greeks. They are this generation’s forlorn and weary.
As an heir of a heritage whose own nation has tossed out so many of its own children to faraway places— you have a responsibility to find a solution that is logical— and above all, humane.
After all, isn’t this what our ancient ancestors and later the Christian heirs of this nation taught us?
From Zeus Xenios to Jesus Christ, we were taught as Greeks to welcome and love the stranger.
The entire world is laughing at this idea.
Mr. Mitsotakis, you are much bigger than a 2-kilometer wall that any kindergartener will tell you is stupid. The ideal of Greece is much bigger than a wall to keep strangers out.
Is this the legacy you want to leave behind for your own political career, not to mention your entire nation’s reputation?
Do you want to be on one side of that wall— on the wrong side, when a future Ronald Reagan will be standing on the other side somewhere saying “Mr. Mitsotakis, tear down that wall…”
So you have an opportunity, Mr. Mitsotakis. Tear it down before it’s even built.
There are other alternatives to this crisis without dehumanizing or blaming the refugees and migrants themselves.
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