I am very rarely commenting on political topics in social media. But sometimes a posting is provoking a reaction from my side; especially racism, antisemitism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, revisionism faced in comments in social media require that I have to take a stand from time to time.
So it happened that during the last weeks I was twice active in FB in relation to a political topic. In one case I signed – following the invitation of a friend – a petition regarding the banning of the Bulgarian chapter of “Blood & Honor”, a disgusting and extremely violent skinhead and Nazi group that is banned in many countries because they are considered as a criminal gang responsible for hundreds of hate crimes against “non-whites” (also in Bulgaria they have a track record of beating people to pulp that don’t look “white” enough).
The other case was the revisionist campaign by some crypto-fascist pseudo-intellectuals on the payroll of former Czar and Prime Minister Simeon Sakskoburggotski who try to rewrite Bulgarian history and turn the main responsible for the deportation and killing of more than 11,000 Jews, Boris III, into a national hero and “Bulgarian Schindler”. My answers in both cases were common sense answers: spreading publically available information on the Nazis, and mentioning scientific publications that render this revisionist attempts ridiculous, and refute the invented claims of Boris III as the savior of the Bulgarian Jews.
As a reaction, I was branded in the public discussion or in private messages (partly sent anonymously), amongst others, as:
“Liberal”, “communist”, “liberal-communist”, “cultural Marxist from the Frankfurt School”, “liar”, “bolshevist mongrel”, “Nazi”, “Jewish bastard”,” SS-Sturmbannfuhrer”, “idiot”, “garbage”, “retard”, “pederast”, “nutcase”, “slanderer”, “anti-bulgarian”, and many other nice epitheta that speak for the intellectual level of those who use it – I am talking about dozens, no, hundreds of people using this kind of expressions, mostly people who are according to their public profiles historians, psychiatrists, TV hosts, advocates, or who have other professions that require a certain formal education or at least knowledge or professionalism. (For sure I know that of course only for the non-anonymous part of the messages.)
Additionally, and in mostly but not always anonymous messages, my parents and family were threatened and insulted in the most primitive manner, people expressed regret that I was not gassed in Treblinka, it was promised that “we will find out where you live, and then you will see!”, I was promised to be beaten to pulp, or alternatively that they wish “someone will break every single bone in your body” or will “shut you up for ever”, and various other forms of interaction that correspond with the mental abilities of this human scum. (For those that promised to wait for me “on the streets of Sofia and show you what it means to mess with us”: be aware that my Albanian bodyguards are maybe just around the corner in that case – and be also aware that they have their own concept of “Blood & Honor” – if you get the point.)
It is an experience, but I am not surprised. It is quite a spectacle to see a certain category of individuals acting like a pack of rabid dogs, or a bunch of foaming hysterical lunatics in a pogrom – just because you dared to voice an opinion and present some facts that are unpleasant for them.
Welcome to Bulgaria, the country that prides itself with its “legendary tolerance and hospitality”.
To be fair: I know – no, I hope that these people are not the majority in Bulgaria. But what really shocks me is the almost complete lack of any solidarity for people who voice justified criticism and are actively doing their duty as citizens to stand up for human rights, or the right of free speech, and against fascism, racism, revisionism.
Even a big part of the intellectuals in Bulgaria seems to be on permanent vacation or busy with their own things. At least that is my impression and experience. Not everyone is like me eloquent and well-equipped and -prepared to deal with those people I described in the previous paragraphs and that represent the dregs of the Bulgarian society; and not everyone has his own outlet to speak out like I do here. For the marginalized and bullied groups in Bulgarian society, life must be very depressing – not only because they are marginalized and bullied, but because so few people who know or should know better stand up for them.
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