MTV reality show suggests Greek-Americans are in-bred, violent

MTV, apparently not satisfied with turning Italian-Americans into a national joke, is now launching a stereotype-laden “reality show” about Greek-Americans called “Growing Up Greek.”

The show is so far only a single episode, but it’s likely the secret nascence of an entire series IMHO.

“Growing Up Greek” is set in the very-Greek Florida city of Tarpon Springs. Here’s MTV’s description of the place, and show:

“[A]n idyllic and picturesque all-Greek town, where everyone is either dating, related, or brawling each other. Family means everything here; even the overbearing parents and grandparents can get outrageous and festive.”

Those funny Greeks! They’re in-bred, violent, and their parents and grandparents are overbearing bullies (presumably because they’re in-bred and violent too.)

And, according to the promo video for the series. when those loud, obnoxious Greeks aren’t setting cheese on fire, they’re breaking plates and throwing money around while dancing (something I have never seen an actual Greek ever do, other than the money thing that might happen at a weddding as a donation for the bride and groom).

Oh the hilarity!

All that’s missing is some jokes about anal sex, and our last names sounding like a disease. (Aravosis? I thought you said halitosis!)

From the promo, below, we see that the show even has a Snooki-like charachter who, just like Snooki, is overweight and dresses in really-tight, Jersey-Shore style “I can’t believe she’s wearing that” clothes. (Snooki is a character from MTV’s reality show “Jersey Shore,” that regularly presented Italian-Americans as under-educated, oversexed, inebriated buffoons.)

growing-up-greek

(You can see the video at the top of this page — the embed keeps crashing, so I removed it.)

It’s a funny thing reading about “Growing Up Greek” this morning in particular. I just last night finished a family photo book for Christmas that collects in one place all the early black and white photos of my family that we were able to dig up from my grandparents’ archives on both sides of the family.

The possibly earliest photo is from 1917, and shows my paternal yiayia (grandma) Vasiliki Aravosis (née Polychronopoulos) and her mother Angeliki Polychronopoulos in their southern Greek village of Diavolitsi.

yiayia-a

Though it’s possible the earliest photo is that of my paternal theio (uncle) Sotirios, who yiayia A says died in 1904. He was my paternal grandfather’s brother, and died at the age of 21. I didn’t think the photo of Sotirios below was that old, but when I found an old family tree my yiayia had written out decades ago, it said Sotirios died in ’04, so this photo may be from then:

sotirios

According to the Ellis Island records I found, my papou Aravosis came to the states in 1914. He eventually moved his wife, Vasiliki, over to Chicago in the late 1920s, and they then had two boys, my uncle Pete and my dad. That’s when the depression hit, and papou lost his job as a chef at the Chicago Beach Hotel, and the family had to move-in with relatives (or possibly friends) downstairs. My dad and uncle slept on the neighbor’s floor for two years. A few years into the depression, papou finally got another job at the hotel; this time washing, rather than throwing, dishes. Life was hard back then, but people were forced to find ways to get by.

Yiayia and Papou Dalianis, on the wedding day, in July of 1927.

Yiayia and Papou Dalianis, on the wedding day, in July of 1927.

On my mom’s side, my papou Aristides Dalianis (mom’s dad) came over to the states for the first time in 1900. I believe he worked on the railroads for a while, and then I know he set up a very successful candy business and ice cream shop in Chicago. Papou was doing so well that he was able to buy several buildings on his block in Chicago, and even sent a car back to Ayio Vasili (Tripoli), his village in Greece, as a gift for the town. (It was the first automobile the villagers had ever seen — as mom noted to me yesterday, it was a nice gesture, but it’s unclear where they were going to get the gas. It eventually became the town’s first taxi.).

Yiayia Dalianis, his wife (mom’s mom), comes from a long political family of Greeks who didn’t quite know when to keep quiet in the face of injustice.

It all goes back to our common ancestor Dimitris Papatsoris, a priest and general (I know, both, right?) from the town of Soulima (now Ano Dorio) who led his men (called the Dredes, or Ntredes) in a local rebellion in southern Greece against the Turks during the Greek War of Independence on March 24, 1821. Through further research I was able to frind that our clan, the Souliotes (we’re Arvanites as well), were in a sense a band of Greek mercenaries, warrior-like, who didn’t take guff from anyone.

Mom in front of the plaque dedicated to Dimitris Papatsoris, and his fellow Dredes  fighters, who rose up against the Turkish occupiers on March 24, 1821. The plaque is outside Papatsoris' church, which still exists, in the town of Soulima (Ano Dorio), near Kalamata.

Mom in front of the plaque dedicated to Dimitris Papatsoris, and his fellow Dredes fighters, who rose up against the Turkish occupiers on March 24, 1821. The plaque is outside Papatsoris’ church, which still exists, in the town of Soulima (Ano Dorio), near Kalamata.

That proud tradition was carried through to my Theio Yiannis Haralambopoulos (his dad introduced yiayia and papou to each other). Theio Yianni was politically to the left (a Greek socialist), and when Greece was taken over by a military junta in the late 1960s, Theio Yianni refused to keep quiet. So they arrested him, exiled him to a prison on a desolate Aegean island, and then beat him harshly and regularly. (Theio Yianni told me a few years ago that he still had headaches every day from the beatings.)

Yianni was finally released from prison on July 26, 1974, two days after the junta fell. The exultant crowds lifted him on their shoulders to carry him to freedom. Theio Yianni went on to become Greece’s ambassador to NATO, United Nations ambassador, Defense Minister, Foreign Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister. That’s one hell of a ride for a boy born into a family of little means in a small Greek village named Dorio.

A crowd welcomes my Uncle John Haralambopoulos' release from prison on July 26, 1974; two days after the Greek junta fell.

A crowd welcome my Uncle John Haralambopoulos’ release from prison on July 26, 1974; two days after the Greek junta fell.

So when I think of MTV’s attempt to turn my family into what southerners call “white trash,” I think of my yiayias and papous, of Theio Yianni and his brother Xristo (who was Greece’s Minister of Tourism), of his son Georgios who is a member of the Greek parliament, of a second uncle Xristo who is now the Greek ambassador to the United States, and of my great-many-times-over grandfather Dimitris Papatsoris who, like so many in our family, when it really mattered, was there to stand up for his country, and for what he knew was right.

My mom told me once how when our papous first came to America, Greeks (along with Italians and many other of the “darker” immigrants) were considered dirty, lesser, and thus discriminated against. Born in the early 1960s, I certainly never felt any of that discrimination in Chicago where I grew up, and assumed it was all a vestigate of the past until I moved to Washington, DC in the mid-1980s and east coasters kept asking me my last name (I found out later they were trying to covertly determine if I was Jewish). After expressing relief that I wasn’t a Jew, they’d then tell me how “interesting” it was that I was “ethnic.” With a cock of the head, stifling the urge to throw a plate and sleep with my brother, I tended to quietly look at them, somewhat befuddled, as I was no more ethnic than they.

America has a long bipolar history of both welcoming and mistreating “the other.” MTV, sadly, plans to continue that sullied legacy with yet another TV series trashing yet another group of imigrants who, along with so many others, helped to make this country great.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • Yiannis Petros

    MTV clearly doesn’t have a clue of the rich deep history that the Greeks have given this world. We have given the western world the philosophy of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, literature like Homer’s’ Iliad and The Odyssey and much more. Government (Democracy) was founded by the Greeks; history was recorded by Herodotus and Thucydides. The Greeks gave the western world the Olympic Games, The Hippocratic oath that every doctor in the world takes architecture styles of the Ionian, Doric and Corinthian styles which have also been enormously influential in many designs around the world. The Greeks gave the western world Theater, mathematics (Geometry, Algebra and the number theory) and the list goes on. Now MTV makes us out to look like a bunch un-educated in-breeds with no morals or standards. I have never met one Greek like these idiots in Florida who have the audacity to tell the world they are Greeks. They are a bunch of white trash people hungry for fame and money that are willing to sell out their own culture and heritage for that.

  • John P Petrides

    MTV clearly doesn’t have a clue of the rich deep history that the Greeks have given this world. We have given the western world the philosophy of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, literature like Homer’s’ Iliad and The Odyssey and much more. Government (Democracy) was founded by the Greeks; history was recorded by Herodotus and Thucydides. The Greeks gave the western world the Olympic Games, The Hippocratic oath that every doctor in the world takes architecture styles of the Ionian, Doric and Corinthian styles which have also been enormously influential in many designs around the world. The Greeks gave the western world Theater, mathematics (Geometry, Algebra and the number theory) and the list goes on. Now MTV makes us out to look like a bunch un-educated in-breeds with no morals or standards. I have never met one Greek like these idiots in Florida who have the audacity to tell the world they are Greeks. They are a bunch of white trash people hungry for fame and money that are willing to sell out their own culture and heritage for that.

  • ali

    Well i can’t imagine intelligent people watching low quality programs like that.The best way is to ban it and this is a good way to hit their pockets.

  • ali

    My got is that the reason? Well they must be very shallow.Last time i visited New York i was amazed.I never met so mane so very many grossly obese men and women in my life.

  • ali

    Well people learn many languages.You should learn Greek yourself and do your own research.

  • ali

    The English language is made mainly of Greek and Latin.But also borrowed from the East and everywhere.And for your information other languages in the planet are also enriched due to new applied sciences.

  • ali

    Wonderful.Greece survived it’s 7000 years plus because of people like you who are proud of their origins.I would love to read the history of your family.And probably this will connect you more to the old country.Very best of luck.

  • Stravo

    English boasts a vocabulary of some 1.25 million words, & it’s growing w/ the new applied sciences.

  • Stravo

    So who takes her seriously? I still think she’s a babe. Don’t u be hatin’ on my Sarah, vre!

  • Zorba

    Aw, you are so sweet.
    I am lucky, and proud of my Greek heritage.
    We grew up being told, not the usual fairy tales, but about the Greek myths, and about Homer, Plato, Socrates, Pericles, etc, and all of Greek history.
    Plus about the struggles of our ancestors against the Ottoman Empire, and their immigration to the United States and what it was like for them back in Crete, as well as their early days in this country.
    I keep thinking that my siblings and I should write all of this family history down while we’re all still able to, or at least record it. We have all told our children the various stories, but not in any organized way.

  • ali

    Well you had to bear the heavy weight of your inheritance wich is long and glorious and the envy of the world.I don’t think learning Greek it harmed you in any way.In fact you will be able to understand and explain the English language which contains more than 35000 words.Your American way life and democratic structure is based in the philosophy of Socrates and Plato.You are lucky.

  • ali

    MTV must be desperate to produce low quality and intelligence programmes.

  • ali

    Perish the thought.

  • That’s really interesting, Timothy, about your Greek connection. Yeah I have some friends who found some fascinating results from them too. And I had NO idea about the Parthenon replica, that is too funny, I need to google that!

  • nhgranite

    These shows are all the same … regardless of the ethnicity. They are sort of like a mini Jerry Springer series with recurring participants! I do wish there were less of them and it offends me that they want to show Greeks in the worst light.

    I wanted to add that I am a US American (many generations) and originally from Nashville, home of an exact replica of the Parthenon and sometimes known as the “Athens of the South.”
    Interestingly, I took the DNA Tribes test … and have updated it many times and it continues to indicate that I am more related to the Greeks than to any other ethnicity although I don’t have a Greek surname.
    I never would have known without that test!
    Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to grow up in or near a Greek community. I think I have these Greek genes because one of my more recent ancestors may have been adopted.
    Even so, my apparent Greek ancestry is something in which I take a lot of pride and, at least, my first name is Greek!
    I hope to visit Greece someday~
    Timothy

  • hercules40

    So well said John.

    Your whole blog post is brilliant, but I want to just point out the common intersection of what I have experienced and that is what you describe in detail in the last two paragraphs. Because no matter what we as a nation and as individuals might have contributed to this society, this nation and this country, yet sometimes (oftentimes?) we’re shunned. We’re dirty, we’re different, we speak weird, we come from a region that has seen untold wars and ethnic cleansing and we’re barbarians, no matter that we invented that word.

    It’s really funny, in the early parts of my life I lived in Greece, and growing up there we looked up to the USA for culture and class and science. But it seems America now only stands for the lowest common denominator and lowest intelligence. We must not follow them down to this cesspool of corruption but sie above what they offer for entertainment and show them what true “Πολυτισμος” (Politismos) is.

  • Hades 1966

    I would never watch American crap like this – whichever country they are making fun of.
    As i Greek i am offended – and while i know it is only a stupid show made to hook people in so they can have their pockets emptied – i know this, but many that watch these shows dont look at them in the same way.
    Seriously America, you are really losing your way.
    Cant you just watch big ass Kardashians and give your money to them.

  • Zorba

    What, your folks didn’t send you to Greek school when you were young???
    Mine certainly did. Two afternoons a week, after regular school. When I would have much rather been at home, running around and playing. ;-)

  • More and more things are being put online all the time, but it’s a monumental undertaking to acquire the records, sort them, digitize them, transcribe them and put them up in a way easily accessible. Which leads to many of those services being put behind pay walls that discourage most casual researchers.

  • Bcre8ve

    Everything I know about it I heard from TMZ. That was enough!

  • Yeah, not that Greece has these records online. My British friends and Irish one have been able to find things going back to the 1600s because they can check local church registries and more.

  • Yes, some day we’ll all be Sarah Palin :)

  • Even when they come from a country with a Latin alphabet. And we always assume that our ancestors could read and write and therefore knew how to spell their own name. And of course there are the Scandinavians who tended to switch from patronymics to a made-up name in the new world.

  • If you can go back far enough, there’s someone interesting. My family is mostly farmers too until you get back across the atlantic. It might actually take years of digging to figure out where some of your ancestors came from. (Part of my mom’s family is a big mystery as there are a couple of generations in a row of parents dying early and no information passed down. It’s also a common name and unless one of my cousins does some y-chromosome testing probably no way to figure out anything before about 1850. But other parts off the family can be traced back into the middle ages.

  • And in a non-Latin alphabet, so you can’t even easily plug phrases into Google Translate. Just to add an extra layer of frustration. :)

  • Thom Allen

    I just watched the video. It kind of reminded me of the Tundra Twit and her family’s chillbilly Alaskan brawl with their neighbors. Now if she showed THAT video on her channel, I’d subscribe. For a month.

  • Yeah, it sucks having family research in another language, and not one I’m fluent in.

  • Thom Allen

    Very well done narrative of your family. Interesting and enjoyable.

    As far as MTV goes, if the Greek Snooki (Snookiopolis?) didn’t exist, they’d have manufactured her and whatever “Greek” traditions they needed to make the show profitable. You know how the Greeks used to throw virgins into volcanoes, abandon babies to the wolves, spend most of their time running marathons and competing in Olympics, inhaling mysterious vapors like the Pythia did . . . Hmmmm, I’ve got some pretty good ideas. I think I’m going to call MTV and send them a proposal.

  • Yep. The whole “immigration officials changed people’s names to be more American at Ellis Island” is a persistent myth. Many people did change their name, but it wasn’t against their will. There were countless reasons people had for changing their name too: Some wanted to fit in, some wanted to hide their heritage, some just wanted a fresh start. In a time when there was no standardized identification documentation, anyone could change their name by simply telling people they were someone different.

    Name misspelling was more common from ports of origin that had a language that differed from the traveler. For instance, many Polish immigrants left Europe through the port of Hamburg, Germany. So you’d have someone who probably only spoke Polish trying to communicate their information to someone who only spoke German, etc. And the handwriting in old documents was all too often atrocious, so just finding what you want can be a challenge. Scanning through thousands of pages of microfilm, you might even miss what you were looking for because the handwriting doesn’t look anything like what you expect it to.

  • Yeah, I wish I could afford to hire native-speaking researchers in foreign countries to spend days going through old archives not accessible to the public.

  • That’s a matter for a separate debate, but the point remains that I believe they chose an overweight woman for a reason — or at the very least, they were quite pleased that she was overweight, because it panders to yet more negative stereotypes that they’re all too happy to promote and profit off of.

  • Also everyone could kind of identify with it, even if they weren’t Greek.

  • emjayay

    But unlike the popular misconception, it happened at the port of origin, not Ellis Island.

  • emjayay

    Russians in Brighton Beach were already done. They deserved it too.

  • emjayay

    The show also does many thousands of dollars with of research on each famous person, which most of us can’t afford. It is interesting though.

  • emjayay

    Well, she’s not THAT fat. The boyfriend is though.

  • What is that?

  • The crying Indian isn’t Indian… oh wait… ;-)

  • LOL Big Fat Greek Wedding reference, for anyone unaware. And see, even that movie, when I first saw it I was a bit concerned about the stereotypes, but it was obviously playing on the stereotypes, intended to be a comedic caricature that everyone knew was a comedic caricature. It wasnt’ a reality show showing the “real” Greeks with their crazy inbred violence. And windex :)

  • Oh Canada!

  • +1

    “But, then again, how can MTV sell a show about a hard-working, predominately serious group of people, with a strong moral background and a values things like spending time with their families or traditional celebrations?”

  • It was absolutely necessary as I am convinced that was part of the reason they picked her. A skinny woman in a tight ugly dress isn’t perceived by society, and stereotype, as nearly as “laughable” and “ridiculous” as a woman who is overweight weighing such clothes. They chose her to pander to yet another stereotype of the funny, laughable fat woman who is “obviously” out of control because, you know, she is Greek after all. So yes, it was necessary.

  • Kara Harris

    The “Overweight” part was unnecessary, really. I don’t even watch TV but if you can point out this woman and Snooki’s size like that, why is it that MTV has to be sensitive, again?

  • Finding Your Roots is great, but heavily cherry picked for the purposes of making an interesting television show. Family research is rarely so interesting for most people. Nobody likes to hear they’re descended from a long line of farmers, but finding those fascinating tidbits about how your family weaves into to the historical record is what makes the search interesting… at least for people like myself who can start going through old records, and then suddenly realize I’ve lost the better part of a day.

  • Hue-Man

    I don’t watch “reality shows”, the most highly scripted and distorted form of TV show, but can recommend PBS Finding Your Roots, particularly the episode which features George Stephanopoulos, Tina Fey, and David Sedaris. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/finding-your-roots/ancient-roots-full-episode/12704/ (No mention of Sedaris being gay.)

    As far as I can tell, my mother was the first of my North American family tree who ever returned to the land of her ancestors. Whether Scots arriving in Canada in the 1820s or the Pennsylvania Dutch in the U.S. in the 18th century, or the 19th century Irish in both countries, I assume none of them ever had enough money to afford passage back to the “Old Country” – and at a certain point, all connections were lost. For generations, when they set foot on a ship, it was like climbing aboard a spaceship for Mars, admittedly slightly more hospitable.

    I’ve always thought of them as adventurers – they took a chance to leave the world they knew and headed into the unknown (or only slightly known), often lacking basic skills needed to survive on the frontier. I don’t understand why so many people have such a negative view of immigrants today – although the “frontier” has changed, their motivations have not.

  • nicho

    Shall we discuss how television portrays teh gays? Nothing but stereotypes — even the shows that are trying to be nice.

  • The US has an entire day of every year dedicated to denigrating the Irish as little more than drunken, green-suited leprechauns. If only we could restrict rampant prejudice to television.

  • Bcre8ve

    Could anything?

  • Bcre8ve

    That’s too funny. I always thought he was Greek! I feel so……disillusioned. What next, John Wayne isn’t Manchurian?!? (I’m actually serious about Quinn though. somehow, that one got by me.)

  • Bcre8ve

    I grew up working in a Greek diner in NJ, and, as park of the work “family” ia also became a part of the bigger, real family that owned and operated the place. I always admired the owners, two brothers,as being hard-working and fair bosses, their wives as stong, capable mothers and co-equals with their hubands (in mony, if not all, ways). Their children were like all children – as alike to each other as they were different, but always with a strong sense of family, and quite often religion, as a central component of their lives.

    And, once again, this was NJ. Never did I hear anyone refer to “the Greeks” as a monolithic group, and were often lumped together with the Italians, in the minds of the culturally illiterate, rather than being held up as doing it “Greek”.

    But, then again, how can MTV sell a show about a hard-working, predominately serious group of people, with a strong moral background and a values things like spending time with their families or traditional celebrations?

    They can’t. So what next? Jews in Brooklyn? Puerto Ricans in Hell’s Kitchen? Russians in Brighton’s Beach? No prejudice, no matter how outdated or offensive, will be off the table in MusicTeleVision’s quest to show anything but music!

  • Indigo

    Relatives searched for years through 19th century ship records in the port of New York and up and down that coast for records of my great-grandfather’s trip from the southwest of Ireland to the United States. Finally . . . he didn’t come directly from Ireland. He came from Canada! Through Detroit!

  • My boyfriend of 9+ years is Greek and I can confirm that he is in-bred and violent. He’s Spartan so every time we see a Persian he freaks out and starts spraying windex on everything.

  • Yeah, have tried one L and two, but haven’t tried various other different spellings.

  • dcinsider

    It’s quite unusaul for MTV to get something like this wrong. :)

  • Demosthenes

    We moved “up”.

    (A sad reflection upon our country).

  • Demosthenes

    Thanks for your response. The first time I visited Greece in 1981 I recall advertisements featuring Anthony Quinn speaking rather decent Demotic Greek! He was a honorary Greek by then.

  • Another big problem with records is misspelling. Often what got entered into the record is whatever the person filling out the form heard when they asked for the information. In the name of expediency, they never ever asked for clarification. And until around the early 1900s, names often didn’t even have a standardized spelling – especially coming from a non-Latin alphabet. So if someone with a Greek accent gave their name, and it wasn’t readily understood to the enumerator, it could very well be phonetically spelled, or completely indecipherable. Though, Dalianis is probably one of the least intimidating Greek names you have in your family line, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find it mangled in some old records.

  • GarySFBCN

    I believe that some of the acceptance was due to the movies and music from “Never on Sunday” (1960) and Zorba the Greek (1964). They were both very popular and I remember hearing the music, non-stop, played on the radio.

    Just as the movies (and book) “The Godfather” are credited for “The Godfather Effect” among Italian Americans, creating a greater sense of pride among Italian Americans, and a little envy by some non-Italian-Americans, I believe that the ‘Greek’ movies did some of the same for Greek Americans, especially Zorba.

    More on The Godfather Effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Godfather_Effect

    FYI, I’m a mutt, but my grandmother was from Rhodes. And I remember how every wedding or other family gathering had people wildly dancing to “Never on Sunday” (Children of Piraeus). There are plenty of stereotypes to exploit because Greeks have many interesting customs. As a kid, my favorite was breaking dishes with my grandmother on the patio.

    As for Zorba, my Greek relatives were PISSED that Anthony Quinn, a Mexican, was cast in the lead role, but that was mitigated by how good he was in that film and just how many people embraced that movie and by extension, Greek culture.

    http://youtu.be/4UV6HVMRmdk

  • That’s interesting about the naturalization records. My uncle may have that. I need to see. Because he would have gone back and forth a lot until they moved the entire family here in 1938. But there’s no record of him at all. So yes I suspected a different port as well.

  • Drew2u

    To your point, John, I’ve seen reality television broadcast someone as a wonderful, generous, genuine person who, when cameras are off and guests are away, is a spoiled, narcissistic, sociopath.
    It’s television and we as a society give it a pass in order to be amused and entertained. It’s the same with the past decade of scientifically inaccurate programming that claims just the opposite.

    Then again, I think “Buckwild” captured rural country life depressingly accurate…

  • Ellis Island is probably the most well known and comprehensive list of ship records, but it is by no means the only one. If he didn’t enter through there, which millions of immigrants did not, the record could be just about anywhere on the east coast. Plus, if he entered before 1892, the record won’t be there. If you’re really interested, you might try finding his naturalization records in the state archives in Chicago sometime when you’re visiting. That record should give the date he first arrived, and which port of entry.

  • Yeah, that’s not him. I had found that before. That one’s wife is Panagiota. My grandpa’s wife is Alexandra. It’s odd I can’t find anything for him.

  • nicho

    There is no connection between anything on TV and reality. Why should this be any different?

  • Television is full of stereotypes… all Italians are mooks, all Irish are drunks, every Mexican is a gardener, all Puerto Rican males are meatheads, etc, etc. Even many mainstream shows, everyone has a stereotypical ethnic friend. It’s sad, but unavoidable if you watch much TV.

    According to the Ellis Island records, a 32 year old Aristides Dalianis entered the US for the first time on 17 Nov 1907, from Kiaton(sp), Greece, alone. Listing a friend in New York as his destination, and his wife back home as his closest relative. It even lists his complexion as fair, and he declared he was not an anarchist. :)

  • GarySFBCN

    What, your telling me that a TV show is reinforcing negative stereotypes?

  • Though we weren’t white enough back at the turn of the century, the other century.

  • Demosthenes

    A fantastic telling of your family’s distinguished history, Mr. Aravosis. I only regret you feeling it necessary to do so regarding the upcoming series trashing Greeks.

    Like you, I grew up in Chicago (I may be a couple of years older), and I recall no anti-Greek behavior. Indeed, I always felt welcome. In retrospect, I wonder if this was, at least in part, due to Chicago’s awful racism problems in the 1960s; we were just “white enough” to “pass”. (I hope I’m guessing incorrectly).

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Could it possibly be worse than “Party Down South 2”?

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