It is no secret that Dear Leader and his minions have a pathological hatred towards anything that defies their authority. And someone advocating free speech – shock, horror, and how could they – has to be a particular thorn in their eye, which has been proven again and again. This blog featured a post titled Stop Soros a while back without being aware of the name Dear Leader is giving to his latest campaign, proving that he does keep promises, some at least. The prime minister promised to extract his revenge towards those who have defied him, and publishing a list of “traitors to the homeland” is merely the beginning. Stop Soros is merely Step Two, and there will be many more.
A community is only as strong as its weakest link, goes the saying. And in Hungary the poor can be found on the streets, in the countryside, and among the Roma community. Those with houses (no matter how run down) and a Caucasian skin tone (the term in itself almost a joke) are remembered and courted – like a pick up artist circling his prey at a club – when the time is right i.e. just before elections. The rest have been cast aside, though rumors were rife (with some proof thrown in here and there) that the Roma community was courted in late March. This courtship was more alongside the lines of bribes, but there was dialogue, from a demagogue’s point of view at least. He talks, they listen (or at least can’t escape), Dear Leader goes back to his castle and all continues to be well in his world.
The Roma, like Jews, are easy targets. They look like us in that they’re human, but they’re different. Their skin tone stands out, and they have some traditions which differ from Hungarian society. Thus goeth the liberal Hungarian explanation, which in itself is problematic. Putting down both Jews and Roma – and treating each group as a monolith – has become so natural to most Hungarians that they can spout all the prejudices in one breath, yet in the very next breath are able to look their Roma / Jewish neighbor / acquaintance in the eye and make nice, without any sham nor hypocrisy. The Roma are lazy and shifty, the Jews always know how to make money, and both groups stick to their own and don’t like to mingle. So goes the Hungarian attitude, and it manifests in keeping people out.
Enter the Open Society Foundation, intent on giving those groups a leg-up that might otherwise be ignored. It was fine when it helped a village boy get a scholarship to Oxford, setting him on the road to becoming prime minister and self-proclaimed “Guardian of All European Values.” It’s not fine when it extends the same help for minorities, and one group the prime minister himself is connected to. I fully believe that he has Roma blood, not because he’s – according to evil tongues – a thief (which he is), but because, like Hitler before him, it did a number on him, and he’s desperately trying to erase even the slightest trace of it. And that includes marginalizing the people and groups who extend a helping hand to those in need.
OSF knows what it’s dealing with, of course. They know that Orbán made true on his word to crack down and eliminate the enemy from within. These are thinkers, and teachers, and experts. Anyone not with him is against him, in true despotic fashion. And if you help those he hates on, you are not just a traitor to the fatherland, but you must suffer for your sins. To protect the Good People of the Nation – and to intimidate those who are against him – the prime minister has released a list of Undesirables: liberals, free thinkers, whatnot. Quite a few of these names are associated with OSF.
So what is an organization to do? A good leader will protect his people and OSF is no exception. According to this article – the source of which used to be if not anti-government at least liberal enough – OSF is preparing for war. It is teaching its employees how to lie, cheat, and in short completely defy the government by telling them what to do in case of an arrest or an invitation to come down to HQ. Considering how at the last protest march a well-known activist was surrounded by several policemen who searched her person, her personal belongings, and those of her friends, the guidelines are not completely unwarranted. Especially since many OSF employees don’t speak Hungarian, and Hungarians are not exactly known for their superior language skills, despite demands of advanced level language exam certificates in order to graduate or just to get a job.
We’ve all had the talk from our parents about stranger danger. And those with children of their own have no doubt done the same. We’re not saying all adults are evil, but we are protecting those we love against the few evil and sick adults out there. OSF is doing the same. Being a prime target, people are aware what could be in store. And the most vulnerable are those who don’t speak the local language and believe that all will be well because no one in this day and age could be so evil / stupid / encouraging. It’s not naïveté on their part, merely a failure to see humanity in its most base, most disgusting form.
What’s more worrying than the government targeting its enemies with methods everyone was hoping to have left in the dark past back in 1945, 1956, and again in 1989, is the media outlet publishing this drivel, clearly siding with the government. Up until the elections on April 8, this particular portal used to be neutral, if not slightly left-leaning. It took less than two weeks after the elections for the shift to the right to occur. Almost without warning (thoygh it was to be expected), the shift occurred from one article to the next. Though really the true cause for concern is that between two evils, we have to choose between the lesser one.