‘Killing’ Two Birds with One Nazi Salute: the Racism Outburst at the Bulgaria – England Match (written for The European Views*)

Seemingly organized soccer hooligans, for whatever reason, have brought major international disgrace to Bulgaria. Photo: Video grab from BNT
(*This opinion / analytical article was written by Ivan Dikov for The European Views website.)

Modern day acts of racism are especially perplexing and worrying given Bulgaria’s own tradition of tolerance, fighting for freedom, and sympathy for the oppressed.

The period since 2008 has seen a bunch of rather decent feature films and TV series emerge in my native Bulgaria.

Some of them have been especially notable for a simple fact – their scriptwriters would often incorporate in them real-life cases of top-level organized crime, corruption, abuses, embezzlement, and backstage dealings without even bothering to change any details other than the names of the stakeholders.

They would just narrate some of the nasty stuff going on in Bulgarian politics and public life as a way of covertly exposing them while making good TV without having to rack their brains to come up with semi-fictional stories of their own.

It’s stuff that those scriptwriters know for sure has been happening in real, and that the law enforcement and judiciary wouldn’t really deal with.

It is hard to say how much the Bulgarian viewers have gotten their message but I have – having become aware of lots and lots of the same stuff during my work as a journalist since 2008.

In one of those taken-directly-from-real-life” episodes in a hit Bulgarian TV series from a few years ago, the grey eminence of an unnamed political party pulls over his limo near the national stadium in Sofia, has the leader of a group of football (soccer for the American readers) hooligans get in, hands him a wad of cash, and “orders” (as in “buys”, not “commands”) an outburst of ethnic violence. The soccer hooligans’ boss then sets out on his mission with a consider-it-done attitude, and an air of nationalist pride all over him.

After all, he is about to kill two birds with one stone (most probably, even with literal stones) – he’s being a great “nationalist” (the way he understands it) while also getting paid for it.

The thoughts that he is (or about to become) a criminal, a disgraced servant in disgustingly dirty backstage political games, and actually a destroyer of his own nation’s fortunes (the opposite of what a “nationalist” should be, theoretically) never cross his simplistic mind…

Read the rest of this article on The European Views website here

(379 words cited out of a total of 1,813 words)


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