Saloniki-Greek Press -- January 05, 1933Our Community Problem Is the People's Problem (Editorial)
After the struggle carried on by this newspaper for the rectification of our community affairs and the clarification of the situation, innumerable letters are arriving in our office, which on the whole express intense pain at the present intolerable conditions. We accept the verdict of public opinion, which emphasizes the need for a systematic study of our problems.
Each time that we have dealt with our community affairs--and we have done so many times, without any pompous titles--we have always supported the opinion that the public demands an immediate and radical reorganization, but that it lacks the necessary power to enforce its will. This is up to the church governing boards and our higher Greek church authorities.
The problems which the Greek people of Chicago must face this year are infinitely 2more important than those which occupied its attention in the past. These problems cannot remain unsolved for long, if we want to preserve our identity as a national Greek group. The state of affairs has reached a point where only those who have no social experience or historical perspective think that our problems will solve themselves. This psychological condition which characterizes many of our community leaders is nothing more than mental and spiritual inertia and shiftlessness, the result of ignorance of the elementary conditions necessary for a community. The prevailing opinion that things must take their natural course, is characteristic of men who are devoid of any ideals. These men are living only in the present, without being able to see into the future. A policy of aloofness and indifference, on the other hand, leads to social disintegration. We want to believe that the entire group of our people in Chicago has not become the victim of a sort of mental lethargy and sterility to the extent that it is no longer interested in the fate of our community structure.
We realize that no form of organization is ever perfect; that no scheme which 3has been tried has produced the expected results. But, there is no instance in history where conditions changed and states took a different social, economic, or political direction, when the people did not strive for the best. Only the Greek people of Chicago are negative in their attitude, indecisive, and inert. Our leaders do not seem to be aware of the historical axiom which asserts that a static and self-complacent state is nonexistent. We either progress or retrogress. In the eyes of even the most naive, the Greek community of Chicago is retrogressing.
It is indeed strange to see that logical and practical men think that the narrow confines of their particular parish embrace the entire world of social ideas and values. The voice which we are now raising reflects society's demands to adjust our affairs on the basis of the common interest. We shall continue to maintain that the principle of a consolidated and united Greek community in Chicago constitutes the key to the solution of all our pressing problems. Our leaders and people must think and act like intelligent and prudent members of a consolidated Greek community. Mere academic discussions do not inspire action.4
We will ask for the support of the Greek Archdiocese in New York--and it will be given us--for the regulation of our affairs.
Why lose time? In his last visit to us, His Grace the Archbishop expressed the hope for a united community. He instructed us to form a deliberative body which shall elect a committee to study and report on the possibility and the means of a more unified reorganization of our community institutions and forces. The report will be made before the governing boards of each and every Greek church of Chicago. The Archbishop reserves the right to appoint members to the committee. We are lodging a strong protest against this prerogative of the Archbishop. This undue interference of his will not help the matter. This is a matter which the people themselves should tackle; we suggest, therefore, that the governing boards of our churches convene immediately to decide on the composition and methods of the committee.
III A, III C
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