Greek Daily -- September 03, 1929Is Ahepa a Greek Organization?
p. 1.- The Convention of Ahepa at Kansas City has closed. Its accomplishments will remain historic for Hellenism of America particularly because it rejected the proposal of the use of the Greek language on an equal basis, with the English language in the sessions of the organization.
Omitting sentimentality, as far as the meaning of the decision is concerned, we come to the conclusion, that Ahepa through this decision expressedly and categorically made it known to Hellenism of America that it is not a Greek organization.
It was about time for Ahepa, at last, to declare to us, officially, that it is not a Greek organization that we might not be in doubt regarding it. So much for us, the ones out of it, and as for the members, who before they entered believed that Ahepa was a Greek organization, until yesterday they were still in doubt.2
This discovery does not surprise us because it is known that the Greek Daily, before any other Greek newspapers in America, through many articles proved three years ago, when the Convention of Ahepa took place, in Chicago, that Ahepa is not a Greek organization. But precisely at that time many of the representatives of the Convention, and especially the present President of the organization, Mr. Alfantzis, who also was Chairman of the Convention at Chicago, were fully aware that whatever we wrote in our papers was true. They assured us at the time that the effort of the majority of Ahepans was to make it a Hellenic organization and they asked us to be present at the installation of the officers of the great lodge. While as part of the ceremony we were asked to deliver a few words, we did not hesitate to say that as long as Ahepa proved its Hellenism and its members were Greeks, we had no reason to continue in our attack and that it was our undoubted duty to have a part in the Greek organization.3
Really, since then, we have kept a cautious stand cowards Ahepa expecting greater manifestations of its Hellenism. The fact that Ahepa is made up of Greeks whose sentiments we cannot contest, was our great hope that, in time to come, the organization would become fully Hellenic.
Although a portion of its members had dismissed its Hellenism it was naturally known that the majority of the members would overcome that. But this was just a simple theory.
The reality is that since its establishment Ahepa has acted as an American organization aiming chiefly to Americanize the Greeks and to direct those who always were Americanized Greeks. It is also a fact that as long as they are holding the dominating power, there is no hope at all of taking power away from them, because they have plenty of means. Also the system is such that the highest officer go around to the ones who have control of the electoral organizing in their hands, because they are working all 4the year round to win over the future electors and receive high wages and traveling expenses for the electorial tours. The activities of the others out of the "in" can only take place while the organization is in session and when the electoral fight has ended.
So, in reality, if all the Greeks of America enter the Ahepa, the Ahepa has no intention at all of becoming a Greek organization. That is why many of its members who believed in the Ahepa, as a Greek organization, ceased being members when they found out that they had been misled in their expectations.
From all this we must not be surprised with the decision of the Ahepa by which the Greek language was not accepted as equal in honor to the English. We never thought it would be possible as long as it concerned an American organization. To this decision of Ahepa we are paying much attention because it helps to clear officially the nationalism of the organization, something that was indefinite and disputable before.5
Besides, there was no reason for us to be deceived and believe in things with no reality at all.
From this point of view we do not hesitate at all to congratulate the organization of Ahepa on its decision, regardless if it coincides with our sentiments or not. As we said before, this question will not be viewed with sentimentality, and from its actual appearance it is time that we should gaze at the reality regardless of how cruel or bitter it may be.
It is time now that we should know that a portion of our countrymen do not wish to belong to the Greek race and prefer to dismiss their nationality, their religion, and their language.
It is their privilege to do so as it is our own privilege to remain Greeks and speak our own language, much more so while we are living in a country so liberal, and which is composed of so many different nationalities.6
We do not know how much America will profit by the Americanization efforts of Ahepa and its members, but what we really do know is that Hellenism is not losing a thing, because as we mentioned before Ahepa is not a Greek organization, and it would be a joke for any one of us to believe that Hellenism of America owes its being to the Ahepa either now or in the future.
What the Ahepa is going to do is a mooted question, it cannot help Hellenism because the management does not incline to the Hellenic way of thinking and sentiment and the only thing certain is that no matter what is done the Greeks will be paying for it as there are more Greek members in it. But the Greeks are so generous that this does not cause them the least harm.
III A, II D 1, III B 4, IV
Secondary listingsGreek // Contributions and Activities > Benevolent and Protective Institutions > Benevolent Societies (II D 1) ?
Greek // Assimilation > Nationalistic Societies and Influences > Conventions and Conferences (III B 4) ?
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