GR US

Where Did so Many Distinguished Diaspora Hellenes Come from?

Αssociated Press

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki stands in on a meeting in Washington, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

In recent days, a number of members of the Hellenic Diaspora have been in the news.

And not just in the local news. They are national news – and in some cases, international. Hellenes who lead scientific research or influence public opinion in one way or another.

It is as if the Earth suddenly opened and descendants of Greeks sprang from the depths of the centuries. Children with a Greek name, but mainly with Greek blood in their veins, standing on the shoulders of their Greek ancestors.

I am referring American-borns like Judge Stephanos Bibas, who thundered, "voters, not lawyers, choose the president" at President Trump's legal team, rejecting their request to reject his defeat in the state of Pennsylvania.

I am referring to Jen Psaki, who was appointed White House spokesperson, one of the most important positions in government. Psaki, although only 1/3 Greek, does not stop having Greek blood in her veins.

I am referring to John Poulos, the founder and president of Dominion Voting Systems, whose machines were used in U.S. elections in 2016 and this year. The machines, which the President and his team allege used software that was “corrupted” by "dictators and communists," which led to the "stealing" of millions of votes – but without providing any evidence of this.

And, of course, I am referring to Dr. George Yancopoulos of Regeneron, the person in charge of the scientific research of the company that has already requested emergency use approval for its anti-Coronavirus drug.

I am also referring to those born in Greece, Dr. Albert Bourla of Pfizer and Dr. Kyratsous of Regeneron, as well as Menelaos Pangalos of the British firm AstraZeneca.

These have come to the fore recently, but we can assume that there are many others in the pipeline.

The Greeks of Greece and Cyprus who read these lines may wonder “what is happening?” Because they may have been left with an old, stereotypical image of the immigrants of previous generations. An image that was never accurate, but now is more seriously wrong.

It is difficult for them to grasp the possibilities that America provided the earlier immigrants, as well as the potential of our current generations if given the chance.

It is difficult for them to imagine how the son of a restaurant owner, i.e. Bibas – can go to the best schools, become an important judge, and influence the course of the country.

This is one reason for the gap that exists in the relations of Greeks in Greece with Hellenes Abroad.

Still, there is the problem with the difficulty they have grasping the differences between Greeks in Greece and people of Greek origin elsewhere.

But time is running out. It does not wait for anyone. Not for us nor for our children, nor for the Greeks of Greece.