The masks were taken off when you put them on our children’s faces

Why is it okay for masked persons to attack a journalist, but somehow not okay for a journalist to point out that they were attacked? Are we collectively suffering from Stockholm syndrome?

By Tatjana Lazarevic and some readers

„SHAME ON YOU!!!! YOU ARE PUTTING A TARGET ON THE PEOPLE!!! Do you use your brain for anything else, besides writing this kind of nonsense?! These guys should wear masks because of people like you!!!“

This comment was posted by J.L., a mother of two, and according to her Facebook profile, reportedly a student/graduate at the Faculty of Law.

„You are directly threatening the security of the Serbs in the north. Who do you work for to be shoving your cameras in the face of every citizen? Are you perhaps going to remove their masks and hoods next time? If you had come from abroad to report, I would understand, but you know better than all of us what your videos are used for and how they affect the destinies of many. You are not a journalist, you are a VULTURE!!!!!!!“

This comment was shared by doctor M.R., who did her specialized training as a pediatrician at the Tirsova Children’s Clinic.

„Journalists are the biggest scum,“ commented S.S., with a Facebook profile picture showing her with her children.

„It’s typical as the portal is financed by the Government of Kosovo and the NGOs that they control. It’s disgraceful what you write and what you publish, owner.” This particular comment was written by M.T., my daughter’s school friend, the son of wonderful people, who as a child made polite conversation with me.

This verbal sledgehammer was struck because a photo was published today of a young masked man advancing upon me yesterday while I was reporting from the protest following the arrest of M.M. in North Mitrovica.

He was just one of the young men who yesterday, experiencing a great jolt of adrenaline, but above all violence and vulgarity, or agitation and misery, charged not only at me but also at my colleagues.


Because we are journalists. Because we should pose questions and be a reflection of this town.

Yesterday, for example: An official from Srpska Lista who found herself in a crowd of desperate, angry and unhappy people, protected by a circle of her associates, wearing white coats, repeating over and over again that they were doctors, and who were okay with leaving their workplace.

On the other hand, they were not okay with me and angry residents posing two basic questions to Miljana Nikolic, a two-time deputy in the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo, member of a number of commissions in that same assembly, a party official, a public official in the city, the director of the Health Center operating within the system of the Republic of Serbia: What’s going on? and how will citizens defend their right to survival from June 1st “by all means”, as announced by Srpska Lista on May 20th.

Let’s get back to the young, masked men. Why did you charge at me and my colleagues?

Because you are young, well-built, and manipulated. Because you, our youth, have no clue what Belašević meant when he sang the words “bitterness is bitterness and order is order.”
You repeated to us the command you received: „kill those shits, they’re arresting us because of you.“

While you are surrounded by the Republic of Kosovo’s many cameras, drones, KIA associates, the police, cooperating witnesses, informants, channels of cooperation of intelligence services, social networks.

But kill the journalistic scum!

That is precisely what those who removed their masks yesterday were saying.

But the masks fell off long ago.

They fell off the moment when you, dear doctors and health workers, sought to measure to level of patriotism flowing in the blood of your fellow citizens using the same coercion, vulgarity, rudeness and arrogance that we saw that other day. The masks fell off when you, in the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo and the Municipality of North Mitrovica of the Republic of Kosovo, defended the President of Serbia, all the while receiving your wages from the budget of the Republic of Kosovo, including reimbursements for travel expenses, management boards, commissions, and the list goes on.

At least you received euros from the dozens of jobs that you only realized you had when you went to check your balance at the ATM.

God forbid that at some point through all these years you admit that these are euros given to you by the Republic of Kosovo, for a job that you do not do, while you throw stones at me and my colleagues, who, by the way, have never received a cent from the Republic of Kosovo.

They were removed the moment when North Mitrovica bid farewell to Oliver Ivanovic on his eternal journey, in the Alley of Meritorious Citizens, and you did not even bother to express your condolences, let alone hold a commemoration.

They were removed the moment you failed to take note of other assassinations, physical attacks, and beatings of all those who were not part of your powerful Great Serbian-Great Christian-Great Presidential-Great Pristina-Great Belgrade collective.

In that same way, you failed to see yesterday how a woman who, while doing her job as a reporter, was harassed by snot-nosed punks, a woman who could have been their mother or a professor once upon a time.

Because this is not sung about at weddings and baptisms.

I wouldn’t dream of replying to any of these angry messages. I am only obliged to report those that violate freedom of speech, and that are subject to criminal liability, to the High-Tech Crime Department and my professional association (in Belgrade).

So that I could continue to work. To protect the public interest. To protect my guild, my colleagues, my street, my house, and my family. To protect my gender, as best I can, as much as I can.

For me, Serbian-ness will never mean hooliganism. A masked ball. A fortress of hypocrisy. Don Corleone live stream. A depleted myth.

The masks were taken off when you placed them on our children’s faces.

When God forbid, you, along with Kurti, force us to join you in Valjevo, Belgrade, Kraljevo, Sweden, or from wherever you glorify Serbian-ness, salaries for the idle, and your Master, your now-exposed faces will quickly disappear.

It would be appropriate to wrap this up the way I started it, with a comment from another reader on the same news piece:

„To each as per their merits and deeds. Everyone knows what he did and how he did it.“ (G.S.)

Preuzimanje i objavljivanje tekstova sa portala KoSSev nije dozvoljeno bez navođenja izvora. Hvala na poštovanju etike novinarske profesije.