In Reply to: Re: Debate Forum posted by Ir@qi on September 21, 2001 at 22:56:34:
You don't have to worry about this rabbit. I've always thought the best definition of "intelligence" is...figuring out what to do when you don't know what to do.
I think the way this whole thing played out has shown the intelligence of several of us. I can't recall another incident that shaped up quite like this. It's just too bad we waited for someone to bring the fight to us...we should have been taking it to them long ago.
At least we responded well when the time came. In reaction to Ross' paper (brought to us all by the dilligence of our favorite Munchkin, Jeff Atta...just kidding, AttO) people and forums mounted a protest. We were also able to get the State convention people to join in the effort and allow us to collect signatures which were delivered to the college, which decided to sit down and talk, ageeing to set up a debate.
Of course since then some of us have gone back to our corners, resenting this or insulted by that, losing sight of the "prize" in those dim and foggy petty jealousies and envy which have been the bane of our existence. I am certain there are many more people who will NOT follow through, will NOT attend, as a way to show their disagreement with another one of US...forgetting that the whole point was to express our disagreement with one of THEM.
This has always been the way with our people...we are more eager to fight and brawl and take "positions" and "stands" against each other, while the ones who damage us walk away laughing. There is something childlike in all of us, all Middle Easterners, Christian or Muslim...which the more secular West has always been able to use against us. We can actually be distracted, like the child crying cause it "hurts"...by a toy, a candied compliment, or a threat. We "divide" easily, as flakey as Filo dough.
This has been, and will always be our weak spot. It began centuries ago and has continued under the "unifying" influence of Dr. Pope and his variety of religious snake-oil cures for what aills you. "Divide"...is still the best way to conquer yourself.
I think there is potential in our younger generation to reverse that trend. They seem less eager to dispute religious trivia, more willing to accept "claims" by Chaldeans, Aramaens, Hottentots and everyone else whose motivation is to bring us all together in order to DO something.
Sadly, there are people in Los Angeles who know me, or have heard something about me they didn't like, or who saw my work and were offended at the prices, or whose aunt remembered a slight from my grandmother, or who "heard" that my great grandfather stole a sheep from their great grandfather in Urmia...and so weak are we, so removed from any idea or method to fight back against all the real injustices we've suffered at the hands of others, that they'll take this opportunity to "get me" by refusing to show up and support us after we made such a promising start. There will be many empty seats in that auditorium and thousands of Assyrians in Los Angeles will watch television instead.
Hanna Hajjar lives in Los Angeles.
Jews would have filled the place to bursting because they know that's half the battle. No matter what they thought of "their" speaker...they'd show up to support THEMSELVES and their Heritage...but then Jews have become fighters, while we've become even more Christian, vindictive and meak by turns and all of it to our detriment.
Still, it's a beginning, and whoever does show up might just be there when something new happens for our people...at least we fought back, somewhat united, for a while. We could get to like the feeling. Lord knows there are many things to fight and build and grow and learn about.
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