Posted by pancho from ? (188.8.131.52) on Saturday, August 17, 2002 at 10:54AM :
We are an odd lot. It is somewhat natural for people to resent the bearer of bad news...or the whistle blower...or the Assyrian who stands up for himself...but we have an almost pathological need to shoot the messenger if what he has to say casts any shadow of disgrace on us...regardless of how much more disgraceful it would be to let things go on the way they were...the way that caused the problem in the first place...like if we don't know about it, then we don't HAVE to know about it...don't WANT to know about it. It's the "appearance" thing...the keeping up a pleasant facade thing...
There should have been a class action suit filed long ago on behalf of all Assyrians against John Nimrod...or one brought by the other donors to the Shumirum. Instead nothing was done...some people asked a question or two, that's all. If we tolerate this kind of abuse from our own...then it explains a little of how we have been conditioned to accept any kind of abuse heaped upon us by others.
If a child is conditioned to be abused by her father...how much more likely is she to accept abuse from strangers...perhaps to even seek it?
People here know that Jackie was at fault for taking a personal thing between the two us and making a wider issue of it by using the Federation convention as a vehicle to wreak her own personal revenge...without regard to what that did to the one professional sculptor we have...or his family...to what THIS says about us as Assyrians...rather than what it says about us that this Assyrian at least was not going to take this sort of thing lying down. When DO you fight back?
She claims I slander her when I say she acted negligently as president of her club...that I am slandering her even by calling it "her club". They also say they have no procedure in place that requires a president of theirs to inform the membership...even when the entire organization is being threatened with legal action. I find that hard to believe. What is a president for if not to promote the interests of the organization? Is it in their interest to be led blindly and on a personal whim into a lawsuit when they have barely the resources to pay their mortgage??
In any civilized organization the president immediately steps aside when sued personally to spare the organization being dragged into the mess. Jackie decided on her own that I could not come to the convention...three weeks before the convention. She consulted no one...not even when she received a letter from my lawyer, in her capacity as president, warning her about the action she was taking, unilaterally and without consultation with anyone. That alone shows the sort of contempt she really feels for "democratic" process and her own membership.
When people expressed surprise at her turn around and asked what had happened...her response was, you don't need to know. When I asked to present my case before them, she said I would simply be lying. When I asked for a letter of clarification from the membership, because I did NOT want to include their organization in the counter complaint, they said they were under no legal obligation to answer any question from me.
Was that wise? There is a way of compelling people to confront an issue...by suing them. Now they HAVE to respond...and with all the expense and wasted time added onto it. Jackie is desperate to keep them "loyal"...but loyal to what? She betrayed their trust, not the other way around. She didn't pause a moment to reflect on her responsibility towards her fellow members, and by continuing to hold their feet to the fire, she risks even more of the few resources they have...resources that could have been far better spent...just because she needs to USE them....and will not allow them to even think about protecting themselves, from simply telling the truth now...before they have to mount the witness box. And the truth is that she WAS negligent in not sharing with them the facts that have now dragged them into what was HER hissy fit. This is JUST the sort of leadership she has provided.
People say she works hard, that she even spends from her own pocket. Hell, I do a lot more of that than she ever would. She even pays to have the lawn mowed. By her recent behavior you can see she was paying to maintain the place so it would be remembered and remarked upon that when SHE was president, the clubhouse never looked so good. Who do you think that serves ultimately? It would have been of far more use, to the club, to have set in motion a mechanism that could ensure the club's lawn would survive after she was gone...rather than provide the measley fund herself while she is president only. But we have lots of leaders who "give" like this. At the same time she has set in motion steps that will cost her club far more than what it takes to pay someone to mow lawns...lawyers charge lots more.
Her club...which my family has been involved in from the beginning...did not deserve to be treated this way...and they know it. It's just that given the choice they feel far more comfortable taking the side of the person who brought them here...than they do of the person who perhaps could have ignored the whole thing, walked away to lick his own wounds...but who would thereby be carrying on a tradition of letting these "leaders" get away with the kinds of things that really damage us far more in the long run.
The monuments I've been trying to install for twenty years now will far outlive me and my memory...they are not intended to "do" anything for me...they will not catapault me into stardom or fame and wealth...on the contrary.
Anyone interested in us, in our children, in our future and growth as a Heritage, would not have taken personal revenge in such a way as to harm so many people...even as she now leads her club into court...when they were as innocent as guileless and ignorant of what was really going on as anyone could be...kept in the dark deliberately by Jackie because she knew they would have balked at what she was doing...for the reasons she was doing it.
This kind of mess...which permeates our community, has GOT to be stopped or it is going to bring an even faster end to us...when our "usefulness" will finally be of no use to anyone. It is because so many people cared to give of themselves, their hopes, time and money, that these sorts of clubs were formed in the first place... not to be there to be used. If not...Jackie and the rest would have no interest in them or "us". Just like they tried with the monuments, Jackie and Nimrod and Golani seize these things as vehicles for themselves...to fulfill whatever fantasies they have of "working" for their people...of weeping copious tears...of standing before us all on a stage...of using us as a launching pad for other, bigger things. They see us as existing to serve their own selfish, personal needs...when we were never constituted or intended to be put to such uses. The monuments were not vehicles for John Nimrod to promote his AUA...they were not a means for Jackie to draw a white crowd for whatever place she thought to play in local politics...and they certainly weren't intended as something Atour Golani could practise his sense of "style" on...a vicarious way for him to "make art" by welding it as he saw fit. This is why I am being "punished" by them all...because I wouldn't play along...wouldn't let them use me and us for the usual purposes they put us to.
They treat their organizations and us, the same way. We are a vehicle, a means to an end...and once done with us, they are done.
At every turn I've tried to shield Jackie's club from the suit...but in order to defend myself in her two million dollar suit, I have had to sue the club...to defend myself from the charge of slander...for she WAS and IS being negligent in taking them with her just to make the point that she has been a "good" leader..."see, they follow me everywhere".
Her members knew they would be "disloyal" to speak with me, to consider the letter I asked of them...even as they KNOW she showed scant loyalty to them by keeping them in the dark until they too face a lawsuit...something she would even now insist they endure with her...though they had no hand in it...in bringing it about. But they are big boys and girls and have found out since what really went on, or at least they had the chance to, and to take appropriate measures to protect the club...which should have been paramount in everyone's mind. But they too are using their own club as a way to prove their loyalty...their "goodness" in sticking by someone...never mind that the "someone" cared not a fig for them...and so the question has to be aksed...the command and the example comes from on hight...how much do any of them really care for their own club?
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