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Yes, Barack Obama, We Are Bitter
Townhall.com ^ | 4-20-08 | Mary Grabar

Posted on 04/25/2008 12:36:03 PM PDT by Renfield

We know who you’re talking about, Barack Obama, when you talk about Pennsylvania and the Midwest, about small towns where the jobs have left. We know who you’re talking about when you talk about those who “get bitter” and “cling to guns or religion.”

You’re talking about “those people.”

You’re talking about white people who have neither the family connections nor the racial credentials to gain entrance to the world that you inhabit. Many of the people you’re talking about are those whose parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe who came to these places to work in steel mills, coal mines, and factories. We know the code words.

You’re talking about people whose culture is little known. We have been pretty quiet. We never tried to impose our culture on everyone. We never insisted on putting pictures of ourselves in our native dress into schoolbooks or mandating that our stories and songs be part of the curriculums.

We tried to maintain our culture without government aid, by forming our own churches and groups, and building Polish, Ukrainian, and Slovenian halls.

We never wore buttons declaring “Slav Power” or grouped together for purposes of intimidation or violence.

The power we asked for was the power of the paycheck which we earned in factories, steel mills, coal mines, or by cleaning houses. Yet, we were taken aside and told that because of affirmative action it was no use trying to advance off the assembly line; we were told in “diversity workshops” that people of color had to be promoted over more qualified white people. I know this, Barack, because I have family members and friends who worked in factories.

We used to trudge in to work and change into work clothes, like my father did. He began by knowing only one word of English, “Okay,” which he found to be the most useful one in the language. When the boss man handed him a broom or pointed to a piece to be welded, he fairly leapt to the task. My uncles were injured in construction and mining accidents, and went back to work.

But what did we get for that, Barack? We paid cash for our houses and kept impeccable yards, yet saw the value of our homes plummet after marauding hoodlums came into our neighborhoods in riots that were celebrated by the intelligentsia in Manhattan penthouses, who saw such violence as justified expressions of outrage over past discrimination.

We went to public schools in those same neighborhoods only to be accosted for our skin color and the presumed “privilege” that teachers said we had. Rather than teach us what was good and beautiful about Western Civilization and the country to which our parents had fled, teachers gave us Marxist nonsense, if they bothered to teach at all. Our schoolmates saw the evening news, mimicked their elders by wearing “Black Power” buttons and felt justified in roughing the white kid who didn’t seem tough. Because we were “privileged”—despite washing our fathers’ sooty work clothes while our mothers went off to clean offices and houses in the suburbs—we were not eligible for scholarships, not even to the Catholic schools. Teachers never cut us any slack. Guidance counselors told us to be secretaries or work in the factory, despite our volunteering and demonstration of academic abilities. Our brothers, cousins, and uncles went off to fight in Vietnam, while those from your class took up arms against their campus administrators.

True, we had our problems, as all people do, with such things as alcoholism and family violence, but we handled those ourselves, and never blamed “society” or a history of oppression. Still, many of us did carry legacies from the old country, of hunger and persecution, of watching family members and villagers murdered by atheistic regimes. So we were grateful for the opportunity to work and buy our own little patches of the American Dream.

We were happy to use a welding torch, shovel, or broom to get them. We didn’t insist that we should all get college degrees. We didn’t have our documents translated for us or get bilingual instruction. If we didn’t know English we made sure our children did and we relied on them.

Your white friends in San Francisco, Barack, probably had cleaning women like my mother (and me when I accompanied her and then had my own cleaning jobs from age 12). As white people from a certain class and with certain connections, your donors knew that their futures would be secure because of their inheritances and the connections they could make in the media, politics, and business. In fact, it would benefit them in the world of “radical chic” to hang around those like you and support your policies. (Great opportunity to be photographed next to a black person!)

Your black friends there, like your wife, see no end to the amount that this country owes them because of what happened to their ancestors. It makes no difference that many of the whites in previous generations also had experienced persecution and hunger and worked in dangerous, dirty, and degrading jobs. Or that blacks and Native Americans were among the slave owners.

In fact, you and those wealthy donors sneer at white people who have had to do manual labor and who have paid for tuition at community colleges with the money earned that way, while our classmates received special scholarships and government grants—from our taxes.

You sneer at those like us who put our faith in God and not in those like you who would presume to know what’s good for us and tell us what to do with our money and our children, and leave us with no ability to defend ourselves.

Well, Barack, coming from your Ivy League world, you would not know much about us. You would not have learned that because we come from people who, rather than letting their communist benefactors redistribute the food, burned the crops in their little fields before they were forcibly “collectivized.” In Slovenia, they fought Tito’s Partisans from the woods and held mass at night when the Communists banned church services. They remember what it’s like to be hungry, ill, and living in little more than huts, while Marshall Tito and his communist cronies lived in villas. Now you live in a Chicago mansion and sneer at those like us who simply want to keep and defend our little three-bedroom ranches. You don’t know what it’s like to have family members die for the right to attend mass.

I know your liberal cronies, Barack; they make me check off my skin color on job applications and ask me during job interviews of how I teach multiculturalism, yet don’t know where Slovenia is on the world map. They couldn’t care less about my culture, nor about Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, or Lithuanian culture. Your supporters often feel free to mock my Slovenian heritage in letters and comments on the Internet when they disagree with me. I guess it’s like being called a “dumb Polack”—something that has never gained quite the opprobrium of other ethnic epithets.

See, Barack, we know the system: Some are more “equal” than others.

And we know how you really feel about the “proletariat.” We know this from our experience either directly or as an inheritance from our parents and grandparents. And that is why we came to America.

Addendum: Many of my non-European correspondents, like those who came from Cuba, agree—as their letters to me indicate.

Mary Grabar earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia and teaches in the Atlanta area. She is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and published fiction writer. Visit her website and get on her mailing list at marygrabar.com


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008; bitter; bittergate; grabar; nobama; obama; pa2008
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1 posted on 04/25/2008 12:36:03 PM PDT by Renfield
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To: Renfield

This should be required reading for all politicians and CEOs. Good post.


2 posted on 04/25/2008 12:40:09 PM PDT by BipolarBob (I survived the same Bosnian gunfire as Hillary. It were'nt no thang.)
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To: Renfield
Mary has nailed Obama’s hide to the ‘outhouse’. Thank you

Photobucket

3 posted on 04/25/2008 12:41:03 PM PDT by geo40xyz (McCain, Obama or Hillarybeast possibility of 4 Supreme Court Justices, Gore @UN. The WINNER is?)
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To: Renfield

Go Girl!!


4 posted on 04/25/2008 12:42:41 PM PDT by Arm_Bears (Call BR-549)
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To: Renfield

WE are bitter and WE vote!


5 posted on 04/25/2008 12:44:31 PM PDT by OB1kNOb ("We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election." - Ahmed Yousef, Hamas PM advisor)
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To: Renfield

Bookmarking


6 posted on 04/25/2008 12:45:00 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: Renfield

amen.


7 posted on 04/25/2008 12:45:25 PM PDT by ripley
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To: Renfield
Hear ... hear... Every 2nd and 3rd generation (fill in the blank) ________ - American has the same story to tell. And has just exactly the same feeling about this ungrateful, demanding and ignorant Mr. Obama and his wife.
8 posted on 04/25/2008 12:47:24 PM PDT by SMARTY ('At some point you get tired of swatting flies, and you have to go for the manure heap' Gen. LeMay)
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To: Renfield
Yes, Barack Obama, We Are Bitter

Not me ... I'm Extra Special Bitter (ESB)


9 posted on 04/25/2008 12:48:57 PM PDT by TexGuy (If it has the slimmest of chances of being considered sarcasm ... IT IS!)
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To: Renfield

Wow!


10 posted on 04/25/2008 12:50:52 PM PDT by carton253 (www.headquartersanv.blogspot.com -- for conversations about the Army of Northern Virginia.)
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To: BenLurkin
Bookmarking

Likewise.

11 posted on 04/25/2008 12:52:23 PM PDT by CedarDave (I'm a bitter small-town American; what I want from my government are lower taxes and less regulation)
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To: Renfield

Great article! Thanks for posting.


12 posted on 04/25/2008 12:52:36 PM PDT by Miss Didi ("Good heavens, woman, this is a war not a garden party!" Dr. Meade, Gone with the Wind)
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To: Renfield

HEAR HEAR!

As one of Slovenian descent, 2nd gen off the boat, all I can say is she NAILED it (and him)!!!


13 posted on 04/25/2008 12:52:41 PM PDT by SargeK
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To: Renfield

Thank you very much. Excellent.


14 posted on 04/25/2008 12:53:43 PM PDT by unkus
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To: Renfield; SeaDragon

Wow.

Too bad he’ll never read it.

SD, come check this out. The lady hit the nail on the head.


15 posted on 04/25/2008 12:54:45 PM PDT by RikaStrom (The number one rule of the Kama Sutra is that you both be on the same page.../Exeter 051705)
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To: TexGuy

Red Hook?


16 posted on 04/25/2008 12:55:02 PM PDT by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th)
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To: Renfield
those who “get bitter” and “cling to guns or religion.”

MY BITTER TOWN
Tune: "My Little Town" Original

In my little town
We grow up by clingin'
To God and the gun on the wall
And we welcome strangers warmly
If they bear a likeness to us all
Angry and small
My bitter town

Comin' home from the Klan
Burnin' a cross on the lawns
Of the immigrants
Our town holdin' a rally
Wearin' our sheets
With the pointy hats

We take off our robes
For the square dance
And none of the dancers are black
It's not that the dancers aren't square
It's just a pigmentation we lack
Everyone's a redneck
In my bitter town

Nothin' but some av'rage whites
Here in my bitter town
Nothin' but some av'rage whites
Here in my bitter town

In my bitter town
I never vote Democrat
I'm just a Republican
Drivin' my pick-up
Pickin' a brick up
Typical right-winger
See me clingin' to my gun

Seein' nothin' but some av'rage whites
Here in my bitter town
Nothin' but some av'rage whites
Here in my bitter town
Nothin' but some av'rage whites
Here in my bitter town . . .

17 posted on 04/25/2008 12:56:04 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson (The wag tailoring the doggerel)
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To: Renfield

Brilliant, brave and true.

BUMP!


18 posted on 04/25/2008 12:57:12 PM PDT by fullchroma
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To: Renfield

How I despise elitist snobs... let me count the ways.

I wonder if Obama knows where the word slave comes from?

Merriam Webster Dictionary:

Main Entry: slave

Etymology:

Middle English sclave, from Anglo-French or Medieval Latin; Anglo-French esclave, from Medieval Latin sclavus, from Sclavus Slavic; from the frequent enslavement of Slavs in central Europe during the early Middle Ages

Date: 14th century

>http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slave<

STE=Q


19 posted on 04/25/2008 12:58:36 PM PDT by STE=Q ("These are the times that try men's souls." -- Thomas Paine)
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To: Bokababe; Honorary Serb

Ping.


20 posted on 04/25/2008 1:00:41 PM PDT by lightman (Waiting for Godot and searching for Avignon.)
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To: Renfield

This article is simply breathtaking. Hope BHO gets to read it.
Thanks for posting.


21 posted on 04/25/2008 1:01:27 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life)
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To: Renfield

Spread this one around the web. She not only nails the haloed one, she nails the last 45 years of what’s gone wrong in this nation. Unless we can prevent the election of Obama, our children won’t even be able to read about the America we know in the History books. This election is THAT IMPORTANT!!


22 posted on 04/25/2008 1:02:28 PM PDT by xkaydet65 (Peace, love, brotherhood, and firepower. And the greatest of these is firepower!)
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To: Renfield

Perfect. Every single word. Perfect.

This woman needs to get on the talking heads circuit and read this piece word for word.

I encourage everyone to forward this along to everyone they know.


23 posted on 04/25/2008 1:02:39 PM PDT by wilco200 (Typical White Person)
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To: Renfield
Your black friends there, like your wife, see no end to the amount that this country owes them because of what happened to their ancestors.

Then of course there are undoubtedly millions of descendants of Civil War vets whose sacrifices to free slaves cost them their lives, health, homes and livelihoods. I demand reparations.

24 posted on 04/25/2008 1:04:50 PM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely dispensed as advice)
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To: Renfield

Good job, thanks for posting.


25 posted on 04/25/2008 1:05:18 PM PDT by Joe Boucher (An enemy of Islam)
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To: BipolarBob
"This should be required reading for all politicians and CEOs. Good post."

Exactly my first thought on reading the article (and you need to add "university professors and students" to that list).

26 posted on 04/25/2008 1:06:17 PM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: Renfield

BRAVO!! Bravo Ms Grabar BRAVO!!


27 posted on 04/25/2008 1:06:27 PM PDT by acw011 (Great Goooogly Mooogly!)
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To: Renfield

Excellent!

BTTT


28 posted on 04/25/2008 1:07:25 PM PDT by alarm rider ("Difficile est saturam non scibere" -- it's difficult not to write satire.)
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To: BipolarBob

Excellent post. I have the honor of working with many people of Slavic background here in western PA. I make it a point to attend their fish dinners during lent even though I’m not Catholic, because I enjoy their food and their company.


29 posted on 04/25/2008 1:08:13 PM PDT by Vigilanteman ((Are there any men left in Washington? Or are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud))
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To: Renfield


Mary Grabar '08!
30 posted on 04/25/2008 1:09:52 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life)
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To: Renfield

Don’t be bitter, and don’t be a victim, Mary. It’s what Barack and Michelle and the rest of the leftists expect.


31 posted on 04/25/2008 1:10:34 PM PDT by PGR88
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To: TexGuy
Not me ... I'm Extra Special Bitter (ESB)

Don't forget, room temperature ;-)

32 posted on 04/25/2008 1:10:40 PM PDT by varon (Allegiance to the constitution, always. Allegiance to a political party, never.)
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To: Renfield

Go Mary, Go Mary, Go Mary. You go girl, tell “HIM”, the annointed one, how it is. I love it.


33 posted on 04/25/2008 1:11:51 PM PDT by Robert DeLong
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To: Renfield
Great article. Thanks for posting.

btw, I don't hunt or fish, but I'm sure I would probably, definitely like you a whole lot.

34 posted on 04/25/2008 1:12:10 PM PDT by proud2beconservativeinNJ ("In God We Trust")
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To: BenLurkin

Great post! Bump to bookmark!


35 posted on 04/25/2008 1:13:19 PM PDT by ExpatGator (Extending logic since 1961.)
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To: proud2beconservativeinNJ

bttt


36 posted on 04/25/2008 1:14:06 PM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: STE=Q

What does that have anything to do with it? You are white and therefore “the powerful,” a racist, and bitter. And if you believe in God and the right to defend yourself, well, that just confirms it, and the Enlightened One will show you the error of your ways. OR ELSE.

/obvious sarc


37 posted on 04/25/2008 1:20:36 PM PDT by piytar
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To: Liberty Valance

Heck Yes! Grabar ‘08!!! or Grabar ‘12!!!


38 posted on 04/25/2008 1:22:19 PM PDT by piytar
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To: PGR88
Don’t be bitter, and don’t be a victim, Mary. It’s what Barack and Michelle and the rest of the leftists expect.

Wow, lame comment. She's not being bitter. She's setting the record straight and standing up for herself. The alternative is to lie down and "enjoy the ride." Or is that what you'd rather see us do?

39 posted on 04/25/2008 1:23:45 PM PDT by piytar
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To: Renfield

A courageous article. We’ll never solve the race issue in America until we can deal openly with the issues the author so ably presents.

Obama as the Great Unifier is the biggest bunch of crock there is. He is in the process of setting race relations back 15-20 years.


40 posted on 04/25/2008 1:24:30 PM PDT by Oliver Optic
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To: piytar

Sorry, shouldn’t have said “lame comment.” Also, I guess even the title says “We Are Bitter.” For some reason, though, your comment just struck me the wrong way.


41 posted on 04/25/2008 1:25:28 PM PDT by piytar
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To: Renfield

Bitter, angry white people and bitter, angry black people are BOTH PATHETIC!


42 posted on 04/25/2008 1:26:20 PM PDT by Clemenza (I Live in New Jersey for the Same Reason People Slow Down to Look at Car Crashes)
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To: Oliver Optic
He is in the process of setting race relations back 15-20 years.

Yup, I agree. Except that "15-20 years" may be too low an estimate...

43 posted on 04/25/2008 1:26:31 PM PDT by piytar
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To: Renfield
Two interesting books relating to Slovenia--

Ljubo Sirc, Between Hitler and Tito. The author (b. 1920, now living in the UK), was a Partisan but made the mistake after the war of trying to organize a non-Communist party to compete in the supposedly free elections to be held, which led to him spending a number of years in a Communist prison.

John Corsellis and Marcus Ferrar, Slovenia, 1945: Memories of Death and Survival after World War II deals with Slovene refugees at the end of the war (those who escaped being handed over by the British to Tito for execution). Some of them eventually managed to be resettled in the US. There's an interesting bit near the end about how some of them went back to visit (after the fall of Communism, I think) and what a gulf there was between their attitudes and those of the Slovenes who had lived for decades under Communism in Tito's Yugoslavia.

44 posted on 04/25/2008 1:31:10 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Renfield

Great post.


45 posted on 04/25/2008 1:38:08 PM PDT by fanfan ("We don't start fights my friends, but we finish them, and never leave until our work is done."PMSH)
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To: RikaStrom
She did indeed nail him.

A very good read.

46 posted on 04/25/2008 1:39:40 PM PDT by SeaDragon
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To: Renfield

It is not yet clear just what B. Hussein Obama has started but it is beginning to look like it might become a substantial backlash against the reverse racism that has plagued this country for nearly 40 years. I see more and more that people are not only sick and tired of race being used as a weapon but are expressing rather candidly their abhorrence of this and doing so without a care for the reactions of the race baiters.

The last people who will become aware of this and begin to freely express their real thoughts will be the politicians - the “leaders” who wouldn’t dare take a step without first getting all the latest polling data and focus group input. But if the backlash is real eventually it will become safe for politicians to join in and then we will see real “change” and not the phony mush that B. Hussein Obama is peddling.


47 posted on 04/25/2008 1:42:52 PM PDT by scory
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To: Verginius Rufus

Both of those sound very interesting.

Slovenia is a beautiful country, and I’d love to visit one day. From pictures I’ve seen, it looks a lot like the Austrian or Italian Alps...but prices there are much lower. Supposedly a great vacation destination. Good trout fishing, too, apparently.


48 posted on 04/25/2008 1:43:54 PM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Renfield
Wow! What an excellent article! I hadn’t noticed this writer before. She’ll be on a lot of must-read-lists from now on. I hope we’ll get lots more from her in the future!
49 posted on 04/25/2008 1:47:35 PM PDT by cartan
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To: cartan

She’s a new one to me, too, but I think she’s a regular columnist for Townhall.com.


50 posted on 04/25/2008 1:50:07 PM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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