Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Irrelevant Roots

As soon as I heard that Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was indicted on corruption charges, I knew that the media would inevitably bring up his Serbian roots. I'm just surprised it took days, as opposed to hours, or minutes.

In this era of political correctness and mandatory "diversity," there are still groups (entire nations, really) one is allowed, supposed, or even required to hate. Serbs are one of those groups.

As M. Pejakovich of SerbBlog points out, did anyone make a fuss over ex-governor Ryan's Irish ancestry? Of course not.

Yet, the media just can't seem to get enough of rubbing everyone's nose in Rod Blagojevich's "ethnic roots" -- even going so far as to publish quotes from the Blagojevic family in Europe for their reaction to the cousin that they've never met, and quoting headlines from German and Soros owned newspapers from Eastern Europe.

Others went to his local boyhood church for reactions from parishioners. Rod Blagojevich is 52 years old and hasn't gone there in 30 years. What's this got to do with anything?

Although some people in Serbia may have felt a misplaced sense of national pride that one of "their own" made it to the Illinois governor's mansion, what the hack journalists and tabloids that harp on this neglect to mention is that Blagojevich renounced his heritage decades ago.

Perhaps he felt he had to; being a Serb, or even half-Serb, is a liability in American politics. Ohio Senator George Voinovich has also denied his Serbian roots (he actually claimed to be Slovenian at one time). Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.), who never hid her Serbian roots, was viciously attacked by a Republican candidate because she opposed the "independence" of the Albanian-occupied Kosovo. Steve Greenberg claimed that Bean favored "interests of radical foreign nations above the interests of freedom and democracy," a travesty of logic if ever there was one.

Yet for all this, somehow I don't think there was anything reluctant in Blagojevich's rejection of his Serbian heritage. Everything known about him indicates that he did it consciously, deliberately, in pursuit of power and money. He isn't the first man who did so, nor will he be the last, sadly. Which brings us to Pejakovich's second point:

Rod Blagojevich's "ethnicity" is American and his religion is "corrupt politician". That should have been plain for all to see when back in 1999, he supported the twisted and corrupt NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, using the same hateful anti-Serb rhetoric as the rest of his twisted fellow corrupt politicians.

The man not only abandoned his heritage, he betrayed it. To try and blame his Serbian roots for his American behavior is disingenuous, and perhaps even deliberately misleading.


ajokic said...

Good luck trying to un-Serb Blagojevich within this racist culture. But, it is important to keep at it. Here's a link to anothers such good try:


Robstar said...

The MSM never miss an oppertunity to have a shot at serbs, no matter how small the link

Deucaon said...

Blagojevich is a Serb and he grew up in a Serb household. I agree that corruption isn't part of Serb culture like some idiots would have people believe but trying to disown Blagojevich is the same as trying to disown the Serbs who were calling forth the NATO bombs while residing in the Balkans and who stole what they could during 3 years immediately after Milosevic's reign. Serbdom isn't an ideology, after all.

Gray Falcon said...

But I do disown the "Serbs" who call for NATO bombs and serve as Empire's quislings... More importantly, they disown themselves. They are ashamed of their identity and insist on being "citizens" or "cosmopolitans" or "Yugoslavs" or what have you. Blagojevich falls into the same category: he may have been a Serb once, but he gave that up to become an American politician.

Deucaon said...

How do you "stop" being a Serb? Do you get a blood transfusion and go through gene therapy? Also, if a Serb can stop being a Serb then can a non-Serb become a Serb? If so, how?

Gray Falcon said...

One can stop being a Serb the same way one stops being anything: by renouncing one's Serb identity and embracing another. And yes, someone not born a Serb can absolutely become one; for example, there's an MP in Serbia born in Jordan, who embraced the language, culture and traditions of the Serbian people. And there are - unfortunately - all too many who reject their heritage and style themselves something else: "Yugoslavs", "citizens", "Europeans" or whatnot, or even declare themselves separate ethnic communities ("Montenegrins").

Robstar said...

I fully agree that it not genetics or blood that make you who you are, it the way you act and feel. Blagojevich acted and felt like being a serb got in the way of his ambitions of his political career.

Red Star said...

A minor and naive question on the name - Blagojevich

Is there anything about it that would distinguish it from other Slav names? Can one know from it RB was of not Croatian or Montenegran lineage? For that matter Polish or Russian?

Michael said...

Deucaon wrote: if a Serb can stop being a Serb then can a non-Serb become a Serb? If so, how?

Here is one non-Serb who became a Serb
and is now far more Serbian than Blagojevich, Voinovich and the rest of their ilk.

The future belongs only to those nations wise enough to realize that nationhood is defined not by blood but by tradition and culture. Not for nothing do "ethos" and "ethnos" sound so alike!