Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2011 21:33:47 -0700
Subject: Sorry, it’s time to spill my guts!
From: William Dorich
If Truth hurts, this post will be painful.
I am a Serb who has proven time and again for the past 25 years, that I have been willing to place my life on the line to defend the Serbian people. As the recipient of more than 15 death threats in those days of article writing and over 300 radio and television interviews in which the FBI acknowledged that they were tapping my telephone “to defend me,” I know the end result of what that episode did to me, my family, our security and our peace of mind. No one can compensate me for that level of political contempt.
I received hundreds of “at a boy… go get um!” from countless Serbs across the country who wanted me to continue the fight but who themselves were unwilling cowards in defending the rights of our people. It was easy to goad me to respond to hideous media distortions and propaganda when they had no stake in the reaction, or worse, were unwilling to put their identity on the line or to offer a response that might jeopardize their families, but, it was acceptable that I place myself and my family at risk. Was defending Serbia a worthy task or was I simply the most stupid Serb in the United States? So many Serbs fled Serbia and managed to escape the violence then were not willing to then defend those left behind? If I was merely defending cowards then I was the biggest of all fools.
I never expected the Synod of Serbian Orthodox Bishops and His Grace Bishop Jovan to bestow the Order of St. Save on me for writing my book Kosovo in 1992 that raised over $200,000 that I gladly donated to Serbian victims. I did that book as a labor of love. I did not earn one single penny for that effort. But in my wildest dreams I never expected that publishing 2,000 copies of Kosovo would take 8 years to sell? Shame on American Serbs that any of you believe that someone else should buy such books but not you. I tried through various article to encourage Serbs to purchase the book and donate it to their local newspapers and university libraries so that future generations would have a source of Serbian views. That fell on deaf ears.
Serbs would have the audacity to say to me… “Oh, I already know about Kosovo.” To which I always responded, “Ah, but do your children and grandchildren know about Kosovo?” But Serbs don’t seem to think about the impact of what this demonization of Serbs has done to them or their future generations who will be punished for the “Sins of the father.” There are Serbs today who are being denied educational and professional opportunities merely because they have Serbian sir names, and no Serb in this generation seems to give a damn that their children and grandchildren will be punished for these crimes. Not since Hitler has an entire ethnic population been demonized with collective guilt, but yet we Serbs sit here on our hands and take it in silence? Pretending that we are not impacted by bigotry, racism or ethnic hatred is foolish.
As a small publisher in Los Angeles for the past 26 years I have published over 175 books, including Witness to War: Images of the Persian Gulf War for the Los Angeles Times that won a Pulitzer. Nine of those books have been my own on Balkan history, music and culture of which I have sold a grand total 4,325 copies, representing purchases of 480 copies per 9 books in the United States. The average purchase of 480 copies of those 9 books never came close to cover the expense of writing and publishing those books, but who cares, it was not your money?
I can tell you exactly how many of the 1.2 million Serbs in the United States have purchased a book from my company, GM Books, and the count is very disturbing. In the past ten years 740 Serbs have purchase a book from gmbooks.com. That number represents 74 purchases per year! Living in Los Angeles for 50 years I know for a fact that Jews will drive blocks to support a Jewish business, but for some crazy reason Serbs will not walk across the street to help a fellow Serb? Are we really this sick as an ethnic community?
Do I expect Serbs to support me? No, that would be really naïve, but since so many Serbs in this country support my public effort one would expect that this support would include buying the books I write in order to support the Serbian cause. But, again that appears to be stupidity on my part, Serbs think only of their self-interests. And we wonder why the world hates us? What is there to admire?
The sales of my new book, Serbia: Faces & Places is a disgrace as most Serbs don’t give a damn if I survive as a writer or die in the process. Future Serbian writers and artists beware. Apparently I am expected to just keep putting my life and my income on the line to defend Serbian interests? That dumb idea has come to a n abrupt halt today.
The investment to do this book was in excess of $50,000 but please don’t insult me further to believe that I have this kind of money to burn, this is major savings of mine and my coauthor going down the drain as you insultingly tell me what a wonder book this is but don’t believe strong enough in it to make a $25 purchase. Serbs are proving to not just be cheap but seem to suffer from a total lack of vision. With the demonization of the Serbs that has taken place in the world this past decade one would believe that a major book that shows the Serbs and their culture for the first time in a positive light would be a welcome publication. Apparently that was just a pipe dream of this author.
At St. Steven’s Cathedral in Alhambra where I have been a member for 40 years we have sold a grand total 37 copies. What a disgrace that those who pretend to be my friend can betray my effort in such a callous manner. At. St. Sava church in San Gabriel where I recently spent months produced and publish their 100th anniversary book I have sold 2 copies of Faces & Places. At the Diocese Days of Western America recently held at St. Steven Cathedral where over 400 people from the western states attended I sold 14 copies. This is in a Serbian community that represents more than 250,000 Serbs. The lack of support for Serbian artists and writers shows a level of contempt that no ethnic community should tolerate. With 1.2 million Serbs in the United States am I the fool to expect the sale of 3,000 copies ?
Placing my information nationally on Facebook and Twitter was like placing Faces & Places in a black hole as even fewer sales have been generated through these website links. Do all of you Serbs out there feel that someone else should buy my books except you? Do I expect too much that Serbs should be supporting all Serbian artists, writers and creative people in our community? There are so few of us.
I feel demoralized that I find the need to expose my fellow Serbs for this hideous flaw in their ethnic character but maybe it is time to show the world that Serbs may not deserve being defended if they care so little for each other ,or, for those who place defending them above the safety and financial well-being of their own lives.
To: 1389 Blog
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2011 8:07 PM
Subject: Fw: Sorry, it’s time to spill my guts!
When the war against the Serbs first broke out in Bosnia, I was sent Bill Dorich’s publication, The Suppressed Serbian Voice and the Free Press in America. I was so impressed and so moved by the articles, the horror pictures of the atrocities committed against the Serbian people during World War II and the present war against them that I contacted Bill and from that moment, our friendship grew. To be honest, at that time, I had absolutely no idea what a Serb was, but after reading the publication, I became passionate enough to jump in with both feet to defend my Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters.
At that time, email had not yet come into play and for the first several years, we contacted each other by phone or by fax – perhaps three to four times a day to exchange information and the letter writing, the commentaries and the articles began.
The other influence I had in my life regarding the Serbian people was my son, Jim, www.savekosovo.org.
So, between the two, I have tried to defend the Serbian people to the best of my abilities.
I will tell you that there have been times when I wanted to throw up my hands out of frustration and say, “Stop the world, I want to get off!” but then I remember the quote by the 17th century scholar, Edmund Burke, who said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,” and with that, I am right back in the battle against the evil that has enshrouded not just Serbia and Kosovo, but my own country and Europe. It is estimated that by 2050, (and now even earlier!) Islam will be the primary religion in Europe and if we try to defend ourselves, we are called bigots and racists It is painful to see our most holy of churches, Agia Sophia, surrounded by four minarets – signifying Islam’s triumph over Orthodoxy, but when the 9/11 mosque is built, we can thank “useful idiots” like Mayor Bloomberg (I believe it was Lenin who talked about “useful idiots”) who is helping to build that mosque, Islam’s Jewel in the Crown, Islam’s final triumph!
So there you have it briefly and my admiration for Bill continues.
Here’s what I’d like you to do.
If you have some money to spend, buy some copies of these books. Read them yourself. Give them to your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Talk to your local librarian and find out the procedure for donating copies to the library so that they will be on the shelves as an antidote to the continuing Serb-bashing that still pervades the media and the political sphere. If your church has a library, ask your pastor if he’d like a copy too.
Whether you have any money to spend or not, and no matter what your ethnicity, if it bothers you at all that the Serbs have been wrongfully accused and attacked, both in the media and on the battlefield, it’s up to you to say something, for the sake of the truth if nothing else! It is only too true that Serbs have largely failed to stand up for their own interests as of late. But unless we add our voices to reinforce those Serbs who do speak up, it will only get worse.
If you are a Serb, you need to speak up. Now. Stop hiding the fact that you are a Serb (or a Serbian-American, Serbian-Canadian, Serbian-Australian, or whatever else). Resist the temptations of fear and of despair. If you are unable to speak or write English fluently, get someone to help you to express yourself. Don’t let another year, or another election cycle, go by with everyone else’s interests represented but ours.
- Blog admin 1389