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In her latest pensée, Mary Grabar tackles the Big Questions about Obama:

When I heard that a major part of Barack Obama’s resume included a stint as a “community organizer,” I asked myself what the term meant.

“Now don’t panic, I said to myself…it’s only a two-word phrase, and both words are in English, and you’re a professor of that, so you should be able to figure this out…!”

It’s sort of like “activist.”

“But it’s even more like ‘desk organizer,’ so maybe after college he rented out his pockets to poor scriveners who needed a place to store their pen nibs, rocker blotters, and celluloid eyeshades!”

I had always wondered what the job description for “activist” was. How do you apply? Where do you apply?

And are they hiring?  Because this tenure thing doesn’t look like it’s going to work out..

It was unlike any of the jobs I had had, whether it was pouring beers, serving fish fries, cleaning toilets, pruning in snow-filled vineyards, or marking grammatical errors on freshman essays.

At what point during Mary’s employment history do you think the Peter Principle kicked in?  I’m guessing it was somewhere between working the deep fryer at H. Salt, and giving the toilets a sparkling rim job, although I do admire her willingness to perform the cold weather agricultural work that Mexicans won’t do (to say nothing of helping to make New York State Wine what it is today).

The people I had grown up with worked with blow torches, trowels, and brooms, or stooped over sewing machines all day. If you made it, you were a secretary or supervisor at Kodak. If you were really ambitious you went to the community college or state university and became a nurse or an engineer. You could ask your cousin to put in a good word for you with the supervisor at Kodak or General Motors, but whom would you ask to become an “activist” or “community organizer”?

It’s almost like this Obama guy is saying he’s too good for nepotism!

I imagine if someone like Barack Obama had come to Beach Street in Rochester, New York, in the 1960s where my neighbors relaxed on their lawn chairs on front porches and stoops after a hard day in the factory, and said, “Hi, my name is Barry Obama, and I am a community organizer,” the unanimous response would have been, “A what?”

“A community organizer. I’ve come to organize you, your community.”

This would have immediately raised suspicions

Oh I don’t know…Remember when you were a kid, and you’d hear that tinny music playing outside, and knew that the Community Organizer was coming?  In our house, my sister and I would instantly rush to our mother and beg for some change from her purse, then we’d race each other into the street, hoping we’d be in time before he turned the corner.  And then all the neighborhood kids would run outside and gather around his truck, and he’d step out with his white uniform and big smile, and start arranging us into us into cadres…

While her husband went upstairs, Mrs. Tischenko would have said, “Our grass don’t need no cutting.”

Because he’s black, you see, so it would be natural to assume he was looking to do odd jobs.  Remember, this was the Sixties — too late for hobos, but too early for Latin American day laborers

Mrs. Shulman would have said, “We don’t need you’se guys to tell us how to organize ourselves.”

Then she would have returned to playing the plum role of “Lady with Poodle” in the Rochester Community Theatre production of “Dead End.”

That certainly would have been the opinion of Antonio who owned the one-man barbershop at the corner and Otto who had half the market for the candy trade for Carthage School #8. “Are you telling me how to run my business?” each of them would have asked. The Schmidts’ brindled mutt would have made his way off their porch across the street. “Demon,” as he was called, a sneaky cur around adult strangers, especially those in suits, would have walked stiff-legged across the street while Barry made his speech on social justice and equitable distribution of goods, until he was interrupted by the sting of canine fangs in his calf.


Nope.  Nothing inflammatory about that imagery.  Go on, Professor Grabar, you were fantasizing about Barack Obama visiting your old neighborhood…?

Barry would have been sent running, which would be a good thing for him because right about that time Mr. Tischenko would be coming downstairs with the rifle.


This playlet has been brought to you by Red Man Chewing Tobacco.  “Each Bag Packs a Whole Levee Full of Flavor and Dead Civil Rights Workers!”

So the term “activist” was a foreign one for me.

Like the words, “french fry” or “Negro.”

I only started hearing it in graduate school in relation to what we as teachers of freshman composition were expected to do: train our charges for “social activism.”

California State Standard Curriculum: English 101.
Week 1:  Students will read “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” by Flannery O’Connor, and boycott grapes.
Week 2:  Students will read “Hills like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, then break into small groups and get beaten senseless by Alabama State Troopers.

They said that right there at the orientations and in the books. We were to pass on the tradition of the tenured professors who themselves had been “activists” in the day: burning draft cards, carrying placards, trashing deans’ offices, giving inflammatory speeches, and sometimes throwing bombs.

Fine, just so long as I don’t have to read “An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge” again.

They would speak proudly about how they brought about “social justice.” They did this by inspiring many who lived in “ghettoes” to make their own neighborhoods and adjacent neighborhoods look like the wastes of devastation the activists charged they were in their speeches.

Translation:  If black people are allowed to move in next door to Mrs. Tischenko, they won’t cut their grass and the whole neighborhood will turn into Harlem.

It probably sounds better in the original Slovenian.

So inspired, the masses set about to achieving social justice by smashing windows, looting stores, and overturning police cars. Once the buildings went from being plain or rickety to burned down, these communities needed the help of “community organizers,” which apparently is the job of Harvard-trained lawyers.

Despite the professor-induced rioting, your 3-page paper on “The Lottery” is still due first thing Monday.

Ghetto-child Barry Obama, facing the slings and arrows of racism that all who have the color of his skin suffer in America rose from the depths of poverty, neglect, and hunger through his brilliance and sheer determination and got a law degree from Harvard.


See what she did right there?  Made you think she might actually stop being an asshole for one second, then she pulled a 180 and completely confounded your expectations!  That’s the kind of elegant literary device that only Temporary Associate English Professors and passe sketch comedy characters can pull off.

We all know his story: private schools, a nurturing (white) mother and (white) grandparents, solicitous professors.

Hey…the professors don’t get their own parenthetical skin tones?  What gives?

In addition to the official government affirmative action programs and private school minority scholarships, I can tell you from sixteen years in academia that liberal professors and administrators practically genuflect in front of any articulate black male, even today, more than two decades after Obama’s own academic career.

Well, geez, after all the tax money I’ve poured into Obama’s education, that bastard better mow my lawn!

Barry Obama had many such academic mentors and one namely is Bill Ayers, a white guy from a wealthy family who in his leisure time (of which he had much, not having to mow lawns or deliver newspapers) liked to throw bombs in order to bring about “social justice” as a member of the Weather Underground.

Wait…Bill Ayers was Obama’s faculty adviser in school?  (“Now, I’ll be bombing my office on Tuesday, but not Wednesday…”)  I think in the comic book business, they call this “retconning.”

Obama has acted like he has only a passing acquaintance with Ayers, as someone living in the same neighborhood, even claiming in an interview that he thought he was an “English professor.” But it seems that Obama may be hiding a lot of connections, like how Ayers and similar like-minded revolutionists of the 1960s, helped get Barry Obama a job as a “community organizer.”

Ahhhh…it’s all connected!  I can just imagine his initial briefing from Bill Ayers at the Weather Underground’s underground lair:

“Barry, your mission is to organize self-reliant barbers, candy store owners, and secretaries at Kodak so they’ll become fatally dependent upon the Federal teat.  As an articulate black man, you’re certain to be embraced by Rochester’s plentiful supply of rifle-toting Leo Gorcey imitators.”

Steve Diamond, law professor at Santa Clara University , offers a fascinating account of Obama’s connections that the New York Times has not seen fit to print and that National Public Radio has not deemed worthy of one of their “in-depth” stories.

They also seem disinterested in my expose showing how the Queen of England and the Illuminati are selling opium to the lizard people who run the Trilateral Commission.

The professor also offers along the way little lessons about the various schools of communism and which type Obama allies favor.

We favor Trotskyism because that’s totally the party school.

It’s a rare treat these days to get a professor writing prose that is enjoyable and educative.

Well, it’s rare at Townhall…

It used to be that way back in the 1950s before the radical theorists took over the academy.

And the Beatniks with that constant bongo music!  It’s driving me mad!

It should be quite convincing of what you already suspected about Obama, which as one of my neighbors from Beach Street might have put it, “You don’t need a weatherman to tell you which way the wind blows over the smell of a rat.”

Actually, even in the original Slovenian that one doesn’t make much sense.

16 Responses to “Senator, Don’t Let The Sun Set On You In Grabarville”

I can tell you from sixteen years in academia that liberal professors and administrators practically genuflect in front of any articulate black male

One suspects that inarticulate female Slovenians have not received their fair share of genuflection.

OK, Grabar has finally cracked.

I had always wondered what the job description for “activist” was. How do you apply? Where do you apply? … You could ask your cousin to put in a good word for you with the supervisor at Kodak or General Motors, but whom would you ask to become an “activist” or “community organizer”?

And what’s the deal with airline food?

I don’t remember Ms. Grabar, but apparently she’s the racist version of Andy Rooney.

It’s a rare treat these days to get a professor writing prose that is enjoyable and educative.

It’s also lacking in educatitudity and educatologouness, as well as being severely deficient in enjoyalitude.

Why are wingnuts so hellbent on portraying Barack Obama as some kind of dangerous ’60′s radical, when he’s only 46 FUCKING YEARS OLD?!
Are they hoping their readers just can’t do the math, or are they locked in some alternate universe where it’s still 1972?
Sweet Lordy-Gordy, this Grabar clown is a racist jackass.

And Grabar’s frequent reference to her Slovenian ethnicity conclusively proves that she is actually a damned Commie! The whole piece is a subtly coded reference to her days as a political commissar for Stalin. Her fond memory of someone called Tischenko (another well-known commie) is a dead give-away.

She’s showing some pretty blatant ignorance of the history of the city she’s writing so much about. Rochester and the surrounding area was the heart of the 19th century suffragette movement. Susan B. Anthony lived in Rochester – her home there was declared a national historic monument in 1965 – and Elizabeth Cady Stanton lived 50 miles away in Seneca Falls (where the National Women’s Hall of Fame is now).

“Activism” isn’t foreign to Rochester – American feminist activism as we know it was practically invented there.


There’s a racist version of Andy Rooney? Wait. . . I thought. . . never mind.

Bill S: See I’m 45 and I became a dangerous 60s radical the minute I finished “A People’s History of the United States.” And there was that time I interviewed Bernardine Dohrn in 1999 and I thought she was still hot. It’s some kind of osmosis by education. Which is why the right generally approves the history texts taught in our schools. So sneak a copy or two of Zinn into your school library whenever you get the chance.

I actually had to go to that putrid site and read it for myself; I couldn’t believe anyone could write something so offensive and idiotic. But, the comments were even better. Several were talking about how the communist takeover plans they learned of in the 50s are coming to fruition with Obama’s candidacy, only to be corrected by others who point out he is actually working on behalf of the worldwide Muslim conspiracy. As Mr. Mencken said, no one ever went broke underestimating the American public.

Jesus, what an asshole. I know, but it bears repeating.

Good heavens, Ms Grabar, where does one go to get a job cleaning toilets? If someone had come to my neighborhood saying they were a toilet cleaner, would it have been fair of us to laugh at them because we cleaned our own toilets? Oh, wait, you mean that’s not the actual job title, and the toilets themselves don’t employ you?

She’s shown, as I recall, some familiarity with a dictionary in the past, you’d think she could look some of this shit up.

I wonder if she freaks out at people who don’t introduce themselves by their official job title, company name and address included. I mean, really, what’s a “web designer”? Who employs these people? The web? Does the web need designing, didn’t Al Gore already invent it?

Ms Grabar, you yourself are an “activist”, and a paid one at that. (You are also an agitator and an asshole, but that’s beside the point and not necessarily a bad thing anyway, unless you happen to be doing it, uh, the way you’re doing it.) You are employed to try to change peoples’ minds about things, to get them involved in remaking the world the way you feel it ought to be. What part of that is not activism? The fact that you wouldn’t describe yourself as an activist in the opening sentence of every column just means that you don’t totally suck at the job, and I see no reason to assume Obama would have introduced himself that way either. More likely he would have done what you do, started talking to people about problems and solutions, though one hopes he was better at it. Certainly he currently is better at it. Because in a real sense, a politician is an activist as well. So the whole activism thing becomes relevant, at least more so than any experience he has cleaning toilets though I’ll bet he has some of that too.

And while I’m a firm supporter of the notion that everybody who wants to set public policy should have held at some point a degrading, minimum wage, no benefits, backbreaking and exhausting job like toilet cleaning, I will concede that it is not, except in a very abstract way, especially relevant in terms of work experience to the voters who are selecting a policy maker.

And, Bill, yes, the object is to turn Obama into one of those Sixties DFHs who demanded Negro children be allowed onto your kids’ bus, who burned flags and draft cards, and who got naked and fucked at Woodstock. No, they can’t do the math, and wouldn’t care if they could. Same for their readers.

Wonderfully, said, D. Sidhe. I especially like your paragraph pointing out that she’s an activist, too. It goes well with the paragraph in my head about how Barack Obama may have benefited from “official government affirmative action programs and private school minority scholarships,” but she benefited from unacknowledged hidden privileges of all kinds (first and foremost, being white) that left her free to sneer at whatever Obama’s achieved for himself and what he tried to achieve in his work as a community activist. “Whatever THAT is, haw-haw-haw.”

I’m not a huge fan of Obama’s, but it makes me sick to see the machine heave into action. I just was visiting my parents over the weekend, and my conservative father, who voted for Obama in the primary (I think because my father HATES HILLARY AND THE CLINTONS AND ALL THEIR LYING EVIL MURDERING CHEATING WAYS) is, now that it’s down to A Democrat and A Republican, fully on board with the idea that everything Obama does is wrong and bad for America. Everything is a disparaging rant in the spirit of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

Great piece… but, what’s with all her “Barry” nonsense? I suppose it’s better than having her call him Osama…

Being from Texas, it’s interesting to see such redneck-ness being spouted in other parts of the country, especially Up North Yonder. I just heard a story over the weekend of a friend of mine who encountered McCain supporters who said they didn’t like Obama because he’s “too smooth.” That’s right: “too smooth” Can’t have none of that! Anyway, it’s also fascinating to me to see these illiterate yahoos whose scorn for facility with the English language (i.e., “smoothness”) engage in such creative verbal acrobatics in order to avoid calling Barack Obama an uppity negro.

I don’t know anyone in her Beach Street neighborhood nor do I know a weatherman. Can anyone tell me which way the wind blows over the smell of that rat?

Actually, that’s not dead rat you smell; it’s Grabar’s word processor.

Whatever she’s on would take your mind off your back pain.

Or would just take your mind.

Great article! fmskdjfsd

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