The main point is this:
For the past 125 years the Ukrainian community of Boston has been plagued with bad leadership and one crisis after another and has continually lost or alienated people of talent and ability. As a result, although there are more than 75,000 people of Ukrainian ancestry in the Boston area, fewer than 1,000 belong to any of the local Ukrainian organizations, including the churches, and most refuse to have anything to do events sponsored by them.
With the advent of the post-Orange Revolution government in Ukraine and its desire to be open to the west, it is more imperative than ever that Ukrainian-Americans and their communities act as interpreters, lobbyists, and bridge-builders.
Unfortunately, events like the Yuschenko visit to Boston show that community leaders still aren't mature and that they still don't understand the task at hand. They continueto conduct business in the same old ways that clearly didn't work in the past. As long as selepky are in charge, Ukrainian-Americans will continue to wonder why the have no voice…why no one pays attention to them.
Yushchenko's staff and the Ukrainian Embassy folks do get their share of criticism, too. Among other things, some of them communicated in Russian:
- The members of the Ukrainian presidential staff and security team who exclusively spoke Russian amongst themselves and used it in all of their radio transmissions. One perplexed Kennedy staffer was heard to ask, "Why are they still speaking Russian after the Orange Revolution and after all that Putin and Kuchma tried to do to them?" [...]
That's funny - a little bit like being surprised that the Iraqis continue to speak Arabic after all that Saddam Hussein did to them...