To the Polish Day Parade Committee
Dear Judge Chmura,
First, I want to thank you and those who assist you in presenting the Polish Day Parade each year for providing a real service to our Polish American community. I also need to bring to your attention the major disappointment that I, as Editor in Chief of The Polish Weekly/Tygodnik Polski, along with my staff and readers, experienced at this year’s Polish Day Parade.
Our participation was not shown by Rafal Nowakowski’s online broadcast of the parade on www.telewizjadetroit.com. In fact it appears that there was a deliberate effort to exclude any hint of our participation. This incident is not unusual. It is simply another example of a persistent, typically immature behavior pattern that TVD has demonstrated at other Polonian events. Also, other members of the Polish media have falsely reported that the Polish Weekly did not support or participate in this year’s Polish Day Parade.
Tygodnik Polski should be fully recognized by the parade in its special tribute to all media this year. At the Labor Day event we were there as a participant along with other members of the Polonian media to honor Mr. Stanley Krajewski, who himself had a major part in the history of the Polish Weekly. I am not sure whose decision it was to exclude from post parade publicity the newspaper that has served the Polish American community for such a long time (a tradition since 1904). I would like to find the true answer to this very important question: Was the parade’s committee involved in suppressing my paper’s place in Nowakowski’s report, in an event that should bring all of Polonia together?
TV Detroit ordinarily will show whatever it prefers, even if it is to the disadvantage of Polonia. However, there have to be times at which petty, boorish or ill-intentioned behavior is set aside for the good of the community. Since they do not seem to be capable of understanding such professional courtesy and common standards of etiquette, perhaps they should not be given any particular consideration as organizers and/or reporters of such important events in the future. Taking part in such events should be based on an expectation of courtesy and professionalism.
The Polish Parade should give the opportunity to everybody who wants to participate in it and show its relationship with Polish-American culture. It should be showcasing Polonia’s greatness, as represented by the long history of our newspaper’s existence in the Detroit area, and just because of that aspect I think the Polish Weekly had the right to be recognized by Mr. Nowakowski. Knowing his attitude and prejudice, I do not expect him to provide the kind of showcase the Polish weekly really deserves, but it is wrong for him to present the parade as if we were never there. His actions are directed specifically against my business, against my staff of volunteers, and against my readers. But in the end it is against our Polonia’s image in America, and against the most important purpose of having the parade, which is Polonia’s unity.
I am appalled by Mr. Nowakowski’s action. I am asking the Parade’s Committee to correct his presentation on www.telewizjadetroit.com for several reasons: 1) so my readers will stop calling me with their comments of disbelief that their newspaper they have been reading for decades is not important to the Parade, 2) all the volunteers who work hard to make our every issue interesting to the readers will feel recognized, and 3) our sponsors will continue to support us and the parade.
For all these reasons Tygodnik Polski deserves an immediate apology from Mr. Nowakowski and a corrective response from him and the Committee. I hope you agree.
Alicja Karlic, Ph.D.