Just Do It!

“Because I can.”

Many of us in the Rebel community have been saying these words for years: Because I can. It’s in reference to the Stars and Bars. We like it for many reasons but one of them is because it totally angers moral busy-bodies and Social Justice Warriors.

And now, guess what? Y’all in the North can join us as well. You’ve got your own symbol of cussedness that rankles the cry-bullies. Only you didn’t know it. I’ll give you a hint: it’s called Old Glory. You know, the American flag.

I’ll cut right to the chase: apologies accepted. You’re forgiven. Come on in, the water’s fine!

It should be coming into focus now. When right-wingers and those dedicated to Southern heritage were caterwauling about the removal of Confederate symbols, we weren’t doing this simply because we thought the wrong man surrendered at Appomattox.

We did it because we knew that it never was about the Stars and Bars or statues of Nathan Bedford Forest or Robert E Lee. We did it because like most red-blooded Americans (of the cis/heteronormative/whatever) variety, we can smell an unpatriotic soy-boy at fifty paces. And that these people really don’t like the land of their birth.

And now, thanks to this jackass
the chickens are coming home to roost.

Yes, you heard that right. Let me go further: he’s a lying sumbitch. Two years ago when he went all sanctimonious on us, he said it was about policemen being trigger-happy with young African-American men. He was lying then –it was always about the American flag.

And now we know. He told Nike that their “Betsy Ross Flag” tennis shoes offended him because reasons. Oh yeah, I forgot: the Betsy Ross flag represented a nascent nation made up of several states that practiced slavery. Seriously?

Well you know what? The 48-star flag presided over a nation that practiced Jim Crow laws and refused to pass anti-lynching legislation. And the 50-star flag flew proudly over a nation that had to wait another 6 years to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1965. There is no pleasing self-righteous people like Colin Kaepernick at all.

These people are primed to be “triggered” 24/7 over something or other. Period. And given the fact that he’s made a lucrative living off of hating America –well, why should he stop now?

I’ll tell you what: why don’t we just scrap Old Glory and unfurl the Hammer-and-Sickle of the Soviet Union? Or the black flag of the Caliphate? I imagine something like that would be more to his liking. Here’s an even better idea: why doesn’t he go live in some country more to his liking? You know, get a map and pick out a country that never practiced slavery? Or fought a bloody civil war to end it?

Oh yeah, outside of America, that country doesn’t exist.

I realize that he’s laughing all the way to the bank. I mean, it’s not like he’s actually working for a living; after all, he wasn’t that great a quarterback. And thanks to corporate cowards like Nike, he’s clearly rolling in the dough. I get it: the joke’s on us.

But for how long? Don’t the cultural Marxists understand that a once-proud people will eventually rise up and say “Enough!” After all, we did in 1776. It could happen again.

In the meantime, I hope everybody has a happy 4th of July! For all its faults this country is still the greatest in the world. Ignore fools like Kaepernick. Grill some hot-dogs and burgers tonight, watch the parade on TV, and shoot off some fireworks. (And know that when you do these things it heaps coals upon the heads of your average commie-symp barista at your local Starbucks.)

Just do it!


Regarding the flag, I believe the late Red Skelton said it best:



  1. Solitary Priest says

    Wasn’t Kaeperinck adopted by a White family? He didn’t grow up in the hood. Plus, he’s living the American dream. I say, screw him and screw Nike, if they’re stupid enough to go along with him.
         I had an ancestor whose property was looted by lying thieving Yankees when Sherman marched through Georgia. I’m tired of being called a Hitler retred because I don’t subscribe to the current politically correct BS. I don’t condone any of the horrific actions committed against African Americans. I’m not a Holocaust denier. I’m anti Soros, but that has nothing to do with his ancestry. How can one call him Jewish, when he doesn’t admit that God exists? We are living in crazy times. Happy 4th!

    • George Michalopulos says

      We are living in crazy times indeed, Fr!  

    • He grew up in Turlock, CA at a time when you couldn’t find a person of color living in town. Growing up very privileged, he didn’t feel oppressed back then, only when his HS football team lost. My nephew played football for the rival team and the players all would laugh at poor Colin. He would cry when his team, Pittman lost. It became the joke of our town when he played for SF. 

      Also, it’s interesting George if you look at Turlock in the political realm. Big money from big corporations in a small area with many constituents from Turlock.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Not surprised at all.

      • Steven J. M. says

        “Growing up very privileged, he didn’t feel oppressed back then”
        This has a part to play in things and is connected to the idea that bad times make good men, good men make good times, good times make bad men. That can be true. In terms of what’s currently happening in the Left v Right divide, you could say, at least in a loose sense, that the good times have made the Left numb and ungrateful, whereas the opposite is true for the Right.  
        The principles of conservatism/restoration v ‘progress’ or make America great again v ANTIFA being made up mostly by privileged white boys is a testimony to that. 

  2. George Michalopulos says
  3. George Michalopulos says

    OK, I’m on a roll this morning.  The thirteen best quotes from the Founding Fathers.  (I’m especially fond of numbers 8 and 12.)


  4. Michael Bauman says

    I like number 13.  

  5. Deep Steak says

    black man makes confederate fetishist mad on the 4th of july what a beautiful firework to start the day

    • George Michalopulos says

      There you go:  immediately to race.  Overlooking the fact that one multi-millionaire crybaby who was at best a B- quarterback has veto power over an entire corporation and the symbols of a nation.

      Doesn’t that upset you?  How would it look if [insert generic Southern athlete here] told Wal-Mart that they couldn’t take their Confederate memorabilia off their shelves?  

      • Deep Steak says

        what i would like would be for some southern athletes to finance statues of slaves in chains surrounding every confederate monument to put things in proper perspective

        • George Michalopulos says

          OK, let’s go down this route.

          Let’s erect statues of enslaved Africans. And then on the pedestals of said statues, let’s talk about who captured them in their villages, who sold them to slavers, who force-marched them to the West Coast of Africa, who put them on the ships, who unloaded them onto the auction houses on islands like Barbados and Jamaica (Kamala, are you starting to sweat?), and who then bought them (hint: a lot of them had Hispanic names). Let’s talk about the ethnicities of the ships’ captains and officers and crews that transported them to said auction houses.

          Then we could erect other statues of slaves with their irons stricken from them and talk about the political party which emancipated them and which built colleges for them (hint: it wasn’t the Democrats).

          Yeah, I’m all for that. I’m not sure you however will be pleased with the outcome of this “conversation”.

          And then when Mr Kaepernick is educated about this entire sordid legacy, he can take his multi-millions and repair to another country more to his liking.

          • Ronnie Gatimas says

            Indeed, it was the Ashanti (today’s Nigerian Muslims) who sold their POWs as slaves. Slave trade was begun by Sudanese muslims. Ask the Nigerian Christians flooding our seminaries. Some suggest American Negro Spirituality came from slaves who were already Christia in Africa

          • Deep Steak says

            blah blah gm had no choice but to use slaves they were right there for the buying all these other people were involved how could i not 
            the complexities of history does not change your romanticized love of slave culture and economy
            you just sound like eve in the garden
            you ragging on kaepernicks skill highlights a simple reality and since i know you think you are not a snowflake i will give it to you honestly
            at any given time there are fewer top tier nfl quarterbacks then there are nfl teams and when he was playing kaepernick was in that top tier, so basically top 20 out of a nation of 330 million people or so
            meanwhile there are at least 156,250 people in america doing your job that are better at it that you but go ahead and claim elite athletes are not all that
            it definitely is the american way
            the republican party of today is not the republican party of the mid 19th century
            for someone who wants to use history to excuse behavior you sure do ignore inconvenient parts of it

            • George Michalopulos says

              I have never “romanticized slave culture”. Have you taken leave of your senses.

              I just want you and other “progressives” to be consistent: if you’re going to castigate a country for its past sins and celebrate those who do, then you’re going to be pissing in the wind.

              Here’s thought experiment: David Garrow recently released the FBI tapes on Martin Luther King, Jr. He was an adulterer, an orgiast and a rapist. He beat his mistress in the motel the night before he died. You want to take down his statue on the Mall or rename every highway and byway in America that has his name on it?

              Go right ahead.

              P.S. And yes, I do believe that MLK was a great man. OK, now I’ll stand back and watch your head explode.

  6. M. Stankovich says

    Form my childhood, I was led to believe that this holiday was a time for Americans to set aside their differences, and to celebrate – with gratitude – the riches of liberty united. Apparently, you figured it was a better idea to turn this into a “same old, same old” opportunity to sow animus and divisiveness.
    My father’s “American Dream” began with first seeing African-American US soldiers breaking through the gates of Dachau, “liberating” him, the other Serbian Army officers with him, and Bishop Nikolai (Velomirovich), later to be glorified as St. Nikolai of Ziča. Apart from his sons, he said this was the most spectacular and monumental day of his life. They were transported by the US military to Italy, and then to the US. My mother said he was never prouder than when he bought a flag pole, which he cemented into place in the front yard, and the raised the American flag. He was satisfied that America was the greatest nation ever!
    I’m thinking you could have posted this negative stuff tomorrow, and not disrespected the day.

    • Michael S., thanks for sharing this moving story. Since your grandfather was at Dachau with Bishop Nikolai (Velomirovich), did he tell any stories about that experience? Did he know the future Saint? Thanks again.

      • Solitary Priest says

         I hates the Yankee Nation and everything they do. I hates the Declaration of Independence, too. I hates the glorious union, tis dripping in our blood. But lying thieving Yankees, I hates them worse and worse .

        • George Michalopulos says

          And now, we have an entire political party that hates this nation as well!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Your father’s story is very moving.  He sounds like a true patriot.

    • Whenever I think of this country in which we are blessed to live – with all its faults and all its detractors from all sides who seek to destroy what is good in order (supposedly) to remedy whatever faults she has, I cannot help but recall this speech of Hub in the film Second Hand Lions.   The speech doesn’t speak to patriotism as such, but with the kind of things, as he says, “that are worth believing in.”
      From a purely ‘rational’ point of view, this speech would seem to be nonsensical.  Yet paradoxically it affirms goodness, beauty, and love as the only way forward in stark contrast to the murmuring, complaining, and ingratitude that comes of focusing on every wrong (real or imagined) and seeking to right it.
      Call me a fool if you will; but in terms of a happy life filled with gratitude and love, I’ll take Mr. Stankovich’s satisfaction “that America was the greatest nation ever!”  over a hellish life corrupted by bitterness over injustices, however real they may be.

  7. Gail Sheppard says

    George, at the risk of making M. Stankovich mad (I’m not allowed to “scour” his comments or respond) I’m going to piggyback on something he said. . .   

    Image result for mom she keeps looking at me

    There is nothing negative that comes from people showing their true colors and today we know their true colors are not red, white and blue.     

  8. Monk James Silver says

    It is a serious miscalculation to equate ‘southern’ feelings for the ‘Stars and Bars’ with the entire indivisible nation’s respect for he American flag. These two symbols represent very different things, and the originally stated intention of the United States to remain united is a much higher aspiration than the desire of some states to sunder that unity for reasons which history has proved ignoble.

    The rest of this essay pretty rings pretty much true, and is a sad commentary on some of the false values which our contemporary culture exalts over decency and common sense.

  9. George Michalopulos says
  10. Rena Seripas says

    The southern flag is really the Scottish flag with the Cross of St Andrew

    • John Sakelaris says

      And now a very similar flag is being used by ethnic Russians in the Donbass.

  11. The problem with the world that we live in is that we let too many distractions get in the way of what’s good in life. Why are we letting some guy who is as bad at football as he is unpatriotic get us all worked up? As much as I love professional sports, I’ve never once needed a professional athlete! I’m more concerned about what God thinks about us as a nation!!!

    • Estonian Slovak says

      Because the guy is representing himself as an oppressed minority. He is an insult to Martin Luther King and others who really did suffer racism.
            I would bet you dollars to doughnuts that none of the black soldiers who helped liberate Michael Stankovich’s father ever had it as good as that spoiled brat. They fought for an American society which treated them as second class.

  12. The objection was due to far right groups explicitly adopting the “Betsy Ross” flag alongside the Confederate battle flag as markers of their racist movements.  I don’t think America’s first flag should be ceded to and tainted by these extremists so easily, but the protest isn’t simply because it was a flag flown by slaveowners.

    • Colinas views on the flag were also privately expressed to Nike in his capacity as a Nike brand ambassador.  That is, he was advising on issues of brand the company and the public at large might not be aware of, e.g., a traditionally patriotic symbol being coopted by bigots using it as a symbol of intimidation targeting his community.
      I don’t expect this to make sense to those who still see his kneeling as hatred of America rather than as an appeal to America to remember its better self.  Kneeling is a symbol of veneration, prayer, submission, and beseeching – even when done to make a point, to respectfully protest, and to call a nation to repentance (even for sins too often unknown).  That should be something Orthodox understand, but alas.

      • George Michalopulos says

        In reality however, this entire kerfuffle was carefully orchestrated behind the scenes to augment Nike’s short-term stock position. In other words, it was not based on principle at all but a purely cynical ploy. Kaepernick was not an idealistic dupe but a willing stooge.

        In other words, this whole imbroglio is even more wretched than simple anti-American hatred on Kaepernick’s part.

        • M. Stankovich says

          A “willing stooge” who promised and fulfilled the promise of donating $1,000,000 of his own money to causes that aided the provision of education and positive after school activities for inner-city children, and furthered justice projects for minorities. While you may object to his position & tactics, you most certainly cannot say he lacked principle.
          How is it possible for you to support scum like Alex Chance, whose “fortune” was gained at the expense of the grieving parents of murdered 5-year olds – in effect making their lives an endless persecution – and is now in court being sued by them. His “defense” is claiming he is an “entertainer,” not a news reporter, and the “intensity” of the situation unwittingly resulted in “delusion” about the Sandy Hook “event.” Likewise, his attorneys are scrambling to appeal a court decision allowing the suing families to review his financial records. Do you imagine his attempt to hide his earnings is a matter of “principle,” or his terror what the records will tell?
          This is about as disingenuous a “musing” as I’ve ever read on this site. Are you sure the difference between your apparent rage at Kaepernick, and your rage at Facebook for “censoring” Chance’s admitted “delusion” has nothing to do with race? Crystal, I’m sure…

          • George Michalopulos says

            First of all, who is “Alex Chance”?

            Second of all, I’m glad that Kaepernick has “donated” money to various charities. Good on him. But can you not see how all his philanthropy is wiped out by his virulent anti-American patriotism? What good is he doing by indoctrinating young black boys in the belief that the odds are stacked against them? That America –a country which by the way elected a manifestly unqualified African-American as president not once, but twice–is a “racist land”?

            Nor should we forget that this mediocre athlete is a multi-millionaire. It would be impossible for him to replicate his schtick in any other land, especially in Africa. There are thousands of black and white Americans living under bridges right now. And I daresay that they have a more profound love for this country than this ingrate.

            Young black kids need to be taught that America is like all countries –imperfect. But that unlike other countries, it has tried mightily to ameliorate its past sins. I’m sorry, but I can’t let this go: the War between the States was supposedly fought over the issue of slavery. If they can’t get this truth and all the other trillions of dollars that have been spent on Great Society programs drilled into their heads, then they will never amount to anything. The great black intellectuals of the past –G W Carver, Booker T Washington, Frederick Douglass–firmly believed that black people should be grateful for their emancipation and “rise up where they stood”. (The Republican Party erected dozens of black colleges and universities for the education of a black professional and intellectual class.)

            Kaepernick continues to place an eternal obstacle in the paths of these young boys and girls, thereby propagating the endless cycle of crime and poverty. He is reinforcing in their minds that they have absolutely no hope when he pulls these stunts. I’m sorry, but this is nothing short of evil.

            I don’t mean to be vociferous to you with these words. For that, I ask your forgiveness. I’m merely venting to any and all, howling at the moon if you will. It’s just I’m sick and tired of being accused of me cashing in my White Privilege card just because I’m white and I love this country. And that just because you’re black, you can’t make it. Anybody who propounds these views is worthy of condemnation.

            • Ronda Wintheiser says

              BRAVO, George. 

            • M. Stankovich says

              Pardon me, I meant “Alex Jones.”
              It seems to me you are raging over another “judas goat” in that this is a man who is 1) Black, but adopted by White parents (the implication being he was not exposed to “slings & arrows of outrageous fortune” as are so many Black youth); 2) he lived and was raised in the White suburbs, and graduated from a predominately White high school (the implication being he was not subjected to the poor education and the social development “deficits” (thug life) traditionally attributed to the ghet-TO); you claim he is a “mediocre” athlete (the implication being he has been unjustly receiving the rewards of a “real” (white?) NFL quarterback); and you suggest that the motivation for his boycotts were unjustified, unwarranted, and self-serving. Importantly, the entire profile is robed in the false veil of the “white privilege.” This, as they say, is quite a mouthful. 
              I am fascinated by the complaints of a false benefit from “white privilege” – as you have said a number of times, “When can I start claiming the benefits of my “white privilege?” There was a conference in the past week that included the justice dept., TSA, representatives of the major creators of face-recognition software and hardware, representatives of the major retailers for face-recognition (including Amazon), and representatives of major testers of face-recognition software and hardware (including a number of major world cities, like London, and Google). What happened at this conference was completely unexpected: two major manufacturers were suspending sales because they questioned the accuracy and reliability of their own product; Google and Yahoo called for a boycott of face-recognition software, based on their own testing and research; and there was a major call for Amazon to discontinue sales of these products to the general public (Amazon has made no decision). I believe you know already where I’m headed: one of the reasons this occurred was the fact that the state-of-the-art face-recognition software & hardware has a marked inability to identify Black individuals with accuracy and certainty, which in turn, had resulted in “far too many” detainments and subsequent false arrests based on a reliance on the “reliability” of the software. White privilege?
              It seems to me you need to ask yourself, how many times was I not pulled over by the police, even when I deserved it? But more importantly, not stopped and questioned indiscriminately, relative to your location (i.e. you didn’t look like you belonged in a particular neighborhood; you didn’t look like you could afford such a car; you didn’t look like a doctor). In fact, how many times did someone not call the police because you looked suspicious; not think something “odd,” or illegal, or even dangerous about your behaviour and call the police; or not enter a store (perhaps your store) and be “watched” because you looked like someone who might “steal?” White privilege. Do you honestly believe you are not afford any special privileges because you are a member of the majority? I say you can’t see them or “experience” them because they are everyday givens, simply life for white people.
              You claim Colin Kaepernick was “exempt” from the typical experiences of minorities in America. Do you honestly imagine that people who would typically feel afraid and are intimidated by minorities stop and think, “I wonder if he grew up with white parents in a white suburb (the implication being he was “safer” and had better manners)?” Of course not. He is black man, and that’s all they see.
              I personally am offended over your need to demean him further by calling him “this mediocre athlete.” You are aware that there are 255 NCAA Division I football programs (and nearly 500 other-Division colleges and universities that provide football programs). Theoretically, there are 255+ athletes competing for 32 positions, positions which are, in most cases, held by already seasoned quarterbacks. Exactly how exceptional would one have to be in order to secure such a position, and then hold the starting position for five seasons, including an NFC Championship win and a Super Bowl appearance? Phenomenally so. And your complaint that he is a “multi-millionaire” is completely prejudicial. Following his Super Bowl appearance in 2014, he signed a 7-yr. $126m contract with San Francisco, but as the result of a season-ending injury and reduced playing time, he earned approximately 30% of that contract by the time he left SF as a free agent in 2017. For heaven’s sake, why aren’t you bitching about the fact that, for example, the Chicago Bears paid Mike Glennon $18.5 million for exactly four starts in 2017, after hiring him away from Tampa Bay, where as a backup, he threw eleven completed passes in two years!  
              Finally, Mr. M., I contest your complaint that his extraordinary charity commitment is “negated” by his “indoctrinating young black boys in the belief that the odds are stacked against them.” Madonna Mia! As I recall his exact words to reporters as to why he was sitting (and later, kneeling) during the National Anthem they were, “There are black bodies lying in the streets, while the people who did it are on administrative leave.” The odds are stacked against them! The only explanation I can even wildly imagine for your statement, “America is like all countries –imperfect. But that unlike other countries, it has tried mightily to ameliorate its past sins,” is that you were hallucinating when you wrote this. Seriously, you are living a semi-charmed kind of life.
              I will close with a quick story: I had a patient who recently was stopped and frisked by the police. When he said it, I thought he was kidding, but he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “I’m absolutely serious.” This man was one of our parolees who had reached the point in our program where he could secure a job, work during the day, and return to the rehab at the end of the day. He was working for a commercial landscaper (and a friend of our program who hires parolees), which is dirty, backbreaking work. He got off the bus near us and decided to attend a meeting of Narcotics Anonymous before returning. He said he walked out of the church where the meeting was held, maybe had gone 3-blocks, when the cops lit him up from behind, “Why are you in this neighborhood?” They had him against their car, going through his pockets, blah, blah, blah. He told them up front that he was on parole and in rehab, and answered every question posed without argument and as simply as possible (exactly as I had taught them!), and they finally cut him loose. By now he was furious; he said, “They treated me like…” and I finished the sentence, “A convicted felon who has done prison time and are on parole.” All he could do was laugh. In front of the gathered crew, I told them, “Gentlemen, this is my hero for today! He could have acted the fool, and he could be calling us from the lock-up. But instead, he acted like a responsible adult, and he made adult choices. He made all of us proud today.” And later, I went to the kitchen and asked the director to give me one of those big-ass cupcakes he buys at Costco, and I rewarded him. Mr. M., there is another, cold, hard world that exists for some in this country. The sum of “white privilege” is in the fact that you don’t think about it, and you don’t see it. But for some, the consequence of it’s absence is a customary way of marginalized life.

              • YAY!! 

              • Michael Bauman says

                I have a dear friend who is Afro-American, a dentist and drives a Mercedes. He has been stopped here in Wichita for the crime of driving while black in a Mercedes. Not ancient history either. I have known a number of Afro-Americans over the years and they all, regardless of socio-economic status, tell similar stories.

                The other thing they have in common is anger. I understand that anger. it is not easy to make adult, responsible choices when there is always a subliminal anger.

                The other side of the coin are the police officers. They live in an environment of constant danger. What does that cost them of their humanity? They have to make frequent decisions as to where the line of act, react or do nothing. It is all too easy to generalize inappropriately on both sides.

                I remember reading a new article several years ago about of group of black activists, highly critical of police use of force and guns. This group was invited by the police department to go through use of force training which included an obstacle course where they had to choose to shoot or not. Even without having the burden that their choices were actually life and death, the group did not fare well. They came out of that experience realizing that their criticism while possible valid in some circumstances needed to be tempered.

                I think Kapernick chose the wrong venue and the wrong protest target and is wildly misinformed. The really low hanging fruit for NFL players are the NFL owners.

              • Michael Stankovich,

                Maybe mediocre quarterback is a better tag, than athlete. Mediocre  right after NFL defenses caught on to his style of play, and poor checking off of his receivers. His great scramble, and running ability was stopped by a  spy back, that was responsible for preventing him from taking off. So at best a  good back-up quarterback. Trouble is, no owner wants a mediocre first string, or even a good second string quarterback that is  controversial to the fan base, and disruptive to  team unity. If owners, and their scouts really thought Colin was the X factor to win games, he would have a job. Winning and making money is the bottom line in the NFL.

                Personally I have been a 49er fan for decades, and in my opinion Kaepernick tainted the team by using the team, an organization he does not own, as a platform to promote his beliefs. As a employee, not an owner, that was not the right thing, especially if you do not want blowback from those who employ him, or fans.

                If I may ask Michael, in a related subject, do you believe in giving African Americans reparations due to slavery and/or removing statues,historic flags and works of art depicting our founding fathers who happen to be slave owners?

                Yesterday I heard that a 80 year old mural of George Washington will be removed from Washington High School in San Francisco, because reasons.

                Best regards,
                Dino Tsortanidis

            • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

              George, when I lived in Namibia and South Africa in 1986-1987 (about 5 months), I had some enlightening experiences. I was there while Nelson Mandela was still in prison on Robbin Island, and arrived in Windhoek, Namibia the day before sanctions were imposed on South Africa, or I would have had a lot more trouble getting there. In addition, my visa came through on the day the plane left Minneapolis, so quite a bit of God’s doing was going on there.
              Along with being part of YWAM, I was part of a reconciliation movement founded by Hannes Siebert (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannes_Siebert). He sent me to five cities in South Africa, where I met with several well-known religious leaders, bringing Hannes’ message of reconciliation. There was a lot of division in South Africa at the time, most notably between Afrikaaner (Dutch Reformed descent) whites and English-descent Anglican whites; and of course, there was constant, soul-eating apartheid wherein whites separated themselves from all blacks, regardless of their tribal background (mainly Sotho, Xhosa, and Zulu); from those who had come from India, and the “colored” (an interesting, awesome, intelligent, multi-racial people group).
              I stayed with Afrikaaner friends and English friends in their homes. I remember the bright, intelligent eyes of the “garden boy” in Durban, who spoke at least five languages; and how my Afrikaaner friend and her family called him “boy.” I’ll never forget the look on his face when he looked at me. Nor will I forget the young woman who cleaned house for other English friends in Cape Town. Her dish and spoon were kept under the sink on a shelf and she lived in a small shack in the back of the property. They called her “our girl.”
              I also remember the young, white, Anglican friend from Pretoria who said to me, “We are all racists.” It’s true, and I have searched myself many times about this. She knew.
              There’s no difference between South Africa and the United States.
              If my grandfather was owned and beaten by your grandfather, and my Great Aunt Sally was raped and bore a child by your grandfather, and I worked for your grandfather as a public servant in the town where your grandfather owned my grandfather and raped my Great Aunt Sally, I would not want to celebrate his birthday and get the day off, no matter how great your grandfather was.
              Say what you will, it’s where my thinking went.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Beryl, I have a friend who is descended from slaves and their original white master. He honors both while recognizing the soul destroying nature of slavery–for both whites and blacks. Which by the way was part of Martin Luther King’s original message at the beginning of his quest.

                True reconciliation demands that we honor what is honorable, remembering what is good, realizing that all men fall short of the glory of God and all of us are in deep need of repentance.

                The modern activists do none of the above, they just want to destroy and defame. That is where my mind went.

                • Michael Bauman, which modern activists? Thanks, Beryl

                  P.S. Did Martin Luther King say we should “honor” slave owners? If true, would you mind confirming it?
                  Also, are you saying that slavery and racism are equally destructive for both white people and black people?

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Beryl, I do not go around with a card catalog with direct references to everything I have ever read. But, in the late 60’s, about 50 years ago, I read a piece in Ramparts Magazine, I was a subscriber, that discussed the then rather new Rev. Martin Luther King and his mission. A significant part of that story highlighted Dr. King’s belief that the racism he was just beginning to fight against publically was a sin that hurt both blacks and whites equally, but in different ways. The sin needed to be healed for the sake of both blacks and whites.

                    That BTW is also the message of my friend Fr. Moses Berry when he displays and discusses the slavery relics that he has from his family. He puts the heavy iron slave collar that was worn by his great, great grandfather around his own neck and describes what it was like tgo wear that each and every day toiling in the fields. He offers it to others to put around their necks. It is a collar that racism puts on the souls of all of us. Heavy, brutal, chaffing and demeaning. The only response is to cry or to laugh. Fr. Moses does both as have I.

                    Dr. King clearly honored the humanity of those who oppressed his people in the past and his present. At the beginning of his quest at least. He recognized the burden slavery/racism is for the whites as well as the blacks because it desecrates the humanity of both. It is
                    Christ on the Cross once again.

                    Fr. Moses, as a descendant of Nathan Boone, served on the state commission that oversees the Nathan Boone homestead and state park in southwest Missouri near his home town of Ash Grove. I saw Fr. Moses sitting next to a picture of Nathan Boone one day. Except for the skin color the resemblance was quite striking. Fr. Moses and his whole family before him, choose the path of forgiveness and respect while not short selling the horrible nature of slavery and its after effects. It is the mercy of Christ that allows that. We put ourselves in jeopardy if we forget that mercy that He pours forth on the just and the unjust.

                    Fr. Moses’s life as a Christian began one night as he cowered in great fear in a house in his hometown of Ash Grove, Mo. He and the others in the house had committed crimes. But, outside the house were a bunch of white police who were going to burn the house down with the group of black youths inside to punish them for their crimes without arrest or trial. Those police had a habit of doing that apparently. Fr. Moses prayed to God to get free of that situation unharmed and promised God to serve him always.

                    Fr. Moses knows in his experience and the depth of his soul the depravities of racism, yet he forgives which enables him to speak to the hearts of both black and white of Christ’s mercy. I have been honored to witness him doing both at separate times in my life.

                    God is good! There is no strictly political or ideological remedy for racism. While some attempts can be made to restrain the worst actions of racism unfortunately, the political restraint is no longer enough for many. Many look to government to rectify, heal and restore. That is not the job of government, it is neither able nor competent to do so. Only Christ’s mercy can heal and restore. To be part of the mercy and healing we must turn from our wicked ways and repent and forgive and sin no more. Then God will heal our land. That is the good news is it not! It is the Biblical promise.

                    • Michael B, 
                      Jesus and Saint John the Baptist condemned the oppressors to hell, without honoring them at all.
                      I think your diatribe in another post went beyond what you are saying now. If you stick to the simple statements without the over-the-top statements (read: sarcasm? or did you mean it?), it’s easier to get your point.
                      Though your statements about love are true, I have to wonder whether Martin Luther King actually said, ” a sin that hurt both blacks and whites equally” because clearly, whites are not hurt as much as blacks by racism and slavery. When human beings are subjected to poverty, hardship, hunger, humiliation, and meanness at the hands of those who hate them because they are of a different color, then the devastation is worse for the person who is hungry than the person who is full, don’t you think? If the oppressor’s soul is destroyed by his own meanness, that’s his fault.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Beryl, All modern political activists that get the money and the press of which I am aware.

              • Dino Tsortanidis says

                So after searching yourself many times, as you say, you are telling us you are a racist?
                Come on Beryl, give yourself a break.
                Today I read that Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris’s ancestors were slave owners in Jamaica, according to her father, Donald Harris, a Stanford Professor. In fact, according to Jamaican records, their family owned many slaves, most brought in from Africa, and many also Creole slaves.

                Kamala Harris is half black on her father’s side, for those that do not know.

                Beryl I don’t believe it’s a race thing, it’s more a thing humans do to other humans, if society allows it, or if they believe they  can get away with it.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  She’ll have to pay reparations to herself.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    George, …and since her family owned slaves, she must ever after be prohibited from holding public office. Her opinion, no matter how well thought out and reasoned, has to be ignored and discounted completely, nor can she be received in “civilized” society, go to restaurants or appear in public without fear of being assaulted. Any records in the public archives must be expunged and all criminals she put in jail as a prosecutor must have their convictions over turned and released immediately. Clearly they were victims of her inherited racism.

                    Probably she ought to be forced to wear a big red SO on her clothing and carry a bell periodically ringing it and crying out for all to hear “Unclean, Unclean”!

                    AOC as the new social commissar will decide her fate as her case is presented to the SJW commission on ideological and genetic purity. Is she really “black” at all?

                    She has racism in her blood don’t you know and everybody knows that even one drop of such blood leaves a person tainted for life.

                    Molasses to Rum to Slaves. She is definitely inside the Devil’s Triangle and no exorcism is possible, no mercy may be considered.

                    No one’s purity is sufficient or acceptable and even AOC will be eaten by her version of Uncle Screwtape.

                    Franz Kafka was a prophet.

                    Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Ouch! But unbelievably true. Chronos eats his children. Robespierre beheads Danton, only to lose his own head in due time.

                    • Michael Bauman, who is saying this? 

                • Dino, my friend knew what she was talking about. A person needs to think about it to get it. At least we whites would need to think about it. Think about what a person like Hannes Siebert would say if you asked him what his friend meant. He has devoted his life to reconciliation. 

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Beryl, every human being except Jesus Christ can be a racist in such a horrible environment as Apartheid South Africa. Racism is not really about race per se, it is about “the other” and fear of “the other”. As Apartheid and Jim Crow laws show, quite an elaborate structure can be set up to assure that “the other” will not infect the core group being protected. The caste system in India is another example. The social hierarchies such as the Boston Brahmin and the 100 of NY society back in the day act in a similar manner. Even the “No Irish Need Apply” which excluded white folks. The historical examples are legion.

                    But saying “we are all racist” is just as dangerous a generalization as the exclusionary systems themselves. While perhaps true in general, it does nothing to address the sin of classifying, it is just further participation in the same sin. It gives rise to racist groups such as The Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter and the Aryan Brotherhood, etc.

                    The fact is that we human beings prefer homogenous society. We are made to seek for and live in community. Our estrangement from God creates situations where we seek to exclude others based on a flawed understanding of the parameters of that community. The Greeks and certain Christian Arabs have gone for such false parameters in a big way.

                    It is very tempting to me to look at such people and be offended and angry because they are trying to exclude me from the Church. Ignoring how welcoming the Christian Arabs of Wichita have been (largely) to me. I have to consciously fight the temptation.

                    Given that the founders of my parish were called “West side Indians” (they could only live on the west side of town, the former red light district) and spat on in the streets of Wichita when they first arrived and the black folks were the only ones lower on the social spectrum it is not surprising that racism against blacks developed in our Orthodox community here in Wichita. It is still present, though attenuated. It is part of the sins of the fathers being passed on to the second and third generation. By God’s grace, it will pass out of our system like the dung it is.

                    The history of our parish is one of the primary reasons that we are now located on the east side of Wichita in a high rent district a stone’s throw from the Koch family compound (Mrs. Koch sold us the land we are on at below market price BTW).

                    Such social dynamics are fascinating to me and we must always guard against oversimplifying them especially for the sake of judgment.

                    Another story: in the late 50’s or early 60’s Wichita became famous for one restaurant owner refusing service to the Harlem Globetrotters one night. All over the national media. Bad, Bad, Bad!!!

                    Now for the rest of the story: the owner of that restaurant was a parishioner at my parish, a life long Orthodox Christian of Syrian descent. His restaurant was in the middle of downtown Wichita and one of the few spots still open after one of the Globetrotters performances. The owner was the only person in the restaurant at the time this large group of very large black males came into his restaurant. He did not know the Harlem Globetrotters from Adam. He got scared and asked them to leave. Was he a racist?

                    All I know is that I met him later in life and knew members of his family pretty well, I ate in the last restaurant he owned. Great food, great service, a very welcoming and kind man.

                    • Michael B, you wrote: “But saying ‘we are all racist’ is just as dangerous a generalization as the exclusionary systems themselves. While perhaps true in general, it does nothing to address the sin of classifying, it is just further participation in the same sin. It gives rise to racist groups such as The Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter and the Aryan Brotherhood, etc.”

                      Which results in you saying that I am committing the sin of racism. That is not what I am saying. I understood what my friend was saying because I trusted her integrity and knew that she was speaking at a level below the first, gut-wrench reaction I could have had. “We are all racists” means that as a society, we whites participate in privilege gotten on the backs of those we all oppressed. We let the racism continue even today because we benefit from it. We water down the words of Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr. and others because it serves our purpose. We criticize what we do not understand and glow afterwards with our being right about it. As a government, we are white, we rule, we like it that way: “We are all racist.” Did you think that I was saying about myself: “I hate black people”? The statement came from a good friend and a wise young woman who lives in South Africa but she could just as easily have lived here. Look at Hannes Siebert on Wikipedia and what he has done with his life since I knew him and worked with him in Windhoek, Namibia. The statement was made by his good friend, and it affected my life deeply in that it reached in and dug deep.

        • CS Louis says

          Nike could have accomplished much more by simply announcing that all profits from the “Betsy Ross” shoes would be donated to a non-profit such as the United Negro College Fund.  Then what they falsely identified as a racist symbol would achieve a new modern meaning in an age when most kids probably don’t even know who Betsy Ross was.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Yes, but that wouldn’t have pleased the SJWs. Nothing pleases them. They truly hate all tradition.

  13. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Visiting for the first time in a long time, I’m pleased to note how the once loud voices of Trumplicanism here are now by and large silent!  It’s as if the Trumplican administration vanished!  What a (sensible!) change of focus!  Khronia polla!

    • Antiochene Son says

      Trumpism is still alive and well, it’s just that its eponymous leader is not walking his talk. Unfortunately.

      • Michael Bauman says

        AS, Trump is neither a tyrant nor an ideologue.  He is pragmatic.   Perhaps it is more a problem with your expectations.  Personally, I never expected he would accomplish anything and would be a one term President.   
        His success in causing idiot heads to explode and making the demos show their true colors is worth the price of admission. 

        • George Michalopulos says

          I’m actually astounded: Trump has accomplished more in two years than most presidents do in two terms.

          He’s a combination of Andrew Jackson and Teddy Roosevelt.

          Where he’s been stymied by the establishment –the Border–he’s managed to make it a genuine crisis and forcing his enemies to confront the situation.

          Brilliant: he’s read his Machiavelli.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Good to see you hear again, Your Grace.

  14. Michael Bauman says

    Your Grace, it depends on the day. The actions of Patriarch Bartholomew and what seems to be the regrettable implosion of the GOA have sucked all the oxygen out of the room.

  15. Michael Bauman says

    Beryl, the post on Kamala Harris is all mine, a riff, if you will, using a combination of historical and current ideological themes taken to their logical conclusion. Everything is connected you see, my post is an indication of how such ideas and themes connect in my own thoughts with some dramatic flair. It is pointed sarcasm reflecting the absurdity of the cultural phenomenon in the US of attempting to destroy our past (good and bad) in a flurry of “progressive” presentism.

    Presentism is a term used by many historians of repute that I have studied over the years. It refers to the temptation we all have of looking at the past through our own social, cultural and ideological bias.

    The great historian and biographer of Thomas Jefferson, Dumas Malone, in talking about his work on the biography said that in order to write a good biography, the biographer had to go and live with his subject, i.e., not look at him with “present” eyes. It is a process which he described as “empathetic projection”. The best historians use the method. Given his subject, I feel the urge to go back and revisit Mr. Malone’s work. Perhaps we all should.

    True empathy is quite lacking in today’s ideological debates, I would say especially on the left, but that is my bias. It is a cancer from which all ideology suffers grievously. A cancer that makes it impossible for any ideology to know simple human truth. In its current metastasizing out break it is attempting to demean, destroy and eradicate the roots of our being as a people by creating an ahistorical culture quite similar to the one depicted by George Orwell in 1984. This current outbreak is founded on the Nihilism of Nietzsche and adroitly described in the works of Franz Kafka who, as I am sure you know, was a paranoid-schizophrenic.

    By the way, if you would like, since you have made several inquires on sources, I can provide you a list of the most significant authors and works I have read and studied over the last 54 years that contributed to the foundation of my understanding and critique of modernism and post-modernism. A criticism I was well into prior to my reception into the Orthodox Church by his Grace Bishop Antoun in 1987. Glory to God for His mercy.

    It is quite an eclectic list, even if somewhat truncated by time and memory, Ramparts is missing for instance. The initial entry on that list is a small work of Hegel that my teacher in AP European History gave me to read as a senior in high school. I have been grateful to Ms. Alice Turley ever since. Being 17 at the time, it was a struggle to read but with her help and guidance, I got through it and she helped me to understand it better.

    Of course the list also has on it my mother and father for what they handed down to me from their own unique, intelligent, creative understanding of man, culture and society. They started me on a great adventure of mind and soul that, by the grace of God, I am still on. Thank you, Beryl, for reminding me how great that adventure has been and is. It is too easy for me to loose sight of the remarkable content that has been shared with me in the midst of the miasmic vomitus that passes for thought in today’s world.

    May God bless and keep you in peace and harmony.

  16. Michael Bauman says

    Beryl, an article was in Ramparts Magazine circa 1965-66 (I was still in high school) that attributed such a quote to Dr. King. It hit me and I have remembered it ever since. That is not the direct quote but it is not far off. I remember it because it was unique and struck me as deeply true. This was many years before I became Christian, but was a moment that started me leaning that way.

    If you want to check the quote I am sure you can find reprints of Ramparts on line somewhere. It was a quarterly publication. Ramparts was also the place I first heard of the White Trains–The DOE run trains that transported nuclear warheads from the manufacturing plant in Texas to the east and west coasts for installation. It was painted all white to reduce heat buildup in the box cars. It had machine gun turrets on several of the cars that were manned. I saw one once passing through Winfield, Ks late at night(early morning) circa 1980-81. The FBI was not real happy that my friends and I were there. We were there to simply witness to the reality of the White Train and the death and destruction it carried. Still, they were quite upset and on edge simply due to our presence. They have since gone to white trucks as they are much more difficult to find and track.

    I mention the White Train, because it is one data point that attests to the accuracy of what Ramparts printed.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    • Michael B, I am unable to find the direct quote by Martin Luther King, Jr., and I do wonder what he really said. However, a person who is hungry because somebody took his food away is going to be more damaged than the person who took his food away. In Amsterdam there is a wall with the following words by H.M. van Randwijk etched into it: “Een volk dat voor tirannen zwicht zal meer dan lijf en goed verliezen, dan dooft het licht.
      “A people that bends under tyranny shall lose more than life and goods; the light goes out.” It was another one of those doozies that shaped my life.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Beryl, I think it is far more difficult to understand what sin does to people than we suspect.  Who is more damaged, the sinner or those sinned against?   Psalm 50 says, “against thee only have I sinned…”

        The intertwined mystery of sin, repentance and forgiveness is deep indeed.  I do know it is more complex than discerning the good guys and the bad guys.   Who knows what God sees?  All I know is that I am called to deeper and deeper repentance.  I also know that when I do actually repent, the burden is made lighter for a great many people.  Including those who have sinned against me.

        My repentance is possible only because of our Lord’s prayer on the Cross: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”.  

        We each bear the sins of all.  We each can rejoice in the repentance of others.  

        The priest who laid hands on me and cleansed me by the grace of God as he baptised me into the Church also sinned against me and my family.  Some of the scars are still on my soul and on my son’s soul.  My wife of that time has since reposed still smarting from what the man did.

        Yet, she died in the grace of the Church: our priest, chanter and others singing her to her rest, her angel there to guide her home.  

        The long since former priest, who abandoned his priesthood, the Church and his family will likely die alone in great pain.  My heart goes out to him and I pray for him frequently imploring God to have mercy upon him.

        Over the years I have learned to thank God for that man, because he was an agent of grace in my life bringing me closer to God by both his priestly and non-priestly actions.  

        My family and I suffered because of his sins as did others but who has suffered more? I cannot find it in my heart to condemn him in any way as I have also seen the deep pain he bears.

        I do not mean to argue. I ask God to forgive me, a sinner and bless you abundantly. 

        • But Michael, I thought we were talking about whether Martin Luther King, Jr said racism destroys the oppressor as much as it destroys the oppressed. I looked through every Ramparts article from 1963-1967 and could not find a quote from him like that. I said hunger is the bottom line and I am pretty sure he would agree. 

          • Gail Sheppard says

            According to MLK, the means used to right an injustice must be “as pure as the ends we seek” for it is “wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends.” If you use injustices, e.g. keeping whites out of fraternities and graduation ceremonies, starting groups like Black Lives Matter (implying other lives don’t), calling people names and yet elevating a single word (N word) in a free speech society to something that should end someone’s career, attacking police officers, beating up people, starting fires, looting stores, demanding reparation, expecting special privileges. . ., you become the oppressor and perpetuate the very injustices you seek to overcome. As a result, both the oppressed and oppressor suffer for “injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.” (Letter from the Birmingham Jail 1963)

            • Gail, reading Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s words only, he is saying what I (excerpting from Thomas Merton’s article) already quoted above. There is NO way to compare the amount of suffering the oppressed suffer to the amount the oppressors suffer; there is no comparing the numbers of human beings who suffer under oppression to the humans who oppress; there is no way for the oppressors to understand the frustration, anger and rage that results from being oppressed; as their oppressors pass by on the other side of the street, tut-tutting disapprovingly, as they drive their nice, safe vehicles willingly and gladly, all the way to the bank.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                I would agree there is no way to compare the amount of suffering of one group vs. another so why are you trying to make the opposite case by suggesting that one group of the oppressed (blacks) suffer more and are, therefore, entitled to greater anger and rage?

                Racism cuts both ways and trust me when I say that the anger and rage on the other side is just as real and just as legitimate.

                • Because they – the oppressed – are entitled to greater anger and greater rage.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    Entitlement is the root of all oppression, Beryl.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    But that’s the point. We are all oppressed to varying degrees and at different times and no matter which side you find yourself on, you’re going to feel rage and you’re going to be angry and you’ll find some people agree with you and others don’t. But one thing is true: As the prince said to the Montagues and the Capulets, “All are punished.”

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Ah Beryl, I fear you have been reassimlated….Rage and anger have never done anyone any good. Now, if we use a similar, but not the same, incensive power to motivate ourselves to action, then there is a limited use for that. Mostly by using it to clean the money changers out of our inner temple. However, we humans are rarely able to do that.

                    Rage and anger inevitably turn inward and eat away at the soul of those who harbor those emotions, especially if they feel entitled to them. Who wants to give up an entitlement? “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”

                    The inculcation of rage and anger into oppressed people is the propagation of the tyranny leading to oppression.

                    In this case the oppressive entitlement to anger has been taken over, internalized and repurposed into a new entitlement. In modern society is has taken root in those who are perpetually offended. No humor is allowed and many turn into a caricature of the Queen of Hearts from the Alice book, screaming always at the top of their lungs: “Off with their heads….” because everyone else is an oppressor. It is boring, sad and deeply destructive and makes a mockery of actual oppression.

                    On a broader scale, it is one of the reasons that so very few revolutions actually succeed past the overthrow of a government before they turn and start devouring their own.

                    It is not a providential way to live which means that it is not Christian. It is a fabrication of history and an ontological lie.

                    The poet’s line comes to me….”I defend myself against pain and death by pain and death…” That, to me, expresses the futility of human existence lived in forgetfulness of God’s grace and mercy, in a state of futile fury while it is God’s mercy “…that droppeth as the gentle dew from heaven upon the earth beneath…”

                    • Michael B, you criticize those who express rage and anger at their oppressors, and say that rage and anger do not work, but rage was what Jesus showed as he drove the hypocrites out of the temple with a whip. Rage and anger are God-given, natural reactions to trauma, pain, hunger, meanness, etc. People react to mistreatment with rage and anger. You cannot tell them to stop it, as you know. The oppressed have no rights at all. I am not saying they should loot, steal, hurt others, but that is how they react because it is human. Not everybody has God’s peace. Their rights have been stripped from them. Criticizing them does no good at all, either. Why correct me? I get it! 

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Beryl, Michael and Gail are correct on this.  A lot of this “oppression” that people feel was sometimes brought upon themselves.  I know I’m going to get brickbats for saying this but slavery is endemic to the human condition.
                      Those Africans who were sold here in the slave markets were captured and sold by other Africans who then sold them to Arab slave-traders, who then sold them to European and Jewish slave-merchants and put on ships.
                      Why not go after those Africans who sold them into slavery in the first place?  
                      As many Europeans were sold into Arab and Turkish slave markets during that same time.  European women, particular Slavic women, were especially prized.  Ever wonder why so many Syrians and Jordanians are as white as your typical Balkan or Italian?  
                      If we want to play the oppression game, then we need to ask what happened to the black slaves that the Moslems took into captivity?  Why are there no descendants who have African features in the Moslem world?  Even though they took as many Africans as were taken on the Transatlantic trade?  Well, for one thing, all black males who were captured by Moslems were castrated.  And any mulatto children born to black women were left to die.  
                      Saudi Arabia didn’t officially outlaw slavery until the 1960s.   Why don’t the black nationalists/Nation of Islam folks whoop and holler about Islamic oppression?  
                      Lots of oppression going on.  

                    • George, thanks again for the correction. I guess I don’t get it after all, and never will. 
                      Signed, a Minnesota girl

              • Michael Bauman says

                Beryl, I disagree, I would suggest that by the mere fact of common humanity there is a deep but unrealized understanding by any oppressor of the consequences of what they are doing. That is why people change when confronted with the reality and the reality is made public.

                That is indeed the essence of non-violent opposition — to awaken the human conscience that resides in us all and do so in a way that promotes wholeness and reconciliation, not just oppression and suppression coming toward another target.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Spot on!

      • Michael,  I want to stress that I have searched all of the Rampart Magazine articles dealing with Martin King Jr. on unz.com and I cannot find anything related in any way to what you are sure he said. It is important because the message is off. It makes no sense that the oppressor should be as honored as the oppressed; and both oppressor and oppressed suffer equally, though in different ways. Think hunger, poverty, starvation, destruction of family and community, slave labor, and the deliberate killing of the soul.

        I should add that I did find the following quote in an article by Thomas Merton in the Rampart Magazine reprint from 1963, “Letters to a White Liberal.” Here ’tis:”As Martin Luther King sees so clearly, if the Negro struggle becomes a violent conflict (and this is what would best please the white racists! )it is bound to fail in its most rational and creative purpose —the real vindication of Negro rights and the definitive assertion of the Negro as a person equal in dignity to any other human person.”I am convinced,” he says, “that if we succumb to the temptation to use violence in our struggle for freedom, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness;our chief legacy to them will be a neverending reign of chaos.” (From Strength to Love© by Harper Bros. 1963.)

        • Michael Bauman says

          Beryl, I want to say that I am enjoying our conversation. Especially since we look at things differently and come from different sets of experiences. My opinion of you as a thoughtful, intelligent and creative lady has been strengthened even when I don’t agree with your conclusions. You induce me to actually think and that is always good.

          • So, you have decided that I don’t “Borg you to tears,” eh?

            • Michael Bauman says

              Beryl, not in this instance.

              How would I order some of your chocolate?

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                It probably pairs well with elderberry wine!

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Tim, my thought exactly.  Beryl would you be open to a trade? Kansas made wine from a winery with over 600 international awards for your chocolate.  Elderberry Dry Reserve is but one of the exceptional wines from Wyldewood Cellars.   

                  • Well, send me an email! We do pairings with wine. Google my name, you will see the link. Thanks!

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    I am on my fourth case in two seasons of Wyldewood’s EDR, shipped thence to Puget Sound.
                    It is especially good in the Summer season, I can attest.

          • Michael, in a tiny chocolate kitchen in northern Minnesota, my partner and I make single-origin, bean-to-bar chocolate from organic, Fair Trade and Direct Trade cocoa beans originating from cooperatives and small farms located in many countries around the world. The children who come from families growing our cacao are going to school, and have a bit of food to eat as their parents scrape out a living from the land. Hey, it’s better than growing crops that turn into drugs! What else should they do? Starve? So, we hope, the demand for organic, Fair Trade chocolate grows as the public is educated. However, our biggest enemy is the demand for cheap chocolate, and nobody seems to mind that the chocolate they eat contributes to child slave labor, especially in West Africa. OMG. It’s bad. We want cheap chocolate! See? As Pogo so rightly said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

        • Michael Bauman says

          Beryl, I never said that MLK thought the oppressor should be honored simply that the sin of racism which fell most heavily on black people, also hurt the oppressors themselves. It is not the sin that should be honored, but that we must never fail to recognize their humanity. For racism to be fully healed, the oppressors needed to overcome as well. It was not sufficient to stop the oppression and punish the sinner. In the moment and in a very ill formed way, that perspective began to open my heart to my own need to repent. My own need to be healed.

          My reference to honoring was about a specific ancestor of Fr. Moses Berry’s who was a slave owner. There was a lot more to the story. Nathan Boone upon freeing the slave woman who had born him children , gifted the woman and his children a significant parcel of land. It is on that land that Fr. Moses grew up and where his ancestors established a cemetery for “blacks and other undesirables” so that they might be buried with respect. It is on that land where Fr. Moses built the Orthodox Temple in which he serves.

          He is not honoring the sin, he is honoring the human gift made in the midst of sin and despite the sin that has born fruit which includes, I think, some propitiation of that sin for Nathan Boone. It is from that ancestral experience and knowledge that Fr. Moses preaches real reconciliation.

      • Michael Bauman says

        The real tyranny we all live under is the tyranny of sin and death. That is the foundation and source for all other tyranny. Tyrants always use fear as a tactic, exacerbating and promoting fear of “the other” whether it be Jews, or Afro-Americans or white people or Christians. The odious Patriot Act was passed into law using the fear of jihadists attacks against us. The odious HIPPA statue was passed into law using the fear that the privacy and rights of people with HIV/AIDS would be violated. Of course both have expanded well beyond the scope of their stated intent and both are actually being used by the federal government (regardless of party) to truncate our freedom and enhance federal control over us.

        Lately a lot of other fears are being promoted and used to enhance tyranny: environmental collapse; economic fairness and equity; gender justice; hate speech, etc.

        Of course the best fears have at least some basis in reality but the key is that tyrants always promote solutions on a macro scale. “These problems are so massive that only a strong government led my me can hope to address them properly but I have to have more power to do it correctly”. That is never the answer.

        Keep in mind the fundamental truth uttered by Mao Zedong: “All power grows out of the barrel of a gun”

        Large systemic problems do occur but they do not yield to large systemic legalist macro solutions. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God is one such problem. That does not mean criminalizing all sorts of sins or perceived sins will actually promote good solutions.

        The only way to address such problems is to realize my own unique participation in them and for me to repent, forgive, give alms in a spirit of mercy making personal amends where and when I can.

        In that sense the recent “One Thing” campaign concerning taking care of the environment is a great improvement over such hair brained ideas as cap and trade, or anything about the Green New Deal. While I am suspicious of the motives and the ideology behind the One Thing campaign, and its ads are sappy at best, at least it does not seem as if they are promoting macro solutions.

        I have never been a racist in the real meaning of the term: a firm belief in the essential inferiority of other races that require us to subjugate and rule over them. That is a Darwinian concept actually propagated by philosophical materialists. I no doubt have racial bias and insensitivity but that is a human short coming.

        Nevertheless, following the example set by my parents I have endeavored to learn more about the experience and perspectives of Afro-Americans in particularly. That endeavor bore fruit recently when I quite surprised a Afro-American catechumen by showing even a slight bit of understanding and empathy concerning the difficulties he faces simply because he is black. We have become good friends. To my way of thinking anytime we act on that friendship, it lessens the sin of racism and promotes healing. Yet it is a small thing.

        The same with a one time meeting that I was blessed with in Indianapolis several years ago. I was at a Dairy Queen to get some lunch on a take away basis. While I was waiting this elegant black gentleman walked in to order food. I knew that he was a lover of Christ. I was also instructed inwardly to talk to him. I did so briefly by confirming my initial impression that he was a man of God. I got my food and started home. It was made abundantly clear to me that my brief encounter was not what God had in mind. I was to go back and talk to the man.

        I did, and we got into a lovely conversation about living the Christian life that extended into some basic theology that centered on the Orthodox veneration of Mary. Sam was quite attentive as I have been to him. At the end of our conversation we prayed together hands linked across the table in the middle of Indianapolis, IN. The state that at one time in the recent past was a hot bed for the KKK. It was a witness that neither of us planned and a small thing, but a true moment of God in the midst of so much darkness.

        I have no idea why it happened to Sam and me but it did and I thank God for it.

        It is those little things that end up making the difference in the long run.

        God is everywhere present and filling all things even the deepest darkest places in our personal and collective hearts. All sin is relational. All sin is destructive.

        That is why that snippet from Dr. King that I read so many years ago stayed with me. It seems patently and simply true that those who have been oppressed by the sin of others cannot be fully free until the sin is healed in the oppressors hearts, not in punishing and condemning the oppressors alone or even primarily. To the extent that any man is racist, I am racist. In that sense the statement that “We are all racist” make sense. That, to me, is a central part of the Christian message of God incarnating as human and taking on our sins to the point of death, yet rising from that death in triumph.

        Lord have mercy. Christ is Risen.

  17. Michael Bauman says

    Beryl, just one more comment:. It is natural for any one who has been hurt by another to feel anger, even rage.  I get that.  What is not good for anyone is to hold onto that anger and rage, nurse it and feel entitled to it.  Many elders call such “rememberance of wrongs”.  It is a passion in it’s own right that perpetuates the wrong and keeps the wronged person hurting.  
    It is a difficult discipline, but practicing forgiveness and repentance is the only way to be free of the wrong.   Shakespeare was quite right when he said, In the course of justice, none of us should see salvation.  
    I’m a well ordered society, which we do not have, evil and wrong are restrained and punished to some extent.  Unfortunately justice is an effemeral term as is fairness.
    I always found that the first step in healing my wounds is to go to confession.  When I am forgiven, I begin to understand what it is to forgive and allow God’s order to reassert itself.  
    I have not experienced generational oppression to be sure that is still ongoing.  But I have experienced God’s mercy and seen it in action in some of my friends who are black.  It is an ongoing battle.  There is no magic wand.  
    I also tend to believe that there are some people who need killing but is a fearful thing to take that action.  
    As a student of history, I can tell you revolution almost never solves anything–least of all restoring justice.  
    Have you ever read Crane Britton’s “Antomy of a Revolution”?  Good book on the topic.
    In any case power to carryout such acts, even if justified is quite seductive and dangerous.

    • Michael, agreed; and I’ve had more than my share of trauma. I also had enough life skills to somehow make my way through those traumas and come out okay on the other side. I just keep on saying that it does no good to criticize those who have no access to learning how to cope. We are not walking in their shoes (Bob Dylan, “Positively Fourth Street”), so why bother to preach to the choir?