How Not to Get Your Ass Kicked by the Police

chris-rockThe title for this essay comes from a hilarious skit by Chris Rock. As can be expected from his comedic mind, it contains offensive language. With that in mind, you should watch it anyway as it’s chock full of common sense.

Comedy aside, Rock brings up several interesting points. One wonders however why they are not followed by certain groups of young black males. The dearth of prudence and restraint are clearly the result of generations of young men being raised in houses where there is no adult male presence. Simply put, three generations of women pooling their Welfare checks together cannot teach a young boy the gentlemanly arts. Except on the rarest of occasions, it ain’t gonna happen. Instead, these feral boys will look to the only masculine influences around them and be imprinted with the hyper-violent, misogynist ethos that pervades the modern ghetto.

There’s really no way around it and despite all the protests and traffic stoppages, despite all the “hands-up” gestures and “I can’t breathe” tee-shirts of pro athletes, we can expect to see more of these incidents in our future. At least as long as the inter-racial crime statistics remain as they are now.

Having said that, what happened to Eric Garner was unnecessary. His only “crime” was selling “loosies” (i.e. loose cigarettes) which allowed his buyers to evade paying the egregious taxes that are stamped on the sale of each package. Unfortunately, the police who took him down and unwittingly caused his death were caught in a no-win situation in that if they looked the other way, they would be hounded by the store owners who also sell cigarettes but who have to pay the taxes. Bad laws make bad policy. To indict the policemen for doing his job would send a chilling effect to other policemen.

Bill DeBlasio, the Evil Emperor of New York City of course can’t see this. All he cares about is Marxist dogma. He doesn’t care about the plight of policemen who are placed in untenable situations. Being a Marxist, he doesn’t understand that the default position of inner-city police in situations like these is to sit out half the shift in the doughnut shop. You can’t get in trouble eating crullers and drinking coffee.

So what will be the result of all these protests, of DeBlasio’s demogoguery? The retreat of police to safer –whiter–areas (where they will become even safer as a result) and the increased rapine and pillage that is already preponderant in many black neighborhoods.

It’s not an easy world, and things are rarely this black and white, but given the already preponderant pathology found in these neighborhoods, it can’t get any better on its own. And with the increasing absence of police from these areas, it won’t.


  1. Garner Truther says

    George- you didn’t get the story right on Eric Garner. It was a black female officer who was in charge and supervising the arrest. She testified in defense of the white officers involved.

  2. James Denney says

    The truth regarding white/black crime: “But while it is true that blacks are arrested in numbers greater than their representation in the population, it is it is also true that they commit crimes in far greater numbers than their representation would warrant. African Americans are 12.6% of the U.S. population, but they account for 38.9% of all violent crime arrests—including 32.5% of all rapes, 55.5% of all robberies, and 33.9% of all aggravated assaults. Is this because they are arrested for crimes they didn’t commit? Are they only “guilty of being black”? In fact, the statistics are compiled by interviewing the victims of these violent crimes, which in the case of crimes committed by blacks are mostly black themselves. In 2010, black perpetrators were responsible for 80% of all violence against blacks (including 94% of homicides), while white perpetrators accounted for just 9% of all violence against blacks.”

    The real source of the Michael Brown death: Liberal/progressive welfare programs that have destroyed the nuclear family, creating generations of undisciplined, Godless, amoral gangster thugs like Brown. The dependence of the poor (black & white alike) on these programs will continue to destroy human life so long as people fail to realize that they must free themselves from government dependency, have faith in God and be self-reliant. Only a return to constitutional government can create the needed atmosphere for that to happen.

  3. Daniel E Fall says

    Sort of sad the greatest black leader of our time is Chris Rock.

    Now about redzoning….

  4. OK, cut Welfare. Then what? Despite the Liberal Progressive statistics, and employers who want the best of the best for the crappiest of the crap jobs, is “get a job” an alternative? Maybe a new CCC type deal? Oh … my bad! That’s Liberal Progressive too! Private Charity will step in? Or simply let the chips fall where they may? Survival of the fittest? If they’re not contributing, let ’em starve? Or perhaps, eat cake? Or, “we don’t care as long as we get our constitution back?”

  5. Tamir Rice – did nothing wrong – shot by cops. John Crawford – did nothing wrong – shot by cops. The list goes on:

    “Don’t play in the park with toy guns and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t ask for help after a car accident and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t wear a hoodie and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t cosplay with a toy sword and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t shop at Walmart and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t take the BART and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t ride your bike and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t reach for your cell phone and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t go to your friend’s birthday party and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t sit on your front stoop and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t “startle” them and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t “look around suspiciously” and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t walk on a bridge with your family and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t play “cops and robbers” with your buddies and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t work in a warehouse repairing instruments and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t stand in your grandma’s bathroom and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t pray with your daughters in public and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t go to your bachelor party and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t have an ex boyfriend who might be a suspect and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t call for medical help for your sister and maybe they won’t kill her. Don’t hang out in the park with your friends and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t get a flat tire and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t park in a fire lane and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t reach for your wallet and maybe they won’t kill you. Don’t let your medical alert device go off and maybe they won’t kill you.”

    And just to add insult to injury, here’s a video of a black man stopped by a cop because…wait for it…because he was walking around with his hands in his pockets:

    • George Michalopulos says

      You’re totally missing the point. The reason police have a hair-trigger defensive posture again black males is because the overwhelming number of violent crimes in the US are caused by young black males.

      • We’ve had this discussion before, the raw numbers are available and the reality is as a percentage of the young black male population the actual percentage actually commiting violent crimes is minuscule. It does not warrant the widespread systemic racism that pervades the American law enforcement and justice system.

        The amusing thing about the Rock piece is that Mr. Michalopulos fixates on the parts of the sketch that weren’t targeted at himself, a white male, and let the parts that were just fly right over his head. I could hear the whoosh from here. Hint: the “have a white friend” and the closing line: “You probably won’t get your ass kicked by the police” (emphasis mine) were for you. This was addressed more directly by a Chappelle piece (content note: profane language)

        The reality is, even The Onion’s tips for being an unarmed black teen is more painful than funny as satire is because the real-life list of 25 things black people shouldn’t do around cops is so tragic.

        Meanwhile, Mr. Michalopulos is on his soapbox railing about the lack of black fathers, but here is what he has to say about the death of an unarmed, unthreatening black father at the hands of a pack of police:

        Having said that, what happened to Eric Garner was unnecessary.

        Unnecessary? That’s the term you’re going with? George Michalopulos, the man who lets fly with bombastic condemnations and labels like “homosexual jihadists” “feminazis” “cultural marxists” “sodomist nuptials” over perceived moral failings and unjustices, upon observing the brutal death of a man candidly captured on video as the result of excessive force at the hands of unaccountable authorites, the best you got is a milquetoast “unnecessary”.

        That a man died isn’t the hang-wringing situation for Mr. Michalopulos, the real tragedy is the taxes!

        But this reaction demonstrates why the police can engage in actions like the Garner situation with impunity: because as a society we want it that way. Including Mr. Michalopulos, a black father dies on camera for no good reason at the hands of police and his reaction is less than you’d expect if he spilled mustard on his favorite tie.

        Bill DeBlasio, the Evil Emperor of New York City of course can’t see this. All he cares about is Marxist dogma.

        Oh, but wait, here’s the bombast we come to expect from Mr. Michalopulos! It’s fascinating how DeBlasio is such a intense target of invective from a midwestern man upon whom DeBlasio’s shadow touches not one whit.

        Of course, my cynical take on what DeBlasio really did to earn such ire in the circles Mr. Michalopulos swims in his little to do with economics or politics. DeBlasio did end rather those Constitutionally pesky stop-and-frisk activities disproportionately targeted at minorities. The tyrant!

        The retreat of police to safer –whiter–areas (where they will become even safer as a result) and the increased rapine and pillage that is already preponderant in many black neighborhoods.

        The beauty of course is that Mr. Michalopulos is so polluted by his racist assumptions and sources that trends are exactly the opposite of what he assumes.

        But, perhaps one day, more young black men can grow up with a father under their roof to become a police officer just like Daniel Holtzclaw!

        • George Michalopulos says

          Maybe in an alternate universe where Mr Spock sports a goatee your roseate view of black-on-black/black-on-white crime could receive some purchase but not in this universe. As for Evil Emperor DeBlasio, the police unions are going to start blackballing him from attending the funerals of deceased policemen. I think that speaks volumes.

        • James Denney says

          “It does not warrant the widespread systemic racism that pervades the American law enforcement and justice system.”- Nate

          This is an incredibly innaccurate and jaundiced view of the attitudes of law enforcement personel and the criminal justice system. There is no widespread systemic racism in American law enforcement and justice system. I have done criminal defense work as an attorney for 36 years, and what you say is absolutely false.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Mr Denney, spot on! The police are the “thin blue line” that prevents the rise of anarchy. The overwhelming majority are not racists in any way, shape, manner or form. They’ve got a thankless job to do and regardless of their own skin color, have to deal with a feral class of young black (and in many areas, Latino and poor white) males who would just as soon as kill somebody as look at them.

          • Mr. Denney attempts to make an appeal to authority in the face of a rather overwhelming body of statistics that show otherwise, and even that it isn’t something that is necessarily getting better over time.

            I have done criminal defense work as an attorney

            Haha, wow. Writing posts like this one, displaying a prejudice of taking later discredited rumors leaked from pro-LEO sources as Gospel truth, is a great advertisement for choosing you for a criminal case! One can imagine that your idea of cross-examination of a hostile witness is lecturing your client about what a bad person they are.

            It is also rather hard to take you seriously when you without irony cite Bill O’Reilly as someone to listen to on the subject of race.

            You know, the guy who might rant about gangtas and saggy pants, but will then turn around and tell a clean-cut professional black PhD professor on his show that “he looks like a cocaine dealer”? Yeah, great job making yourself look good with that association.

            This is an incredibly innaccurate and jaundiced view of the attitudes of law enforcement personel and the criminal justice system.

            You want jaundiced and cynical views about the system, it’s actually hard to top the occasional piece of candor from the prosecutorial side of the aisle, but there’s more than enough data that dueling anecdotes is but a distraction.

      • M. Stankovich says

        Mr. Michalopulos,

        Regardless of any crime statistics, peace officers are professionals pursuant to training and discipline, and for no other reason. The majority of these incidents of acting in “a hair-trigger defensive posture again black males” is contrary to the training & discipline of their profession, and that is the fault of the departments that hired, trained, and supervized them, and they never should have been in the position of authority to exercise deadly force in the first place.

        There is a fascinating examination of the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed Black man unlocking the front front door of his apartment in the Bronx, by four plain-clothes “anti-crime unit” detectives looking for a serial rape suspect, in Malcom Gladwell’s Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. From start to finish, their interaction with Diallo took seven seconds (hence the chapter title, “Seven Seconds in the Bronx”), and 40-shots were fired killing Diallo instantly. None of the officers could describe exactly how or why the events transpired – one said Diallo “reached for his pocket” (his wallet was found on the ground next to his body), another heard someone yell, “Gun!” – but everyone said, “it happened so fast…” Many say “policing is by instinct,” but the best know it is by training & discipline.

        I have had the opportunity to observe law enforcement in escalating levels of behaviour with convicted felons and career criminals that has led to violence, and I was twice inadvertently caught up in it. It was always obvious to me who acted according to their training & discipline and who did not. And those who acted pursuant to their training & disciple consistently had the respect of inmates, while the others were always in one altercation or another. And the best of them never attempted to “rule by attitude” or intimidation, and the last thing on their mind was the use of force; nevertheless, when by training & disciple force was indicated, they were swift and unhesitating.

        I strongly object to any defense of “rogue” officers with excuses of crime statistics, dangerousness of duty/post/assignment, or “difficult circumstances.” The majority of peace officers conduct themselves professionally, are well-trained and supervized, and do not support nor condone the actions of these individuals who are unstable, unpredictable, ill-equipped, unprepared, and outright dangerous to the community.

        • Dr. Stankovich is quite correct — it is a mistake to excuse poor training and the fact that badges have been tacked onto some people who shouldn’t have them because of a reflexive (and understandable) desire to defend those men in blue that guard our safety every day. One does not need to defend criminals or be unfair to cops in order to take a common-sense approach to these things. Sometimes cops really are pigs… more often, the “bad eggs” are just incompetent or poorly trained (perhaps because they don’t listen to or believe in the training they are given).

          I’ve been around cops enough to know that the vast majority of them have the self-discipline and smarts to stay out of the kinds of situations that have gotten others into headlines.

          In light of other threads that are going on here at this site, I don’t know why the parallels aren’t obvious. We have been discussing a priest who is not following the teachings of the Church — something he is bound under pain of deposition to do, and in the process, people have been and are being hurt.

          Frankly, I don’t care whether it is because he thinks he is “above the law,” or whether he learned somewhere that the rules are optional, or whether the training given to OCA priests is simply inadequate. He has seen the example of Fr. Schmemann, who, when given a directive by his bishop and Metropolitan, flips a verbal bird back at him via an open letter in a theological publication with worldwide distribution — so I can’t say that I blame Fr. Arida for coming to the conclusion that the old wag about popes (the RC’s have one pope — the Orthodox have one in every parish) represents words to live by.

          People here have been rightly calling for Fr. Arida’s discipline because he has spit on Church teaching. People here have been calling for the heads of bishops because they have failed to exercise that discipline. He has shown neither self-discipline nor respect and reverence for the priestly office he holds.

          Why on earth would anyone here have a problem with calling a cop to similar account when that cop’s actions do not show evidence of proper discipline and respect for his uniform and badge? Guess what? Most of the time that priests are criticized, it is unfairly, just as most of the time that cops are accused, it is wrongly. But in those situations when either a priest or a cop “gets by” with something, it is deadly — whether to the soul or body or both.

          In those situations, it is imperative that the wrong-doer is investigated, disciplined, and probably removed from duty — since these things usually aren’t rocket science. And training needs to be revised and emphasized to make sure that others don’t get the idea that they can do what they want.

        • The laws are still by judicial fiat. Cops should not police by judicial decisions; it should be by representation of the people. The laws I’ve cited earlier are what gives cops carte blanche. It doesn’t matter if they are good or bad cops.

      • So George, it’s ok that cops kill a black guy in Walmart and a 12-year-old kid in “shoot first, ask questions later” style just because other black males are committing a disproportionate number of crimes?

        A raised level of suspicion on the part of police is perhaps understandable. But the fact that black males are shot and killed by police at 21 times the rate of white males suggests a serious overreaction by cops at the sight of young black men:

        • George Michalopulos says

          No it’s not Matt. But the reality in many cities is that violence is out of control. Did you see that video of the two cops in NYC who were set upon by a mob last night? They’re lucky to be alive. Now, how would YOU have acted in such a situation if you were one of the cops?

          • Violence is not “out of control” except in your fevered imagination – you think we live in Damascus or Baghdad? American cities are safer than ever in modern times, certainly safer than in the 1970s and 1980s.

            Cops being attacked by seven individuals – hardly a “mob” – is not the same as cops killing African-Americans in any of the cases I listed above. Nice try to change the subject, but your denialism is quite transparent. In any case, their response should be professional, as Stankovich noted – a professionalism too often lacking.

            And your use of “feral,” a word to describe animals, is quite uncalled for when writing about youths of any race.

  6. Ashley Nevins says

    Stanovich makes a well written response. It brings rational balance to the discussion. Now if the policing of the Orthodox jurisdictions was as rational as is his post there would not be any serious implosion issues facing the Orthodox in America.

    A lot of what he says about training competency and professionalism can apply to the hierarchies of the jurisdictions and the priests. After all, it is their responsibility to protect the church from religious crime, abuses and corruptions.

    I really liked this, ‘and, outright dangerous to the community’. That could apply to what unstable clergyman who is dangerous to his jurisdiction community and who sometimes posts here?

    There are many parallels here in how a church senior leadership is to supervise the protection of the church.

    It would seem to me that the direct spiritual line of the Apostles in Gods only true church would be the most effective of all leaders in all of Christianity at protecting the church from what can undermine or destroy it, that this church would be the most open transparent and accountable church in all of Christianity. After all, Gods only true truth is the most open transparent truth that there is. In the Orthodox Mind no other church has Gods true truth like they do, but does their real world outcome reflect that?

    It seems to me that the senior church rulers would be like Apostle Paul was about church corruption since they are of the same spiritual line. If they don’t protect with transparency and accountability like Jesus and Paul did does that mean they are not of the direct spiritual line of the Apostles? What line do they come from if they don’t?

    Paul would allow the church to go systemically corrupt? Jesus would allow that? Who allows that when it happens and why do they allow it? The Holy Spirit leads a church into a corrupt, abusive and dying state of systemic corruptions? Only a church that is not allowing Jesus to rule it would allow that to happen, you think? When those who are to police the church and themselves in it are corrupt what does that say about them? What does it say about those who follow them and allow them to rule corruptly?

    This not about church perfection, even the best senior leaders make mistakes and miss things. However, it is all about creating a church culture and environment that is safe and healthy for those in it. It is about being far more functional as a church than being dysfunctional as a church. It is about rational spiritual maturity that holds rationally transparent and accountable or it all goes irrational corrupt. Corruption in a Christian context of church is irrational and will turn a church into that irrationality if it does not address the corruption.

    It is anti Christ to not address sin that is anti Christ to Christ and His church. The church that doesn’t goes anti Christ. The more anti Christ it becomes the more corrupt and dying it becomes by being anti what is holy and gives life. What is anti Jesus kills Jesus in the church and then its morality and ethics all go corrupt. The degree of corruption is the degree of the spread of what is anti Christ. The degree of the inability to stop that corruption is the degree that corruption has rule power and control.

    Is the father of lies also the father of corruption? If you believe a lie to be truth can that lie corrupt you in ways you do not see or realize? The father of lies and corruption is the anti Christ. If a church allows the father of lies and corruption to rule a church that church will die. The father of lies is also a murderer who is a killer. He will kill such a church dead if he is given power and control rule over it. The police hierarchy and priests are to stop the liar, thief and murderer from turning the church into a organized religious crime syndicate. If the citizen laity reports religious criminal behavior the hierarchy and priest police are to act to stop it and not participate in it, enable it or protect it. If the priests find a hierarch or hierarchy corrupt they are to take the risk and make the sacrifice to stop and remove that corruption or it will stop their church and remove the Holy Spirit in rule over it and then replace holy God with corruption as God. The church turns itself into idolatry of corruption when it does that. When this happens and the longer it is allowed the more difficult it is to reverse it. It can become impossible to reverse. Then you are stuck miserable in a dying church you are powerless to do anything about. Every solution tried fails and it all goes into a death spiral of church. It all just grows ever worse and worse.

    The people in such a church are discouraged, depressed and angry and they eventually become apathetic and indifferent and resolved that nothing can be done. Corruption causes division. Your church may not be physically divided but it can become spiritually and emotionally and morally and ethically divided and that is the same as being physically divided. You are just existing in the same place but don’t have true Christian unity in common. The evil one, the spiritual criminal, uses divide and conquer to more than conquer you. He conquers you to destroy you and you can believe you still are in Orthodox unity when he does.

    A corrupt church kicks the ass of those in it if they don’t stand up and fight it. A dead church is a church that has had its ass kicked by the evil one. It is knocked out cold laying powerless on the ground unable to stand back up. It can go into a coma it never comes out of. The body is there but as lifeless as it is brain dead. It is in a living lifeless state. It lives to live lifeless and it believes that is the living church of Jesus Christ.

    BTW, if you are in unity with known corruption that will not repent you are corrupt. Jesus has no unity with corruption that refuses to see its sin and repent. Lose the unity of Jesus and you lose the power of Jesus to bring correction to your church. Unity by corruption is unity by idolatry and the idol will steal your power to prop himself up with and to leave you powerless to stop his corruptions. Does that at all sound familiar?

    Sounds like to me that those who are not corrupt should arrest those that are corrupt in your church and bring them before church court. But, the police and the court itself can’t be corrupt or that will not happen. If those who are the police are also those who make up the court then you got a serious problem if they are both corrupt. I suppose you can wait a lifetime hoping it will change but hope is not going to change it. Only action will.

    Here is the typical Orthodox hope in America. Yes, I can read your mind in this regard, I hope our hierarchy and priests do something about the state of our jurisdiction. Jonah (or whoever) is the hope that is going to bring the change we want.

    It does not matter the jurisdiction. It is the same hope that is powerless to stop the corruption by the hierarchies that the laity hopes will correct their jurisdiction and because the hierarchies have rendered the laity’s powerless to police the church with transparency and accountability that delivers consequences to the corrupt. Corrupt police will corrupt a church. Powerless police will allow the corruption of their church. It is everyone’s responsibility to police their church, but if the laity is rendered powerless to do that then those that render them powerless will run the church by corruption. They will make corruption the unity of the church and that is a religious crime organization. Think it through with Jesus who confronted a religious crime organization and was murdered by it. That same murderer wants to murder your church.

  7. Ashley Nevins says

    One last thought. If the USA cannot police itself then it is over for us or we will be turned into something very corrupt. In the practical reality of the real world the same applies to any church. Often times our idealistic notions of our church do not match the practical real world reality of our church. Living in the reality of the real world in regards to church and not in a exclusive, closed, isolated and subjective world of idealism are two different things. They are often worlds apart.

    The comparative analogy I made shows the parallels. To deny them is living worlds apart.

    What is exclusive, closed, isolated and subjective lives in its own world apart from the real world where rational objectivity exists. Of course, subjective closed isolation lives in an exclusive world all by itself. The danger is that it can develop a delusional viewpoint of itself without objective rationality in it. If the subjective closed isolation is anti rational is just asking to turn itself into a delusional perspective of itself.

    The longer the exclusive closed isolation the more likely and deeply the delusional viewpoint. I don’t really see how that can define spiritual reality for me and especially when I see the outcome of that kind of a system in the practical reality of the real world. The rational reality of the real world compares. Jesus in the Gospels compared. You can see the reaction to His rational comparison by the exclusive, closed, isolated and subjective that His objectivity confronted. They did not like Him. I see a parallel in that, do you?

  8. Michael Bauman says

    Just a question: is all the dialog, hand wringing, moral posturing and feces smelling rhetoric (from all sides BTW) necessary. As MS points out wouldn’t it be enough to recruit, properly train, and HOLD ACCOUNTABLE both the law breakers and especially those who are supposed to enforce the law? Is that too simple? Must we regurgitate the old filth and nonsense all the time just to ensure nothing is actually done?

    The cause of violence, crime and other acts of destruction is: wait for it…..the sinfulness embedded in the my heart. The cold, self-serving willingness to murder folks I simply don’t like; inconvenience me in some way; disrespect me or those for whom I care; or just happen to be there.

    That is what the statistics, the politics, the protests, the death and destruction of the last 50 years that I have witnessed is beginning to teach me. That is why Archbishop Iakovos went to Selma. That is what Martin Luther King explicitly said when he began his work: we all need to address the sin in our hearts (black and white) in order to heal the divisions and set us free.

    I can do nothing directly about Ferguson or even much about the residue of black-white hatred that exists in my town, my community. I can, by the grace of God, only by the grace of God, address the darkness of my own heart and cease exporting it to others. Then, according to St. Seraphim of Sarov, thousands around me will be lifted up, even saved.

    The ideological, statistically analyzed and justice oriented ‘solutions’ simply leave behind greater misunderstanding, self-justification and darkness.

    So to George, Nate, et. al. Stop deluding yourselves. All of our righteousness is but dross and filth.

    You want to do something: I say it again. Investigate what Fr. Moses Berry is doing. Visit with him. Join him how you are able. His work bears fruit and it flies in the face of worldly wisdom. It is small, it is hidden, it is apolitical, it is not ideological. It is of the Church.

    Something greater: repent.

    There is an article I wrote for this site sometime back about Fr. Moses and the work he is doing. It would behoove George to republish it out of the archives. I find it interesting that the comment thread on it was far shorter than the nonsense passing for wisdom being spewed on these threads.

    Unfortunately, I suspect my comment may languish for an extended time in “moderation”.

    God forgive me.

  9. I see, Mr. Monomakhos, that this morning you have modified your remarks in the essay above into a more general statement about people in general – almost. It is still hard to avoid the impression that simply being black is the problem.

    “. . . dearth of prudence and restraint . . . clearly the result of generations of young men being raised. . .three generations of women. . .” Nicely put, but what is clear about this? I myself, born at the beginning of WWII, did not see my father or most others of his generation for the five most formative years of my youth. Maybe I didn’t have the advantage of three generations of women, but I did have the advantage of two, and no male grandparents either. I consider to be raised exclusively by women to be a privilege. In my case it was. And I would bet every one of those young men being raised by women found safety in his home as a child. The fearful stuff happens outside.

    There has to be more to it than the absence of a male presence. We don’t know for how long, but it does seem there was such an absence in the life of Christ, and look how well he did.

    I would also point out that color of skin is in excessive use in this post – these are human communities, not black ones. The Gospel doesn’t go by shades of black and white, nor should we. Maybe we could start a trend.

    • Michael Bauman says

      juliania, there was no absence of male presence in Christ’s life–just no human father present.

      As a Caucasian: The communities of which you speak are human communities but one of the central tragedies is that they seem to be defined as communities more by a stereo-typical idea of ‘blackness’ than a shared humanity. The stereotyping occurs on both sides. Even when status and money are gained through sports for instancOne need look only to the National Football League where some players are given grief for not being “black enough”.

      One of the problems we have in the Orthodox Church is that there are not enough black people. Even when received, there is a level of discomfort and separation that does not seem to go away. Part of that is how we non-blacks treat them, but part of it is the community from which they come, their family and their own emotions.

      I have talked with three people in my own parish for whom this is a hurdle and one is an unofficial God son. Another young man who attends with my natural son was absolutely blown away one Sunday when we had a visiting priest from Nigeria. He used a phrase I have heard frequently: he looks like me. It surprised me because he is not a man who seems overly concerned about the difference. My friend, Fr. Moses Berry says that he only remained a Christian because of his encounter with St. Moses the Black–in part because St. Moses “looked like him.” My friends are human for sure, and yet…..

      Unfortunately, skin color is much more of an issue than it should be but it can’t simply be discounted even in the Church much less in the mess we call our society. Bias runs deep in the human heart, in my heart. Despite my moral efforts to ignore it–I still suffer from it. It is easily exacerbated. May God forgive me.

      • Thank you for your reply, Mr. Bauman. I’ll agree that ‘presence’ was a poor choice of wording, and that the absence of a male mentor is indeed a problem for single parent families to overcome, but I still believe there are compensations, and I had in mind Christ’s admonition to his parents that ‘he must be about his Father’s business.’ For families of color, there is more often a deep church faith many outsiders have lost, and I rather think that outside societal pressures are more to blame for what is happening to all our youth than the absence of fathers in the home.

        I don’t think it helps to label the protests still ongoing as ‘riots’ even though there will always be an unruly element that seeks to disrupt what they are doing. This current general dissatisfaction is of the nature of Martin Luther King’s best actions, and he brought all colors of skin into the mix, as now is happening in these protests. We are not hearing about them in the media, but groups are continuing to march and be arrested, often at great harm to their personal lives. They are not doing this out of hubris or pique or even belligerence but are answering a call that is not simply about police brutality but has many components affecting the treatment of citizens of this country by those in power.

        For your black priestly friend there is also the example of the encounter of Philip with an Ethiopian in the Acts of the Apostles, 8:27 – and again, not color is the important designation, but rather national identity. In my little church we have had a parishioner whose mother was blind. She came sometimes to the services, and remarked afterwards one time that she loved the singing because it sounded so much like her own Southern Baptist heartfelt singing. I have always remembered that. She is the one who told me one time when her son was hospitalized, “We pray, for the times we can’t pray.” That too has remained with me.

        Happy Old Calendar Saint Nicholas Day!

        • Michael Bauman says

          Juliana, protest is a two edged sword. Unless one can maintain the focus on the sin rather than the sinner they can become quite dicey.

          Fr. Moses went on to expand his understanding and appreciation of others besides St Moses. The list is quite lengthy. St.Moses was the first.

          Fr. Moses is a remarkable man although he would claim otherwise. If you are not familiar with his work you ought to be.

  10. This isn’t directly related to the subject of black people and the police, but I don’t know where else to write and wanted to get some feedback from a community whose members describe themselves to be in the know.

    1. I was recently baptized into the Church at an OCA parish, and then I discovered all this, um, stuff on the Internet. Why should I believe any of it? Why should I believe that any of you are who you say you are? Why should I believe that any of you know whom you say you know?

    2. There’s a lot of cavalier criticism of Syosset. It’s too liberal, blah blah blah. You sound like schismatics. None of you are St. Mark of Ephesus, and you probably should go to confession for thumbing your nose at episcopal authority.

    3. To the extent Syosset has liberal tendencies, how much of that would be overcome and quashed by the ongoing effort to unite American Orthodoxy?

    4. Why does Monomakhos have articles on secular political topics?

    • If only Syosset were synonymous with episcopal authority. Do your homework. Better yet, enjoy the grace of your baptism, avoid reading about this stuff for ten years at least, immerse yourself in the services, the sacraments, the Scriptures, and the most old school Orthodox writings you can find — no reason to read anything penned in the last 100 years. Your soul will be better off. Trust me.

      • That’s not bad advice — ignore the gossip and focus on the faith. Actually, it isn’t much different from my priest’s advice to be careful about things on the Internet. He was right. You really don’t have to stray too far from canonical and other mainstream sources to end up in looney land. “Ecumenist filth!” LOL

    • M. Stankovich says

      Hans Solo,

      Yours are excellent questions, and you have rightly answered, “Why should I believe any of it?” The internet is a false world where anyone can say anything, accuse anyone, fabricate, mislead, misrepresent, and outright lie. They do so anonymously, without responsibility or consequence; in fact, there are more “anonymous” here than the entire Federal Witness Protection Program, all claiming “righteous” justifications for their hidden, internet-emboldened opinions & accusations. This, then, is followed by the phenomenon of “information cascades,” whereby people accept the opinion of others because it is accepted by others, all without corroboration or questioning. Thus, innuendo, speculation, subjective opinions/guesses/interpretations must be accepted at the same level as the truth; even lies, argued loudly, forcefully, and by many, it is a “valid” option. This is what is referred to as the invasion of the classic “American idiot” into supposed “Orthodox Christian” forums.

      If you are, in truth, newly baptized, I recommend you devote yourself to website solely devoted to the Scriptures and the writings of the Holy Fathers. You have absolutely no need for what our Father John Climacus refers to as “murderous gossip” and “judgment by which standard you also shall be judged.” Seriously, ground yourself in the Tradition of the Church, and leave all of this alone. “God our Savior, desires all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:3-4) Look for the Truth by studying the Scripture and the Holy Fathers. My prayers are with you; may our Lord protect you from the wolves; let your priest guide, and you and be obedient; and may you never be heard from here again!

  11. Michael Bauman says

    Han Solo, how do I know that you are who and what you claim to be. As I read your comments they seem far more likely to come from someone with a longer experience in the OCA than what you claim. And there is the point: develop a sense of what is true and what is not. That is the only way in which you can navigate the internet. Plus there are many people here that are quite easily verifiable as to who they are.

    This blog started out with a focus that was primarily political in nature as I remember. The Church issues were designed to be secondary. Worked out the other way.

    BTW: If you have any doubt as to who I am contact St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral in Wichita, Ks. That is my home parish. My priest and my bishop are aware of my blog activity on this and other blogs. If they were ever to tell me to stop, I would stop.

    I have told you far more about myself than you have about yourself. Say hi to Princess Leia for me.

    • Michael, your response to “Han” was much more perceptive rhan mine. You are spot on — the cognitive dissonance between being someone supposedly baptized (rather than chrismated) into the OCA who is suddenly a scold (while amazingly simultaneously not knowing what to think or who to believe) toward traditional types should have been an instant red flag.

    • I picked up some vocabulary just skimming through some of this blog’s postings. For example, using “Syosset” to refer to the upper echelons of the OCA. But that doesn’t make me a long-time OCAer. I run into Old Calendarist/ROCA stuff on the Internet from time to time so accusations of liberalism are reminiscent of their complaints against mainstream Orthodoxy. These schismatics love St. Mark of Ephesus, but while he did thumb his nose at other bishops, he’s a saint. Are all these people on the Internet saints? Doubtful. Any casual listener of Ancient Faith radio, anyone who has looked up parishes on the Assembly of Bishops site — is aware of efforts to unite American Orthodoxy

      What strains credibility of the purported identities of these commenters is the one who claims to be Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald). His writing style and candor are not like typical bishops’ public communications. And then all the commenters claiming to be priests and such

      The point of the Internet is to be anonymous, but to each his own. Princess Leia sends her regards.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Bishop Tikhon is definitely for real.

        The point of the internet is to share info. Our passions however have other ideas. I post openly in part to avoid the temptations that come with easy anonymity.

        Even meeting someone in person does not guarantee they are who they say they are.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        Ms Solo, I’m on FACEBOOK if you are curious about my existence.