We are meditating on how authentic manliness is utterly lacking in the sick display of murder on the streets of Minneapolis by a white policeman with four accomplices who participated and looked on. (One of them, it should be pointed out, was not white but Asian.)
The issue is not race alone but masculinity. A sick version of masculinity. One that defines itself in terms of domination and power-over and “I win, you lose,” a triumph of the reptilian brain. A photo-op seen round the world of bullies-in-action.
The cowardliness behind all bullies ruled the roost in broad daylight in the streets of Minneapolis that day.
Here is what local eyewitness Lynnell Mickelson, freelance journalist and educational activist, wrote on social media about this moment in Minnesota and American history:
We don’t have a protest problem. We have a policing problem. The Minneapolis police do NOT appear to be under the command, much less control, of our mayor or our excellent police chief.
For the last couple of days, most of the Minneapolis police have apparently decided to stop doing their jobs until…I dunno…until maybe their union chief, the notoriously and openly racist Bob Kroll, tells them to get back to work….
What upsets the police? Not that murder was committed from within their ranks. Instead,
their strategy seems to be: “Either we get to kill Black men when we feel like it with no criticism from you people……..or you don’t get any law enforcement at all. Nice little city you got there, pity if something happens to it? Do you miss us yet?”
The scared, cowardly, bullying police went into hiding because they were upset and “furious” that the world saw four of their bros commit murder.
The police were furious that the four officers involved with killing George Floyd were immediately fired because this rarely happens. They were furious that they were being directly criticized by the mayor and governor (both Democrats) and other officials. They’ve been furious at the protests.
So the cops have sort of gone on strike here.*
Self-pity was also on display. That is why Minneapolis burned unabated and the curfew was never enforced. Because the police department bullies refused orders from the police chief and the mayor and governor and ran from their jobs to stay indoors and feel sorry for themselves and their “bros.”
Scratch a bully and you get a coward.
I followed the bullying of Cardinal Ratzinger and his so-called “Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith” for many years. I wrote an expose about it, The Pope’s War. Most American publishers were afraid to publish it (but kudos to Sterling Ethos who had the courage to do so). And no Catholic publication I know has dared to review it. Now a French journalist has written another expose called In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy and I have written a substantive review of it.**
*For the full account from Minneapolis by journalist and activist Lynnell Mickelson, see: https://www.facebook.com/lynnell.mickelsen/posts/10157238704816272. Used with permission of the author.
See Matthew Fox, The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved, pp. 12, 165-168.
Banner Image: A protester at 38th Street and S. Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis on Tuesday after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Lorie Shaull on Flickr.
Queries for Contemplation
What is your experience of bullying that goes beyond the playground into our civic and even religious institutions? How do you recognize it and attempt to stop it or at least slow it down?
The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved
The Pope’s War offers a provocative look at three decades of corruption in the Catholic Church, focusing on Josef Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. The final section in the book focuses on birthing a truly catholic christianity.
“This book should be read by everybody, not only for its ferocious courage, but also for its vision for what needs to be saved from the destructive forces that threaten authentic Christianity.” ~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope.
“In the gripping The Pope’s War, Matthew Fox takes an unwavering look at the layers of corruption in the Catholic Church, holding moral truth against power.” — Jason Berry, author of Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II