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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, December 08, 2014

NAACP, Clergy & Police Chief All Pray For Justice

Barack Obama is the nation's first black President, but maintains that the racial divide in this county is "deeply rooted." A recent Bloomsberg Politics poll bears him out. According to the study, 89% of black Americans strongly disagree with a Ferguson, Missouri grand jury report that refused to charge a white police officer with killing an unarmed black teenager. Yet 64% of white Americans believe it was the right call. Some NFL football players now come onto the gridiron with their hands raised. But in the Christmas City, a tiny spark of hope was ignited on Sunday. The NAACP and mostly black preachers joined hands with blacks and whites, including Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio, to pray for peace and justice.

This prayer vigil, held at Bethlehem's Payrow Plaza, was organized by the Grand Dame of racial equality, Bethlehem NAACP President Esther Lee. She led a group of about sixty people, and ticked off several recent examples besides Ferguson. These include 12 year old Tamir Rice, who was shot and killed by police after pranking people in a Cleveland park with an airsoft toy gun. They include 43 year-old Eric Garner, who was placed in a fatal chokehold by New York police for selling illegal cigarettes. They include 17 year old Trayvon Martin, shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer after going to the store for skittles and ice tea. hat these victims all have in common is the color of their skin.

On one extreme is Esther Lee, who rhetorically asks whether it is "the intention of our system to eliminate black males and our culture through genocide?" On the other side are anonymous police officers at Police One, an internet site for police officers, who have made racist remarks like the following about Garner. "I guess it's the best thing for his tribe. He probably never worked a legit job."

Somewhere in the middle is everyone else, including Chief DiLuzio.

"I've known Esther for years," the Chief said of the always-outspoken Lee. "I know her commitment to the City and the people who live her." He then pointed to a young man running with a sign that says "Pray for Peace and Justice." "I think that's what everyone wants," he said, before holding hands with a black woman standing beside him during prayer.

Esther Lee and Bethlehem Police chief Mark DiLuzio
He defended police officers. "All they want to do is their job and come home to their family like everyone else. But he agreed that something's wrong. "We need to figure out what the hell went wrong and discuss it." He believes there are numerous issues, from poverty to a lack of education.

"We need to be honest," he concluded.

Wearing a black "Man of God" baseball hat, Second Baptist Church Pastor Edward Thompson spoke of Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit, a song about lynchings in the deep South, called "Strange fruit hangin' from the poplar trees."

But he asked God to "bless the policeman. Help him understand young people. Help us to stop killing one another."

coolest hat ever
Rev. Paul Watson, who grew up in Bethlehem bit is Senior Pastor at New Christian Harvest Church in Whitehall, who brought several young men with him, directed some remarks to Chief DiLuzio.

"We will not tolerate injustice in our cities by excessive force from police officers," he declaimed. "We cannot allow things like that to happen. We don't want it here." But then he implored the crowd to "police your own children. Ask your kids the questions. Are thy being bullied? Are they doing their homework?"

"I don't know why people are afraid of black folk," stated Lee as the vigil ended. "It's worse now than ever."


Anonymous said...

Those of us who think that justice WAS served in Fergusan do not hate blacks. We feel it would have been a huge injustice to have indicated a good cop for defending himself against a criminal who was resisting arrest. This was no innocent child. He had just strong armed a shop keeper during a theft and could have very well been under the influence when he attacked the officer. It would not have mattered to me if he was black,white,brown or Asian. He would have tackled the officer, grabbed his gun and shot him if he was not shot first. The facts point to this unfortunate conclusion. If these pious folks don't want young black men to be shot by the police, teach them to respect the law and those who enforce it. Anyone who attacks a cop, regardless of race, can expect unpleasant circumstances.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I agree with you, but there are many who think police over-react, especially when blacks are involved. For that reason, I think this is a good topic to discuss. Another disturbing fact is that blacks overwhelmingly feel an injustice was done, while whites more or less think as you and I do. Why does the color of my skin make my thinking different? Is there something I don't see? I know many cops and do not consider them prejudiced at all. But would I feel this way if i were black?

I don't think there is some bogeyman wearing a badge, out preying on black people. I think the problem is more complicated. But yesterday, I heard some very religious people with different views.

There needs to be more dialogue, not less.

Anonymous said...

There is s a systemic problem that most folks don't
want to accept. One big problem is the evolution of police into a much more physical approach to "policing". The tactics used on people of all colors at times appears much more than needed to subdue. What happened in New York was over use of force based on the offense. It was just wrong. Also let us remember the fellow in Fergusson has not being convicted or proven to have robbed the store.

Having said that, it does at least appear that police get "carried away" at times with the overwhelming physical force during these incidents. African Americans based on the numbers would appear to bear the biggest brunt of this. Police are not the military. If we ever lose that distinction we are lost as a Republic.

Anonymous said...

and another thing, tired of the term, african-american. if you were born here, you are an american. period. you never hear the term italian-american or polish- american, do ya?

Anonymous said...

" "the intention of our system to eliminate black males and our culture through genocide?" "

ask that question at the next NAACP meeting. More young black males dies at the hands of other young blacks males than by any other source.

Anonymous said...

And more black and hispanic males are in our prisons. Because they get targeted more and dont have the means to hire someone ti get them outof trouble

Anonymous said...

Abortion clinics are disproportionately placed in majority black neighborhoods. A black unborn baby is eight times more likely to be aborted than a white. 98% of blacks killed by gunfire are victims of another black person in neighborhoods where "don't snitch" is the rule.

Blacks have devalued their own lives and it's tragic. The black family survived forced relocation to North America, slavery, Jim Crow, and the civil rights years. But was finally destroyed by the 60s social programs we now know were primarily intended to "have those n*****s voting Democrat for 100 years," according to LBJ. Whites seem satisfied to let blacks thin their own herd. I remember the riots and curfews of the late 60s in this area. Today's race relations are far worse. It's very sad.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What are the statistics for black on black crime? I agree with the above. If anything is responsible for black geneside it is the culture of young black males, with or without fathers, who try to live the gansta life, glamorized by rap music and their peers. But it is easier not to blame the root cause. Blame the police, who have a very tough job protecting the rest of us from society's thugs.

Anonymous said...

Are there racist cops? Certainly. But poorly trained, overzealous cops are a problem for all races:


Bernie O'Hare said...

" you never hear the term italian-american or polish- american, do ya?"

I do and have, rather often.

Anonymous said...

"you never hear the term italian-american or polish- american, do ya?"

Actually hear quite a bit. Especially at the various ethnic clubs and so forth. I guess you hear and don't hear what you want.

Anonymous said...

"But was finally destroyed by the 60s social programs"

Yes trying to help people claw their way out of 300 years of servitude was a terrible thing. Medical, decent housing and education is not to be wasted on people like that. You sound like one hell of a guy. Hope your politics of hate keeps you warm at night.

Anonymous said...


Typical liberal morals: throw a program at 'em, call yourself a humanitarian, and hope for the best. Black marriage and illegitimacy rates were steady and improving until LBJ. The numbers don't lie. The programs were intended to buy black votes for Democrats. How'd all those programs work out? They've delivered the misery blacks now live in.

Government wants to stop people from smoking in NYC. It enacts taxes to raise the pack price to $15 and is surprised when people start dying in the criminal enterprises the tax created. Then, they send in cops to kill black guy who isn't paying the tax.

Liberal social engineering always kills people - especially blacks.

Anonymous said...

"Another disturbing fact is that blacks overwhelmingly feel an injustice was done, while whites more or less think as you and I do. Why does the color of my skin make my thinking different? Is there something I don't see? I know many cops and do not consider them prejudiced at all. But would I feel this way if i were black?"

Bernie, I am glad you asked the question that many won't or don't care to ask because they are not empathetic to the situation nor the cause. And yet, when people riot and cause a ruckus the first thing they want to say is WHY?

I don't know what it is like to be white, indian, latino, dutch, etc but I do know what it is to be a black man in America. I know what it is like to be judged before you open your mouth, to hear the click of car doors when you walk by a vehicle, to be told I am NOT black because I speak proper english or have a full fledged conversation (due to stereotypical thought), to be given any type of excuse to be be made to feel I am not good enough in American society's standards. Now, people will yell and scream there are no more Jim Crow laws and I never owned a slave and STILL not get the point. We have issues with race, equality, and justice in America and with ourselves. No one wants to admit it because it's a hard pill to swallow, but it is a fact. They rioted in the 60's in Watts, CA, we rioted in the 80's because of Rodney King, and now in 2014 we are causing a ruckus due to Ferguson, MO. It seems every 20 years we are fighting the same thing and yet people have the audacity to say it's THEIR attitude and THEIR overly sensitive, and THEY need to forget about the past. Yet, these same individuals never ask or even realize that there IS definitely something wrong in our society when a blind eye can be turned to multiple killings, brutality, and unjustified situations. And, the sad part is the WORLD is watching and sees the REALITY of the American people and what America is truly about when it comes to its OWN. This is WHY we feel an injustice was done and if you were black you WOULD feel different and the same way.

"Try walking in my shoes, you'd stumble in my footsteps.."

- Alfonso Todd

P.S.: And please don't tell me how HARD other nationalities had it and how it wasn't easy for other races either, because that is called deflection and misdirection and we are tired of that too....

Anonymous said...

Let's put aside the question of race for a moment.
The situation in Ferguson Missouri was piss poor police work.
Front to back.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

It's piss poor police work that happens way too often and since that is what everyone says in Ferguson (apparently) that this young man wrestled with this officer to get his gun, then it must be true... SMH
A professional law enforcement officer has so many other options than shooting a person multiple times, in fact, I thought use of deadly force was the last option, especially when the other individual wasn't armed. But we will NEVER know the whole story because dead men tell no tales and it seems this is happening far too often. Even when we get it on video tape and it is blatant the killing is just... No one sees the pattern?

-Alfonso Todd

Bernie O'Hare said...

Alfonso, Thanks very much for your insight. I think we might be getting somewhere.

Anonymous said...

And, unfortunately, Anon 1:32 that is NOT the America I live in, the one I live in is much worse....

- Alfonso Todd

naacp is a joke said...


Anonymous said...

Hands down. Pants up. The only thing that would have been surprising about the Michael Brown case was if hadn't been shot and killed after what he did. The Staten Island case had nothing to do with race and everything to do with a city government killing a guy because they weren't going to collect taxes on his product. Race relations are worse because these cases have been lumped together and neither has a thing to do with race - except their usefulness to race hustlers, afterward.

Anonymous said...

Mass media frenzy feeding, the mass injustices in America today are not a black nor white thing¿ In America today it has become a nasty habit of just wanting to eat on a regular bases¿

patent pending

Anonymous said...

It is sad to see how many of my fellow whites do not get it. African-Americans have a unique history in this country and still face an uphill challenge everyday.

Instead of getting mad, try listening to what is being said.

Anonymous said...

"Black marriage and illegitimacy rates were steady and improving until LBJ."

Right they should have known their place and shut-up, right. The civil rights movement supported those programs. But what did they know compared to you. Your Sean Hannity numbers can't lie at all.

Anonymous said...

Alfonso..you speak volumes of truth and we need to listen to what you say and your fellow Blackamericans. We are all Americans..every one of us and we all want and deserve justice before the law.No exceptions. None.