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Coptic Guilt and Fear of Hell

Discussion in 'The Voice In The Desert - Oriental Orthodox' started by SuperCloud, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. SuperCloud

    SuperCloud Newbie

    Okay, Oriental Orthodox:

    Today, realistically very few Catholics have any guilt in relation to any thing Catholicism generally regards as a sin, and by observation of militant politics and militant social rebellion, it's fair to say very few Catholics have any fear of hell. Fr. Robert Barron (who puts out some good videos and critics on movies by the way) famously claims in one of his youtube videos, that hell is probably empty of human souls.

    Once upon a time--before I was born--Catholics famously had "guilt" and feared eternal damnation in hell.

    What do Copts think about hell and do Copts in general live without a sense of guilt over sins--ranging from masturbation to adultery--and do Copts fear hell? Or are Copts more like Protestants of the Born Again and "Saved" type of mind.

    I have some fear of hell. It's a torment in a sense, but I live in sin too. To some degree. So, Copts or Oriental Orthodox, tell me what your views and attitudes or socio-cultural dispositions are within the Oriental Church towards sin and hell.
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  2. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassadors Supporter

    Oriental Orthodox
    If I may suggest,

    Some of the questions you have are good questions and yet there have been discussions covering them before which can be found easily if utilizing the SEARCH engine on the forums - it can save you a lot of time in asking on things which may have already been covered. Of course, asking things fresh can lead to fresh answers from differing people so I can understand.

    That said, on your question, it is difficult for one to understand the Oriental Orthodox perspective of Hell if one does not first understand the concept of the Atonement and what it means to be saved. For more information, you may wish to investigate St. Isaac the Syrian's understanding of hell (as St. Isaac says that God's love would not allow for punishment just for the sake of punishment, but rather this punishment serves a purpose - all of it done for the sake of the salvation of the Soul). Hell is indeed eternal and there are rewards and punishments - something that should never be taken lightly if taking seriously who God is.

    Outside of that, one can investigate the thread entitled Coptic theology, and atonement - or, for that matter, investigate the general understanding of Hell as Orthodox (including Eastern Orthodox) see it...some basic places being ones like What is Orthodox Hell? | Eclectic Orthodoxy..and of course, one can go to Judgment Day
  3. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

    Oriental Orthodox
    I think you need to have more posts than I currently do in order to post videos on this board (not sure), but if you want there is a sermon which addresses this topic by HH Pope Shenouda III that has been put on Youtube with English subtitles. You can find it there by searching for "After Death (English Subtitles) - H.H. Pope Shenouda III". There may be more videos under the Arabic title بعد الموت مفيش فرصة or some transliteration thereof (e.g., ba3d el-mout mafish forsa). I seem to recall seeing longer translated videos under that title (and there are longer ones in Arabic, though it seems like not all of them are of the sermon), but cannot find them now. The full Arabic of the sermon title means "After death there is no chance", which should give you a pretty good idea how seriously the Coptic Orthodox Church takes sin and repentance. There is another good sermon by HH that is longer and available with English subtitles on Youtube called "Come back to God", which explains what is true repentance and true prayer from an Orthodox perspective. It might also help you.
  4. Shane R

    Shane R Priest Supporter

    United States
  5. SuperCloud

    SuperCloud Newbie

    Shane, I clicked on that link and briefly looked at the book on calmness. A number of those books look like they'll be worth while reading (or at least reading parts of), especially if it is the case, assuming hell does exist. They may help in saving my soul from hell then. Which is the important thing.

    dzheremi, I watched both those videos as you suggested. Good stuff. You actually had a Pope talking about sin leading to damnation in hell. I personally hope no human soul is damned to hell, not Hitler, not serial killers, not no one. But I fear that is not the case.

    Gxg, thanks for taking the time to post all that stuff. I read your St. Issac link, Eclectic Orthodoxy link, and scrolled through some of that Coptic theology, and atonement thread that you linked. There was a lot of convoluted theological arguing and jargon in that thread. I really don't care for all of that. I'm sure it's fine for those into studying formal theology. But Christianity never taught me as much about hell as life in the USA as an ethnic Black-American male of Generation X in the country that astronomically incarcerates more of its citizens (usually black males) than any other nation on earth. In Wisconsin I can carry an AK-47 slung across me back, and walk with a CCW permit with a loaded pistol in my waist band. But it's against the law for me to own a knife with a button on it that Wisconsin defines as a switchblade. It does not matter to me if earthly hell of incarceration is "penal" or "the love of Wisconsin experienced a different way."

    Hell is hell. My emotional state is not one in which I have a need or desire to perceive Wisconsin or God as cotton candy. I understand some people have that need. I view plenty of laws in Wisconsin and the USA as stupid or even wickedly unjust. I still attempt to obey the master lest I be sentenced to hell. So, for me, it does not matter if God is cream puffs or not, what matters is if hell exists and me pleading for His mercy, and hopefully trying to follow the rules (which I don't do too well at right now).
  6. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassadors Supporter

    Oriental Orthodox
    A couple of things before going further...

    One, we understand that your black - You already noted such when saying "I'm a mulatto reared in the Midwest and a cradle Catholic. Well, technically I guess I'm not Catholic now am I? "? - but that has little bearing on the issue of addressing Hell.

    Two, based on your comments, it seems you didn't understand the concept - for labeling something as "Jargon" really shows one is not ready to deal with the OO Church since the early saints noted the same thing when it came to God's Love and Hell - both which were mentioned in the thread. Anyone can retort "Formal Theology" which is a slogan - but having theology well-defined and laid out is what the early Church was very focused on. Claiming something as "convoluted" is NOT the same as showing such - nor the same as graciously saying "I really didn't understand what was said here - what did you mean?"or asking for clarification if really wanting to see what Oriental Orthodox adhere to. They do not approach the concept of Hell or separate the concept from God's Love in ways that many Catholics do - and you already mentioned "I have some fear of hell. It's a torment in a sense, but I live in sin too." So in many ways, it seems apparent you came at the issue here with your own assumptions and are trying to fit whatever you find within Oriental Orthodoxy into those parameters instead of dealing with it fully as it is. Thus, if serious about learning, one needs to sit and show they are ready to learn. You need to know whether the dynamics of what God delivered us from are either Penal, Substitution or otherwise since all of those concepts were what the Early Church wrestled with when they were trying to understand what it meant to be delivered from Hell or saved at all - and thus, knowing what God expects if really wishing to be in His favor. Love is the basis for all - Luke 7:36-50 being a basis for showing that when it came to the sinful woman who anointed Christ and his response on "Whoever has been forgiven much loves much." You cannot simply look to where others in OO Culture note sin damming to Hell (which is true) - and then focus on that while ignoring where the same people also noted where God's Love makes a world of difference in how we live a well. I already noted where Hell existed - as did others - and thus, assuming that's "cotton candy" is disrespectful. That is not something that needs to happen here.

    Three, Speaking about Black experience is fine - but what does that have to do with the question of Hell?. I am well aware of the disparities (being Black Hispanic /Afro-Latino myself with other mixed members in the family...including in Missouri) and have long spoken on it - from the experiences of lynching (which occurred in both the South and the North and the West) to the incarceration occurring for Blacks more than any other group as and many other issues besides that. MLK noted when it came to the Kingdom of God and the many ways Heaven/Hell are present realities experienced in this life as well as the life to come, "only a 'dry as dust' religion prompts a minister to extol the glories of Heaven while ignoring the social conditions that cause men an earthly hell.". But at the end of the day, the focus is on what OO believe about Hell...and whether or not you're ready to accept that. OO do not believe in a Cream-Puff God and thus bringing that up out of nowhere really has no basis. To bring it up as if anyone was arguing that is disrespectful - especially if you are a guest on a forum.

    Love casts out Fear - and there is no fear in Love, as I John 3-4 notes in detail in showing what is expected of the saints. If you have never read it and yet are wondering about the issue of Hell, I'd suggest starting there since that is a basic - and for other places, Luke 10:25-39 also comes to mind when it comes to Jesus noting the greatest law in the 10 commandments and then showing what God expects from all with the Good Samaritan parable ...many stay focused on rules rather than focused on "How can I honor Christ today in how I treat others?" - if one were really concerned on Hell, they would start with that reality in knowing that it was NEVER about simply avoiding Hell. It was about reflecting the Heart of God as Christ noted - with our actions being based on blessing others because of how God has blessed us.

    There are rules - as was noted earlier when it came to rewards and punishments for our actions - and yet there is God's Mercy. All of that, if really wanting to deal with Hell on the terms the Church set, need to be addressed. And if wanting to learn, one needs to sit and learn - not take things in pieces. Otherwise, they will always be incomplete....and a shaping of God based on our OWN desires or how we want to see him due to where we're at.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  7. SuperCloud

    SuperCloud Newbie

    Gxg, I think you are misunderstanding me.

    Number one, I have a respect for theology as an academic field of inquiry. One of the men I most admired, having read two of his books, is Fr. Stanley Jaki who had two doctoral degrees. He had a Ph.D. in physics and a Ph.D. in Catholic theology. First of all, getting a doctoral degree is an accomplishment in itself.

    Number two, while my major is biology (it's taking me a long time to get my bachelor degree) I've taken a few philosophy courses in university simply to better sharpen my ability at critical thinking. While I respect philosophy as an academic field of inquiry--I tend to dislike doing philosophy.

    And doing philosophy can be different than doing science. Albeit, the branch of philosophy known as logic (I've taken a symbolic logic course--torturing my brain) is strongly correlated to mathematics and science draws upon both. And philosophy can help one in the sciences... ergo you have the philosophy of biology and philosophy of science. Two philosophical courses I've taken.

    But a lot of doing philosophy--as in a past philosophy of political freedom course I took--results in basically what occurs on a online philosophy discussion board I participate on occasionally. It's a lot of speculation, and the person doing the speculation is usually presenting propositions that are born out of their own emotional and psychological state. Motivations from their feelings of needs.

    Therefore, on that philosophy board, on the philosophy of religion section of the board, the usual comes up from agnostics and atheists: e.g., "If God is Good and Love Then Why is There Evil." Topics on hell abound too.

    This usually sparks a race between Christians and their critics to explain how a truly loving God works. Rarely if ever do you find a person that simply proposes If God exists then we must accept God on His own terms or suffer the consequences of not doing so.

    As for me being racially mulatto and ethnically Black-American. And a member of Generation X. It has everything to do with teaching me about hell as I stated. In certain terms. They say the USA is great. The most loving, wonderful nation on earth. People speak about it the way Christians speak about God. Now, biologically and logically I'm as white as any white person, especially given half my ancestry is Germanic. However, I experience the USA as a black male in a post-industrial, Midwestern city, as Gen X. What that means is I was raised with the odds of either being murdered, confined to a wheelchair, getting hooked on drugs, or going to prison. Lots of black males I know are ex-con. To this day I'm not sure I won't end up murdered tomorrow or thrown in prison for life. Just the way it is. So, I reconciled this by giving up on all the cream puff language about the USA. I no more have an emotional need to explain my life in the USA, the state or federal prison I may thrown into the rest of my life, or God and hell in all these terms of "love experienced in a different way." Especially given the violence in some U.S. prisons. Supposedly, when you go to hell after this life, you may be tortured by demons and there is no ACLU and law firms to appeal to.

    So, that's my view. However, I realize there are agnostics that will say no God of love could allow a person to be tortured in hell, and Christians be they Catholic, EO, or OO that will say God only does it out of loooooooove.

    Whether God does it out of love or no love is no bearing to me. I'm speaking for me. The thing for me is hopefully to avoid hell. That's my personal perspective.

    So, I wasn't trying to attack you or the Oriental Church so much. I'm just not personally into some of this philosophical speculating and arguing over hell. It's enough just to fear going to hell and avoid hell in my view. I haven't been to prison in the U.S. yet and I'm satisfied with that. I don't need to be a philosopher of law to avoid prison.

    One of my problems with Catholicism today is that culturally there is no fear of hell. Even theologically people like Fr. Barron dismiss hell as likely unpopulated of human souls. He philosophically speculates on hell and so might lay Catholics. But very few seem to fear the potential for damnation in hell. In the sciences we might bring up the False-Postive Error vs False-Negative Error here. A False-Positive Error (fear of hell in which case hell either does not exist or its empty of human souls) always results in lower *cost* for error than a False-Negative.
  8. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassadors Supporter

    Oriental Orthodox
    SuperCloud, I appreciate the response - but I think you missed what was noted. For when it comes to the issue of philosophy, what was conveyed was not that you did not study on the matter - but that many things which are thrown under the label of philosophy do not warrant the title simply because of a sharing of perspective that was a historical view - or claiming that it is speculative simply because of the classes you took where philosophy as you experienced it was highly based on speculation. It's the issue of overlap and placing concepts outside of what they were considered....and this has been something the Church has often spoken on when it comes to taking modern concepts and trying to filter the Church through that primarily and thus concluding on that basis.

    Atheists ask the questions on religious boards "If God is love, why is there evil?" and they frame their discussion in the world of philosophy - but philosophy has a basis that can either be based in God OR BASED in men. And we often take the basis of philosophy in the world without God as the basis for our discussions abo
    The reality, of course, is that the early CHurch did not simply proclaim that God exists and therefore we must accept him on his terms while AVOIDING explaining why his terms make sense.
    As said before, nothing said which you disagreed with goes counter to the reality of being born mulatto/ethnically Black-American. My family (including my father whose grandfather was lynched and who lived in NC seeing colored only fountains) were also members of Generation X - whereas I am from Generation Y. Being racially mixed (i.e. Black and Hispanic, with a White/Scotish Grandfather - more in #152) and Black in my experience, the subject is very serious... although many think others in Generation Y don't experience racial realities. ...and for others, sadly, there is a level of avoiding the issues of racial problems for others in Generation Y just as many in Generation X did so.

    The issue of Blackness (no offense intended) is vastly more intensive for myself being that I am not biologically and logically white - it has ALWAYS been Black in the experience (as well as due to skin tone of darker coloration), thus there's no real need speaking as if I do not understand the Black experience. I understand the reality of what mulatto individuals go through since they are also in my family - and others have talked on that before, more in 'A Chosen Exile': Black People Passing In White America. I've had the battles being discriminated and having to fear for my life when it comes to the police or profiling - I've experienced it when it comes to dehumanization of blacks and racism. On top of that, I've had the experiences many black men go through when it comes to fatherlessness and having to constantly adapt to a culture saying you're either not "Black Enough" for not fitting the stereotype of what it means to be black (in commercialization of hip hop and media) or acting "too white" when it comes to knowing and acting as Black Radicals/Intellectuals did in history. My family from Generation X always passed down our history and it's something we choose not to forget when it comes to the experiences of black males and women in the U.S. We have family who've experienced prison due to the issues of our day - while we've seen others who were murdered. And we, living in the South, have had to deal with the threat of death and hostility as a very real reality.

    It is not a new issue or something I've been down the block with - more shared in Most Arrogant Man in the World - Redux

    And if it was missed, it is again noted that others from Generation X and before have said the same things I am noting to you now - thus, the Generation X card does not really hold weight IN REGards to the Hell issue since other men in that era did not come to see Hell in the same way as you - even as they had the same experiences.

    One can never start with the experiences of what happens in this life and then use that as a basis for evaluating the concept of Hell absolutely - and thus, it's why claiming "cream puff language" still misses the reality of what the Early CHURCH already noted when it comes to how Hell was seen. One aspect may line up with what you may prefer - as it concerns God's Justice and having no one to appeal to in the name of "God is love and would never hurt anyone - but that still leaves out the other reality of what Jesus said plainly when noting that anyone looking to Him would be saved (John 6) and that he did not come into the world to condemn it but to save it (John 5) - with Hell being something the Lord NEVER wishes upon mankind or something that

    Many Catholics, due to their focus on sin and guilt, tend to assume that the focus of God is only "Do this or burn" in the name of Fear of God - and that's not truly Hell as God in the Scriptures noted it. Ezekiel 18 is one passage among many noting how God does not delight in the death of the wicked nor does he celebrate torture...

    Essentiallly, others may wish to dismiss God's Justice thinking He'd never harm others in any way who cross him - but it's still dismissing God and mocking Him essentially when assuming any form of mercy or grace and the compassion (as His MERCY/Patience leads to repentance as Romans 2 notes directly) is to be dismissed as "cream puff" .

    The scriptures DID NOT give us the option of avoiding why He does things out of love or understanding that GOD IS LOVE (John 5)...and that part of avoiding Hell means understanding what God took the time to lay out in the Word.

    I understand where it is that you are coming from. Nonetheless, whenever there's dismissal of things in the name of "philosophical speculating", one does attack whether they realize it or not - for the OO Church is not for philosophical speculating nor do they feel it's enough to simply fear going to Hell. Serving God is not about recieving a "Get out of Hell Free" card and serving him more so for fear of punishment rather than out of love for who He is....

    And this concept is something that makes a world of difference. Even from the perspective outside of OO, there's Biblical merit for this reality. As John Piper said best, God is most glorifed in Us when we are most satisfied in Him...

    God Is Most Glorified in Us When We Are Most Satisfied in Him - John Piper - YouTube

    And yet we matter. ...A lot. ..Not in ultimate terms, but in created, God-reflecting terms....thus meaning we are to serve God not simply to avoid Hell since that really doesn't Glorify God anymore than someone keeps the law for fear of getting arrested/in trouble or caught rather than keeping the law because they actually value respect for others.

    You cannot scare others into the love of God - as "perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18)
    And only in seeing Him as he is can we know what it means to avoid Hell.

    For following His Resurrection Jesus said to the apostles, “peace be unto you” (John 20: 19,21,26). ...and He distinguishes the peace He bestows from that which is given by the world (John 14: 27), while St. Paul describes it as, “…the peace of God which passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

    St. Maximos touches on the subject generally:

    "The fear of the Lord is twofold. The first type is produced in us from threats of punishment, and from it arise in proper order self-control, patience, hope in God, and detachment, from which comes love. The second is coupled with love itself and constantly produces reverence in the soul, list through the familiarity of love it becomes presumptuous of God. Perfect love casts out the first fear from the soul which by possessing it no longer fears punishment. The second fear it has always joined to it, as was said. The following passages apply to the first fear: 'By the fear of the Lord everyone turns away from evil,' (Prov. 15:27) and, 'the beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord.' (Prov. 1:7) And to the second fear: 'The fear of the Lord is pure and remains forever and ever,' (Ps. 18:10) and, 'There is no want in those who fear him.' (Ps. 33:10)" - St. Maximos the Confessor, Four Hundred Chapters on Love, 1.81-82
    We're to walk in the fear of God which holds him in awe and which remembers His love - the source of all things. If we don't, all we're left with is a being who we are simply fearful of and trying to understand how to not get on his bad side so we'll make it.....a lifestyle that really isn't about fear of God at all since we don't understand Him.

    People in the most bitter of circumstances and truly on their way to Hell were able to avoid that road when realizing the root of all right behavior which is found in seeing God as love and then going from there (accepting God on His own terms). Thankful for is Nicky Cruz, who lived in the rough parts up North (with the statistics against him and from Generation X as well as seeing death and murder constantly):


    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  9. SuperCloud

    SuperCloud Newbie

    Gxg said:

    Okay, that makes sense.

    I'll read over the rest of your post (some I have already, but I didn't click on the links yet) and check out those videos later.

    You always have some interesting perspectives.
  10. SuperCloud

    SuperCloud Newbie

    Gxg said:

    Okay, I'm getting a little further along in your post, Gxg. So, I'll address this portion.

    I very briefly scrolled over that link you labeled #152. And I read over (or most of) the other two articles you linked in that same paragraph. I read some--not all--of that article you linked in your second paragraph. I'm aware of Black-Americans (and white Americans) conception of "passing" or the history of "passing." So, I didn't really feel it necessary to read the whole article. I should note here that while I am ethnically Black-American I don't subscribe to a number of Black-American's concepts of race which they got from from Anglo-Americans.

    For instance that article in your second paragraph stated this:

    "She was black, but she looked white," Hobbs said. "And her mother decided it was in her best interest to move far away from Chicago, to Los Angeles, and to assume the life of a white woman."

    Actually, from a Brazilian or Latino perspective, no, that woman was white. Just like they view me as both moreno and brown. Not black. Your visual phenotype per "color" classification is actually what you look like, not who gave birth to you. So, she was not "passing" as Black-Americans say. Not in a sense. Not if one is thinking of race like a Brazilian. However, being cognizant of culture, being cognizant of the human intent and practice of deception, yes, she was "passing" for something she was not in context of the culture and its racial identities of the United States, most especially during her times.

    But as an a former Africology professor of mine pointed out in class, Does Mexico sit above the United States or below it geographically? Our maps place the United States North of Mexico so that is the way, in this vast universe, we directionally imagine and perceive the nation-state of Mexico.

    Likewise, when a white American, even if they are swarthy from descending from a line of Southern Italians or Southern Spaniards, reads me or hears me critiquing race and structural racism in the United States or throughout the Americas, they don't automatically view me as a white person of Germanic stock critiquing whites. They don't see me as a white that is delusional about being a non-white. At minimum they see me as a non-white biracial person. But usually they will see me as a "black" person and therefore hear a black person critiquing yet again white people and the USA.

    But the fact is I have white family that lived or lives in predominately, almost exclusively white neighborhoods of the city I live in. And I've spent a lot of time over there. I've spent even more time in the predominately middle-class Black-American neighborhood I came up in as well as the almost exclusively black and impoverished neighborhood my black extended family came up in. Therefore, I did not have to sit a classroom and read about some vast gap between white Americans and ethnic Black-Americans. From childhood onward I actually saw it with my own eyes and experienced it. This vast gap which both white and Black-Americans of both political parties like to ignorantly refer to as a "stereotype," as if dismissing reality makes them somehow morally and intellectually superior, does in fact exist.

    And as I like to tell white Americans who get angry and offended, I did not turn black people in the U.S. who descended from Southern slaves, into their own bona fide ethnicity. Multiple decades of Jim Crow did that.

    Jim Crow was institutionally put in place by Anglo-Saxon whites (which includes the so-called Scots-Irish), and accepted by other ethnic groups of whites like the Germans, Poles, Irish, Italians and so on. These latter whites mainly accepted it through Northern housing discrimination policies. So, even rich blacks in the North lived in the same neighborhoods as poor blacks once upon a time. They were self contained neighborhoods like the "ethnic" white neighborhoods of the North used to be. But the Anglo-Saxon whites eventually assimilated "ethnic" whites into their neighborhoods. That's why you don't have Irish and Polish and Sicilian neighborhoods in Milwaukee anymore. They went and lived with the Anglo-Saxon in the suburbs, married them, and became "white." They are now culturally undifferentiated. But ethnic Black-Americans remain culturally different.

    And this in part brings us to Trayvon Martin. I'm not your typical Black-American. Trayvon Martin should have gotten shot. For a number of reasons. But he shouldn't have gotten shot in the sense that George Zimmerman never should have followed that kid on foot.

    But Martin was no angel. And Zimmerman likely was cognizant of the fact there are different prevailing cultural traits in predominately Black-American neighborhoods that most young Black-Americans embrace as the values, behaviors, and attitudes to hold. And yes... they are often thuggish values. Sorry, but they are.

    If Trayvon Martin had punched an armed, young black man odds are he would have gotten shot by that armed, young black man adhering to the values and attitudes of violence he learned in "the hood."

    And the fact is my views must in part be understood from my own background as a Black-American male in Generation X in a post-industrial Midwestern city. That's basic to literary criticism--inspecting and understanding the background of a writer, interpreting what they write through an understanding of that writers background.

    And I don't care about being accused of "stereotyping." Making generalizations are a basic part of the social sciences be it sociology, anthropology, economics, or Africology. No one can speak about every single individual on planet earth. And I have no time for that. I won't even entertain such foolish or childish idea. I save time simply generalizing about women, politicians, men, homosexuals, Christians, Orthodox, Catholics, whites, blacks, Puerto Ricans and so on. I know every Puerto Rican isn't poor or isn't heterosexual. But a lot are. Yeah, you can find a minority of Black-Americans that are Buddhist and vegetarian. But the vast majority aren't. So, if I say, "Northern Black-Americans have a culinary tradition that is derived from Southern roots, which consists of a lot of fried foods," I really don't care if some people want to accuse me of "stereotyping."

    And the fact is Black-American males of Generation X, not only in Milwaukee but in most cities of the United States, were on a whole as a group (not individuals as exceptions) ravaged by unemployment, prison, jails, drug addiction, alcoholism, homicides, and gun violence. Period. No Politically Correct pointing to metaphorical lottery winners as some indication of the norm is going to change that.

    I can sit in a biology lab in university (UW-Milwaukee) and not see a single black face. Not a female black face even. And I'm old as dirt. Didn't enter college until age 35. Started at community college and graduated from there. (As you can tell I've taken numerous semesters off) But there are always a plenty of white faces--of both sexes--in those labs. A few East or Southeast Asian face. But there are plenty of blacks in Milwaukee. Now among the youth the City of Milwaukee is even a majority racial "minority" city. So, where are all these black males? Most black males in my neighborhood have felonies. I have absolutely no problem meeting black males my age that have been shot or hooked on crack or unemployed or that have been to prison. It's nearly impossible to run into one that is in university studying a science. But you can occasionally run into some that are attending college (even not running into them socially, I do see black faces in the student body of UW-Milwaukee passing through the halls of campus).

    As a rule of thumb--a rule of thumb I said not a universal truth for every individual--if you're a black male of Gen X you went to jail, or you go to prison, or you get murdered, or you end up shot and possibly in a wheelchair for life.

    All that said... I do appreciate the fact you share some of my racial make up, racial experiences in the USA, and I generally do like your posts. They have a bit of a unique view and theme to them often, and I always can appreciate that.
  11. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassadors Supporter

    Oriental Orthodox
    I am aware of where there are disagreements on the issue of how others see race. There are many views of race within Black-America which are indeed adapted from Anglo-Saxon culture. The myth of "Whiteness vs. Blackness" is one among many of them depending on the variation. Nonetheless, even for others saying they disagree with concepts of race from Anglo-Americans, it has also been the case that many views advocated in claims of opposition to Anglo-American views actually ignore what Blacks go through without even realizing it. Some of this has been seen here, IMHO...as I will note in a bit.
    Actually, no - from a Latino perspective, the woman would be able to choose whom she would identify with even though she had white skin features. The dynamic of passing for white (even though not being white) is a common experience within Latin American culture - and unless one is actually from that culture (Which you are not), it really isn't taken seriously in saying what the culture is in opposition to what actually occurs. Much of the concepts behind what is seen as either black or white is centered on the history of what happened in Latin America - for in the highland countries, the Spanish conquistadors had plenty of sexual relations with Indian women, and by the end of the 16th century people of mixed Spanish-Indian ancestry were relatively numerous throughout the highland countries. In other places of Latin America, considerable number of African slaves were imported to work in the mines and on the plantations - with the majority of these Africans being males who mated with Indian women and leading to a situation where their offspring added to the racially mixed population (mestizos, mulattoes and the castes) and further complicated the types of mixtures present in colonial society of that time. You had "bermejos" (that is whites or Spaniards) and "indios" (Indians)...and then there were the "negros" (Negroes) divided into two categories, mulattoes divided into seven categories, and mestizos divided into five categories. There were "mulato morisco" ... specifically "the offspring of a Spaniard and a mulata"..and there were "Zambos" in Spanish America, the offspring of Africans and Indians. But in many cases, if you had the features alone, you could pass. This is the reality of white privelige and the ways it developed in time....and this is something others who are Black in Latin America have noted at multiple points:

    Black In Latin America (Episode 1) Haiti and The Dominican Republic- The Roots of Division - YouTube
    Black in Latin America E02, Brazil: A Racial Paradise - YouTube
    Black in Latin America E03, Mexico and Peru: The Black Grandma in the Closet - YouTube
    Black in Latin America E01, Cuba: The Next Revolution - YouTube

    Many of the people present there could pass for white due to their complexion - but if discovered that one was mixed, you could not advance no matter how you looked. It was one of the reasons the Spanish Empire did not consider those with Spanish blood to truly be Spaniards due to the fact that they were born in the New World, with mixed culture -and it was not a hidden issue.

    This is something that has come up often with other friends I have had from Latin America - one of them from South America - who have white features. My great-grandfather being one of them among others. Others who are mixed and moreno are viewed as Black in Latin America and that cannot be avoided. It's one of the issues present with how other Hispanics have actively chosen to identify as White for however long they can..
    Part of doing statistics properly when it comes to categorizations properly involves never speaking past what the sample group is to make conclusions on the whole. Because you claim that White Americans do not see you as white because of you critiquing structural racism, that does not really address the expansive history of where blacks were considered a part of white culture due to adapting the views of others in White culture and realizing that it was never how one looked alone. There are multiple cases where Blacks were considered "white" based on what they actually did or said in critique. Happens all the times in the South. For when it comes to cultural views, of course one can be black in appearance even though they are effectively white in their outlook and their views....with the inverse being true as well, just as it was when Southern Italians were considered “black” in the South due to the shared experience that they had with blacks due to coloration, even though they did not identify with either Black Americans fully or White America.

    This is actually a common experience for many other Blacks as well when it comes to people assuming they automatically identify with African-American culture simply because of how they look - even though they do not and they will go even further to note that they don't really identify as "Black" as we understand it due to the ancestry aspect. , from seeing themselves as European or Asian (rather than white or black) or

    [*]AFRO-EUROPE: A History of Black people in Europe

    StereoTypes Paris - French African vs. African American? - YouTube

    Cool to know - I also have white family living exclusively in predominately white neighborhoods. The uncle is Afro-Latino (Dark Skinned) and his wife is IrisH. I grew up (when living in Oak Ridge, TN) with my great-grandparents and grand-parents in predominately white/upper class neighborhoods for years - and the same went for life in Georgia afterward, even though we used to live in lower-income communities in North Carolina before both of those events. We have other family who kept in them while we were able to advance - although in Tennessee we always kept contact with others (paticularly the elderly) who were Black and in run-down neighborhoods and yet thriving due to having many habits from the oldschool with how they handled resources and cultivating the land...similar to others who do so like Majora Carter or Van Jones and others - and all of this in spite of Jim Crow or institutional racism being a facotr to fight against. Growing up and seeing it as did others in my family (in light of how many in Rural America in the South had to learn how to adapt as Blacks or Hispancis working alongside Whites in order to survive), it is unfortunate to see some of the stereotypes brought up that seek to claim all in a group as being the same.

    Having family in the Black Middle Class, there are stories in both of those who did well and others who did not - such is the reality of it concerns the Black Bourgeoisie (more shared here, here and here).

    A lot of things have shifted with regards to what the lower-economic realtiy is for Blacks and neighborhoods in those areas - especisally as it concerns the impact of Black Flight into neighborhoods in the Suburbs and gettting out of lower-income communities.
    I am well aware of the reality of the housing crisis and the damage it has caused (gentrification included as has happened frequently here in Atlanta ) - it is present here in the South as well. Many bLACKS - JUST AS IT WAS in events like Black Wallstreet being torn down - were not allowed to thrive due to not having their rights for property protected...on top of the Black Codes being enacted throughout the North and the Midwest - sometimes allowing for others to be protected, depending on how much influence they had, and other times the codes switching to allow blacks to suffer even when they were able to advance. The same issue goes for land development when it comes to land taken away from others.

    ...Also, I am aware of the ways that "Whiteness" is something that others assimilated into over time and it was not a quick process in light of other groups who never were accepted as much.

    Both of these issues were discussed elsewhere (if wanting my thoughts on the matter rather than me re-writing it here):

    I do not expect you to investigate everything on the issue - it is there fore reference. And being a Human Services Professional (as that's what I graduated with my Bachelors in - prior to my pursuing my History Masters), not much of what you say is unfamilar since we had to know the dynamics of what happens in the situations you brought up. Being Black and seeing it in person, it;'s even less surprising that you bring it up...but the bottom line is that I am aware of the issue.​
  12. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassadors Supporter

    Oriental Orthodox
    Continued from before...

    This, unfortunately, is very much reflective of the domiannt White culture more so than it is of the Black cultural reality. For when one assumes someone deserved to be shot on site simply for looking thuggish, they adopt the same mentaltity that Blacks in the civil rights era fought against when it came to noting that no one should be deemed "guilty before proven innocent."

    There's no rule at all substantiated that says someone deserves to be shot because of how they look a certain way. Having a hoodie on and a grill does not make one dangerous - just as having a suit and tie does not mean one is upright since many who were serial killers did the same. People say "Well, he should not have had tattoos..." - but that is silly seeing that many with tattos have jobs taking care of their families, especially within the Hispanic world.
    . Last I heard, I don't have room to go out shooting all of them up because of where others who beat others up had tattoos as well....

    A lot of things occurring are code-switching, seeing that many others were sterteotyped evren when they were not "thuggish" simply because they had a hoodie on - and they were white. Others were not stereotyped due to their complexion and that's something that others have noted when it comes to code-switching and not realizing the reality of the media influencing more than others realize.

    Anyone following you at night will make you run - and sadly, others have been shot for doing so even without the "thug" appearance (as others blame the instance with SZimmerman on) so it's far from cultural appearances. Of course, the same thing has been present with other situations (including the Michael Brown shootings and others) - so it's not something that I take lightly - more shared in Hatred actually traveled in waves" - St. Louis then and now and How Racism Works in 2014

    Seeing the extensive numbers of men from the hood who do not react to violence with lethal intent (another stereotype often promoted by others in White culture), there's no basis really saying another young black man would have shot Trayvon. THIS is the basis behind why other black men protested his death and that of others when it came to slotful generalizations others made without even understanding how young black men in the hood act universally.

    It's no different than saying someone who grew up in a trailer park or in the country would be a KKK member - or that someone with a Confederate Flag in the South, if getting into a fight with a black man, would seek to ensure his deaht. The facts are simply not there - but of course there is one version of STREET culture in the hood that other blacks in the hood have long spoken against.

    Rules of the street do not automatically lead to the death of someone simply because of where they disrespect you - that level of senseless violence has occurred in many cities/lower-income communities but it is not the general rule of the street. But it is present - Even Blacks have noted this situation in humorus shows such as Boondocks
    None of that - as it concerns the very background behind literary criticism - deals with where one makes sweeping conclusions based on samples that are not inclusive of all. This is basic when it comes to the issue, seeing that other Black American males in Generation X have never come close to advocating any of the views you espoused - be it in the Midwestern city you're from or other Midwestern cities as well. It is a moot point - if one wanted to claim a background as being the basis for how they saw an issue, they would deal with ALL factors inherent in that background rather than selective examination. I have family born in the same background - and as said before, it doesn't do anything saying "Well, I'm a Black male from Generation X IN The MidWest" since even my family on my father's side live in the Mid-West - in Missouri., to be exact.....from Generation X and prior to that generation. They nor many others are in your schema and have come from the lower classes experiencing the same classes.

    To do otherwise would be as erroneous as saying "Older women tended to vote for Obama" and yet it was NEVER qualified what defined "Older" and how many women were actually sampled - women from the lower class, women from the upper class, women born in the U.S or women who immigrated....you have to stay consistent with the categories. The same goes for trying to claim "I'm a Black American in Generation X" for your views when there are already exceptionally larger categories of males in that same group in the North/Mid West who are from that generation and do not fit the conclusion made. All of this has been noted within the world of Anthropology as well as Sociology when it comes to categories made for differing camps and doing them accurately.

    Whether or not you care on steretotyping is not really relevant to the issue since that was never asked nor a factor - anyone can make stereotypes - but validating them is a different matter.
    Sorry - but stereotyping, in/of itself, is always foolish - and never something that has EVER been accepted within the world of statistics or any other camp. If one cannot understand that, they can never understand how to deal with people based on the groups they are actually in - no different than someone saying "Well, generally all Black people love fried chicken and all Asians love fried rice!!" as if that in any way is either qualified or verified. It is based on an assumption of ignorance and will always carry a degree of racial profiling that is not warranted. The same goes for any other camp.

    To assume "Well, of course not all are like this in a camp - but the minority doesn't mean that one can't say most are like that" is always without basis when no facts were given to show a stereotype was even the NORM - it can never be and will never be taken seriously as it concerns the reality of facts.

    As said before, speaking on Black American males of Generation X in sweeping terms is without basis when it comes to the majority NOT being in those categories as it concerns unemployment or drug addiction, etc. Moreover, depending on the branch of Black American males from Generation X, you'll either see the things you listed or otherwise.

    Talking on "Politically correct pointing" is an argument of emotion since it doesn't take anyone doing any kind of politically correct- motivation in order to address where facts do not support a claim and facts HAVE to be brought to bear. The reality is that the generation hurting the most are Young, Black Men - not those from Generation X.
    And that goes radically different from other Black males in class during Biology class in the same areas. The same dynamics go for Blacks living in North Dakota and South Dakota or Wisconsin - an area heavy with blacks.
    And as said before - although that is a common occurrence, it is more so within the realm of annectdotal rather than 100% verifiable as representing ALL or even the MAJORITY of how all Black Males from Generation X have experienced.

    If you want to bring up statistics, of course, that is a different issue as it concerns men from Generation X in general and the issues they tend to go with.
    As said before, I appreciate you taking the time sharing some of your experiences