Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Take It EZ Monsignor

According to Monsignor Geoff Baron, heaven does not include a half-pipe, or foreigners.

This is a disturbing little film. While I have a ton of sympathy for the Monsignor in this video because these kids outnumber him about 15 to one and the video is kind of a one-sided view of how this played out (considering his reaction, one can only conclude that this is not the first time he's had to ask skateboarders to leave the premises. And given the level of anger with which he approaches the situation at the outset, I'm also willing to surmise that in the past these skateboarders weren't too keen on leaving when first approached.), he could have handled this better. He didn't really need to slap the one kid and leveling the absurd remarks about foreigners (comments that are labeled "xenophobic" though that word doesn't work in this instance for me. We need to come up with a new one for this type of behavior. It comes up enough.) was a little over the top. At the same time, these kids aren't exactly heeding his directions. In hindsight, he probably should have called the cops rather than saying, "move, you fucking fool," and calling them "fucking cunts" (an insult that, at least to me, seems very un-Christion for some reason). But the real kicker was when he pointed at one of the kids as they were leaving and said, "little foreigner there, look at the sleepy eyes, black hair." Whoa. "Sleepy eyes?" I don't really understand the insult there but it sounds really mean. As for the black hair, I guess in Australia having black hair is some sort of racial indicator that separates the foreigners from the native foreigners who colonized the country 350 years ago. Very odd.

But the real emotion for me in viewing this video is sadness. Not because Monsignor Baron has been temporarily relieved of his duties or because the media is spinning this story as "Out of Control Catholic Dean Harasses Cherubic Skating Boys" when in fact these kids were just as wrong as Baron in this instance, my sadness stems from the fact that had Monsignor Baron only listened to OPM, this whole situation could have been averted:

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