and (joke font) "woman with twisty cane" exception to copyright, (end
joke font) blog post by John Hoff
Well, this wasn't hard to foresee. In light of the shocking death of a 69-year-old Good Samaritan who made the fatal mistake of opening his heart and his home to a 20-year-old man pleading for help, and died as a result of this spontaneous act of trust and charity, opportunistic social issues parasites are crawling out of the woodwork to get their faces in front of local and (potentially) national media.
The latest is Pastor Harding N. Smith, who managed to get an article yesterday in the Star Tribune (click here) but somehow the STrib never got around to mentioning Smith's church isn't in North Minneapolis but Brooklyn Center...
You know, Brooklyn Center? The Siamese twin of Brooklyn Park? Those first ring suburbs where all the crime will be driven when North Minneapolis is completely revitalized and we have a Trader Joe's instead of an Aldi, and tulips popping up in yards instead of hair weaves lost during girl fights out in the street? THAT Brooklyn Center.
The Wolf In Sheep's Clothing At The Door
According to Pastor Harding Smith, he's heard people in North Minneapolis now say they're afraid to open their doors to anybody asking for help out of fear that it's a ruse. People SHOULD have been afraid BEFORE Sonnenberg was murdered when just as many ruses and scams and mysterious knocks in the night were happening, but it's true people are definitely afraid NOW.
So Smith is going around knocking on doors, trying to reassure people. Smith is pictured above, holding what appears to be a big metal can into which he probably hopes money will be placed, ching-a-ling-a-ling.
Take This To The Bank And Cash It
Harding Nazaly Smith (DOB 6/18/64, resident of Brooklyn Center) is not a criminal. That much I'll say in his defense. He was twice charged with giving false info to the police (2001 and 2003) over traffic stops, but twice those charges were dropped and he pled to no proof of insurance and no MN license (2001) and driving after suspension (2003).
Yeah. Really shouldn't do that kind of thing when you're a minister. To be fair, I don't know the precise date he was ordained, and NOBODY should do that kind of thing, but especially you shouldn't do that when you are a minister. He was also convicted in 2002 of no license in possession.
But that's all for criminal and/or traffic charges. That's actually pretty good, isn't it? This guy doesn't have a lead foot like I do but, hey, I was TRUCKING.
It's the civil cases which are INTERESTING...
It should be noted there is a discrepancy in birthdays. The Harding Nazaly Smith in the traffic charges has a birthday of 6/8/64 and lives in Brooklyn Center. But on the civil side, the birthday is 6/8/68. Noted, but it sure appears to be the same guy.
Harding Smith faced a civil commitment hearing in 2006 on the basis of being mentally ill or chemically dependent. The same court takes care of both, so it could have been one or both. It looks like there was a bunch of back-and-forth over whether Harding should be committed but eventually there was an "order vacating stay and executing commitment."
Based upon the court records, it appears Harding was committed from December of 2006 to July of 2007, which is fairly serious. But it's possible he had some outpatient time and wasn't locked up during that whole period.
He was also divorced in 2010. No child was involved.
Dots I'd Love To Connect
There is some other Harding N. Smith stuff in the court record but I can't be sure it's the same guy. Which is too bad, because if it's the same guy I'd like to know why he SUED THE SALVATION ARMY IN A PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT. But that's a Harding N. Smith whose home in 2006 was Gaithersburg, Maryland and the Salvation Army sued was in Roseville, Minnesota.
Birthday of this Smith unknown. Same guy? My gut says "probably" but my mind says "you can't confirm it."
Verily I Say Unto You...
In the 6 years I've been blogging, I can only recall a single instance where I was even MILDLY critical of a man of the cloth. I am religious and I believe God commanded "touch not God's anointed."
But I find myself in a world where the "Good Samaritan" was slain by the man on the road. How to apply the word of God to THIS?
"Good Samaritan" is a phrase we apply to anybody who stops and helps somebody in distress. But in the actual parable told by Jesus, the Good Samaritan stopped to help a Jewish man who was beaten and bloody by the side of the road. The Samaritan took the Jew to a room and made sure the Jew was sheltered and cared for even though different tribes, different belief systems were involved.
Compare and contrast. The Jew by the side of the road in Christ's parable was BEATEN. Devon Parker claimed he was being chased by somebody with a BAT who was going to BEAT him.
The Good Samaritan took the Jew to a safe room. Thomas Sonnenberg took Devon into his secure HOUSE.
In the parable, the Samaritan and the Jew came from different worlds, but that didn't matter. The Samaritan saw only a man who needed help and reached beyond cultureal differences to assist. Thomas Sonnenberg, a white 69-year-old retiree and army vet, saw a frantic 20-year-old black man begging for assistance. And so Sonnenberg, like the Good Samaritan in the story told by Jesus, reached out to help Devon Parker.
And Devon Parker killed the Good Samaritan.
I guess I'm supposed to throw the word "allegedly" in there. To that I say...
To hell with your "allegedly."
Devon. Parker. Killed. Thomas. Sonnenberg. The widow saw it, the police and prosecutors wrote it down, and I believe it.
In light of this tragedy of Biblical proportions, our neighborhood does not need self-appointed preachers of doubtful mental health banging on our doors with empty metal buckets and emptier words of assurance. I'll be the "bad cop" who says it but you know what? It NEEDS to be said.
Tend To Your Own House
There is no longer any comfort in the sight of the Mad Dads with their green van, yelling in the street about stopping the violence. Go home and keep an eye on your own children before they kill some decent person. There is no longer any comfort in the sight of street minister K.G. Wilson with his funky military hat; having never served a minute in the armed forces. Go keep an eye on your own family before they kill some decent person.
By the way, K.G. Wilson, the 101st Airborne Division called and they want their HAT back.
All the time we hear about how these organizations need money to keep doing their good work. You know what? Go manage a Burger King. How much "good work" is actually getting done? One gets the sense our problems will never get solved because too many "experts," "consultants," "non-profits" "social workers" and "advocates" make too much money if those horrible problems actually continue. (Good grief, look at all those quote marks springing up like opportunistic dandelions between dirty cracks in the sidewalk)
In fact, a good number of the "charities" and "do gooder" organizations in our neighborhood are fronts for scammers at worse and ineffective, misguided "make work" projects at best. And a lot of us wonder how crappy little businesses that never seem to HAVE any business survive if they are NOT fronts for laundering drug money.
Oh, and don't even get me STARTED on the rampant Food stamp fraud happening every day of the week inside "inconvenience stores." Money that is supposed to buy food for children buys CRACK for their parents. Those bottles of Sprite in the shopping cart? Lucky if the kids get a little sip before somebody ads codeine cough syrup and Jolly Ranchers to mix up a batch of "drank."
Pictured above, Corey Davis, self-proclaimed-if-not-actual "brother" of Devon Parker, who told neighbors they could all "shut the fuck up and mind yall motherfucking business" (sic) shortly after the Sonnenberg tragedy, and the mainstream media had not a word to say about this outrage.
This is the kind of stuff mainstream should be investigating and digging into but political correctness turns their knees to jello at the very thought. Some manic preacher from Brooklyn Center inserts himself into the issues and, well, MUST NOT GIVE OFFENSE. He claims to speak for the neighborhood and what does the media know? It's not THEIR neighborhood.
Every time a self-appointed spokesman for North Minneapolis speaks up the mainstream media quickly give that person a podium, even when they're not FROM North Minneapolis and ten seconds on Google and three minutes on MNCIS would unearth lord-knows-what. Good lord, the other day Channel 5 was calling notorious slumlord Keith Reitman a RESIDENT of North Minneapolis! And a "businessman." It's enough to make the skin crawl with vicarious embarrassment.
So getting to the bottom of all the scammy church and charity fronts in North Minneapolis is a pipe dream when the mainstream media don't even have enough sense to perform MINUTES of background checking before electing somebody a spokesperson for our troubled neighborhood in the wake of yet another tragedy; outrageous tragedy to be sure but also simply "tonight's murder." What, you needed to write SOMETHING so badly you went and picked THIS? A minister knocking on doors?
WE DO NOT NEED A PREACHER FROM BROOKLYN CENTER WITH AN EMPTY POPCORN CAN KNOCKING ON OUR DOORS AND VYING FOR THE MEDIA SPOTLIGHT IN OUR BLOODIED STREETS...
What we need are more cops, more cameras, and help with the issues in North Minneapolis we have been screaming about for years. How is it we're a month into a new political administration and instead of seeing a sudden uptick in new ideas, new energy, new solutions, new hope, instead we see our neighborhood going to hell in a hand basket? Geez, some of us felt SAFE with a gun behind deadbolt doors and now we don't even have THAT.
No, Harding N. Smith, NOT YOU.