I am from Michigan and have been witness to some of the odd behavior of the Antiochian clergy who penned the first letter that put this whole thing in motion.
From what I gathered, it simply seems to me that the Antiochian clergy wish to "modernize" Orthodoxy. I actually sat in a class for weeks that was taught by one of the priests. Countless times "Slavic" Orthodoxy was ridiculed and called fanatical.
At first the references seemed petty, but, after weeks of it, I actually found myself having to defend what I thought (and still do) as proper Orthodox practices.
It isn't even just that priests should wear cassocks, or that they should have no beards. All of this is between the hierarchs and clergy.
However, when he began disparaging the Slavs (Russians, Ukrainians, etc) for their fanaticism, it was a bit much. We pray for catechumens. We actually yell out "the doors, the doors!", we even CLOSE the Royal Gates - how rude is that of us, and it seemed the worst thing was that we stand in church. I was told that if I come to his church and wish to stand, I need to park myself in the back so that I do not ruin the view for those who are sitting. We were called "Super Orthodox!" which I am certain was meant to offend, but, didn't...as he was of the opinion we stuck too closely to rules, traditions, etc. We need to change with the times. We need to be more flexible.
I personally, love the Orthodox Church just the way it is. It will not die if it does not "modernize". However, it will get ill if it does. The Church has been in existence for a long time. Can you imagine what would be left of it, if it changed and morphed to suit each consecutive generation?
The fact that Orthodoxy changes little (only when necessary) is what draws people to it.
Why fix it, if it isn't broken?
May the Lord have mercy on everyone involved, and preserve Orthodoxy and the faithful! This is all just a sad mark on the Church. The devil does not sleep.