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Old 07-30-2009, 12:50 AM   #241
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bigjohn's not the only one with experience being "a boy not from the island" interacting as an authority figure with people from very different cultural and ethnoracial backgrounds than his own. There's more than one way to respond to those kinds of tensions and antagonisms, and sometimes which one you choose can say quite a bit about you.

That's not a diagnosis of anything, just an observation.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:39 AM   #242
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Congratulations bigjohn !

You have the same effect on people that Officer Crowley does
From what I've read, Crowley was a very effective officer and actually quite aware of the pitfalls of racial profiling. I don't think his arrest of Gates was racially motivated. I think Crowley just had a bad day and made a poor decision.

I'm sure bigjohn is also effective at his job, though based on the tone of his comments so far, I'm not convinced he's as aware of the pitfalls of racial profiling as Crowley was.

But again, I don't know him, so it's unfair of me to make any serious judgements about his character. All we really know about each other is what we choose to present about ourselves on this forum.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:42 AM   #243
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That said, I really don't think Obama needed to apologize for saying that Crowley did a "stupid" thing because.

Because it WAS stupid.

He apologized because it was politically expedient and I get that, but he didn't really need to.

I've done stupid things too, and if someone called it that, I'd have to give them that.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:02 AM   #244
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He gave mouth-to-mouth to Reggie Lewis because that was his JOB, he was on duty as a campus police officer in the college where they held their training camp workouts. So giving medical assistance to a black man is actually some sort of evidence that he harbors no racial bias? That's a new one.

Not saying this applies to Crowley, but...if we can all have unconscious biases then he could too

Research shows key role for unconscious bias
Attitudes believed to be learned early

By Carolyn Y. Johnson, Globe Staff | July 30, 2009

The arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. sparked allegations of racism, followed by fierce denials that race played a role in the 911 call or the police response to the report of a possible break-in at his Cambridge home. But social psychology research indicates that regardless of people’s stated attitudes about race, unconscious racial biases can influence their behavior in surprisingly powerful ways.

That means that people who are not racist may unknowingly behave in ways that reflect racial stereotypes, even when they may disagree with such ideas. One study found that doctors with more unconscious bias against blacks were less likely to give African-American heart attack patients clot-busting medication than white patients. Another found that when participants in a computer simulation were told to shoot criminals but not unarmed citizens or police who appeared on the screen, more black than white men were incorrectly shot. Other work found that children perceived ambiguous, but aggressive behavior as more threatening if the perpetrator was black.

It’s impossible to know whether hidden bias caused Cambridge police Sergeant James M. Crowley, a white man who teaches courses on how to avoid racial profiling, to arrest the African-American Gates. But research indicates that a large majority of white people, and about half of black people, are quicker to make positive associations with white people and negative associations with black people.

“I think our data, obtained from millions and millions of people, show a real disparity between who we think we are, who we say we are . . . and what actually goes on in our heads,’’ said Mahzarin R. Banaji, a Harvard psychology professor who is a leader in studying such implicit bias.

Banaji’s research has found, for example, that many white people more quickly associate positive adjectives with white faces and negative adjectives with black faces. In computerized tests, many white people also more quickly associate harmful weapons with black faces than with white ones.

Overall, Banaji said, about 75 percent of white people show a white preference in such lab experiments, whereas black people are split half and half between favoring black and white.

That means that while the incident in Cambridge two weeks ago has layers of complexity and confusion, a vast body of scientific literature suggests the important role that unconscious bias would probably play.

“We don’t have the control condition; we don’t have exactly the same thing happening at the same time in which we replace Skip Gates with, say, [Harvard president] Drew Faust,’’ Banaji said, adding that in that case, “It is very hard to imagine things would have gone the way they did.’’

The unconscious attitudes that people carry with them are thought to be learned early in life. Studies have examined the origins of the “other race effect,’’ for example, a bias in which people have more trouble telling the difference between faces of people of another race and found that African babies raised in Caucasian families do not favor their own race, unlike babies raised in their own racial environment.

The formation of such deeply rooted biases probably served a specific purpose during evolution, said David Amodio, a psychology professor at New York University.

“These initial gut reactions - they’re built into evolutionarily old parts of our brains as mechanisms for survival,’’ Amodio said. “You need to be able to react really quickly to something that’s a potential threat, and in our evolutionary past, people didn’t have interactions across groups as much.’’

Given that such reactions may be deeply embedded in our brains, there is no sure way to erase them, but Amodio said the frontal cortex, the part of the brain that is goal-oriented, can keep the brain on task to overcome implicit bias when there is a clear procedure, in a law enforcement situation, for example, having an encounter guided by a protocol.

Dr. Alexander R. Green, associate director for the disparities solutions center at Massachusetts General Hospital, has studied racism in the medical context, finding that implicit biases due to race can affect the way people care for their patients. He said the first step in combating such bias is to be aware that it exists.

“We cannot necessarily change our unconscious biases,’’ Green said. “Many of these are deeply ingrained and not our intention. We can recognize how they come into play and try to consciously override them.’’

Another way of dealing with such situations may just be to increase exposure to people of diverse backgrounds. A study by Brown University and University of Victoria researchers published this year found that it was possible to reduce one measure of implicit racial bias, simply by giving people training that allows them to help tell faces of people from other races apart, which could allow them to see people as individuals, rather than a group.

Reducing implicit racism is something that Banaji thinks will take more than just a racial profiling class or a series of lectures, however. Like patients with cardiovascular disease who change their lifestyle completely, “unlearning’’ unconscious racism will require systemic change and a new understanding that everything, from portrayals of race in the media to the friends we hang out with, influence our unconscious biases and that our choices affect our biases.

“I can decide, what do I want to teach my brain?’’ Banaji said.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:20 AM   #245
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Police officer suspended after racially charged e-mail

By Matt Collette, Globe Correspondent | July 30, 2009

An officer in the Boston Police Department has been suspended after allegedly writing a racially charged e-mail about Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. to colleagues at the National Guard, a law enforcement official said.

The law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Officer Justin Barrett referred to the black scholar as a “jungle monkey’’ in the letter, written in reaction to news coverage of Gates’s arrest July 16. Barrett was suspended Tuesday, pending a termination hearing.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino condemned the comment and called for the officer’s dismissal.

“I was angry about the incident when the commissioner spoke to me [Tuesday] night,’’ Menino said. “I said, ‘He has no place in this department, and we have to take his badge away.’ That stuff doesn’t belong in our city, and we’re not going to tolerate it.’’

The mayor said he has not seen the e-mail and while the officer is not officially terminated, he might as well be. “He’s gone - g-o-n-e. I don’t care, it’s like cancer, you don’t keep those cancers around.’’

In an interview that WCVB-TV aired last night, Barrett said he used “a poor choice of words.’’

“I did not mean to offend anyone,’’ he said. “The words were being used to characterize behavior, not describe anyone . . . I didn’t mean it in a racist way. I treat everyone with dignity and respect.’’

Barrett and his lawyer said they will fight the charges. “People are making it about race. It is not about race,’’ Barrett said. Gates was arrested by Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley on charges of disorderly conduct.

Though the charges were dropped, the case became national news after Gates accused Crowley of arresting him because he was black. The two men are set to have a beer with Obama tonight.

Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis stripped Barrett, 36, of his gun and badge Tuesday, said police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll. Barrett, who has been on the job for two years and has no previous disciplinary record, faces a termination hearing in the next week, she said.

When a supervisor confronted Barrett about the e-mail, he admitted to writing it, Driscoll said.

“[Tuesday] afternoon, Commissioner Davis was made aware that Officer Barrett was the author of correspondence which included racially charged language,’’ she said. “At that time, Commissioner Davis immediately stripped Officer Barrett of his gun and badge, and at this time we will be moving forward with the hearing process.’’

It was unclear last night when the letter was sent. Barrett, who was assigned to District B-3 in Dorchester, will receive legal representation from Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association.

In a letter to union members posted on their website, union officials denounced the statements but asked “that the facts be determined before a rush to judgment is made.

“While the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association has a duty to assure that the contractual and due process rights of each and every member are protected, we strongly denounce these statements as being offensive and hurtful.’’ The letter is signed by Thomas J. Nee, the union president; Ronald T. MacGillivray, the vice president; John D. Broderick, Jr., treasurer; and Thomas N. Pratt, secretary.

A spokesman for the Massachusetts National Guard, with which Barrett also serves, did not respond to messages left at his office or on his cellphone. WCVB reported that Barrett was relieved of National Guard duty.
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:30 PM   #246
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From what I've read, Crowley was a very effective officer and actually quite aware of the pitfalls of racial profiling. I don't think his arrest of Gates was racially motivated. I think Crowley just had a bad day and made a poor decision.

I'm sure bigjohn is also effective at his job, though based on the tone of his comments so far, I'm not convinced he's as aware of the pitfalls of racial profiling as Crowley was.

But again, I don't know him, so it's unfair of me to make any serious judgements about his character. All we really know about each other is what we choose to present about ourselves on this forum.
what i did had nothing to do with race. my job was to check EVERYONE's id badge, regardless of color. i wasnt even thinking about the fact that they were all black. that meant nothing to me at all.

and my job is a LOT different from a local cop on the beat
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:42 PM   #247
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i wasnt even thinking about the fact that they were all black. that meant nothing to me at all.
Quote:
(they are all black)

(being a white boy not from the island) i
But you kind of were
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:49 PM   #248
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But you kind of were

yep, you're right. im wrong. forget i said anything.

i should know by now i cant win on FYM
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:13 PM   #249
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i should know by now i cant win on FYM
I don't think it's that...

I was just pointing out that it was obvious you thought about it, and there's nothing wrong with that I think anyone who says that they don't realize or they're not aware of these things is a liar. It's human nature to realize when you are the minority. When a man steps into a classroom and realizes he's the only male, he's going to notice it and maybe for a quick second wonder if he's in the right room. It's how that thinking or realization makes you react is what matters.
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Old 07-30-2009, 01:23 PM   #250
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yep, you're right. im wrong. forget i said anything.

i should know by now i cant win on FYM
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:09 PM   #251
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[QUOTE=bigjohn2441;6286665]what i did had nothing to do with race. my job was to check EVERYONE's id badge, regardless of color. QUOTE]


I understood that.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:09 PM   #252
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I know we're all just dying for an update on this, so (from Politico)...

Quote:
President Barack Obama’s highly anticipated “beer summit” with Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge police Sgt. Jim Crowley was reduced Thursday for viewers at home to two minutes of shaky, silent video of the men gathered around a table in the Rose Garden. Crowley and Gates were clad in suits, and while Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were in shirtsleeves as an aide delivered beers in frosty mugs. Crowley was seen sipping his beer during the brief photo-op, while Obama and Biden could be seen digging into a bowl of pretzels and peanuts. Crowley also did the most talking during the few minutes the press was invited to watch, from a distance of about 40 feet.

...“I am, I have to say, fascinated about the fascination with this evening,” Obama told reporters during an Oval Office meeting with the president of the Philippines Thursday afternoon. “I noticed this has been called the beer summit. It’s a clever term but this is not a summit, guys. This is three folks having a drink at the end of the day and hopefully giving people an opportunity to listen to each other. And that’s all it is. This is not a university seminar. It’s an opportunity to have some personal interaction when an issue has become so hyped and so symbolic that you lose sight of just the fact that these are people involved, including myself. All of whom are imperfect.”

...[White House Press Secretary] Gibbs also tried to downplay the impression in some quarters that the gathering could be a milestone in American race relations. “I don't think the president has outsized expectations that one cold beer at one table here is going to change massively the course of human history by any sense of the imagination." ...Gibbs said the event was not intended to be some sort of mutual contrition session. “We're not here to mediate apologies."
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:26 PM   #253
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I have to say, I'm extremely disappointed in Obama.

He chose Bud Light.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:29 PM   #254
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I have to say, I'm extremely disappointed in Obama.

He chose Bud Light.

What the....I thought Muslims are forbidden to drink alcohol?!
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:30 PM   #255
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^ lol

Well, at least he didn't choose wine!
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