Sunday Commentary II: What Breaking the Silence of Racism Means in 2015

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Davis-Breaking-the-Silence-of-RacismIn December 2012, the Davis Human Relations Commission held a public event at the Davis Community Chambers. Born out of a number of contemporary events at that time, including the noose at the Davis High School football stadium, we launched what we thought would be a novel approach – a reverse panel discussion.

We assembled a panel of community leaders: Rochelle Swanson from the Davis City Council, Rahim Reed from UC Davis, Darren Pytel from the Davis Police Department, Jonathan Raven from the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, Pam Mari from the School District and Kristin Stoneking from the faith community.

There was a catch – rather than speak to the group, the job of the panel was to listen to the public and respond. What caught us off guard I think was that, first, over 200 people showed up, and, second, more than 60 of them spoke. So many showed up to speak that we actually extended the time period by an hour – so it became a three-hour event rather than a two-hour event.

The other thing that caught, at least me, off guard were the communications from the public. As mentioned, we were just coming off the noose incident, we had long had complaints about racial profiling, and there was some of that, but the biggest issue by far were parents of school-aged children, many of the children of mixed race, who found Davis schools uncomfortable, and some of them even ended up leaving the school district.

Some have suggested that racism has not been silent – but I strongly disagree. We hear the cry of racism in high profile incidents for sure, but there is an everyday experience that people of color have in our community. I have heard from many African-American UC Davis students that they do not feel comfortable going into the downtown because of how few African-Americans there are in the community and they feel like they are singled out or, at the very least, they stand out.

We heard in 2012 from individuals who were indeed singled out in places of business. We heard from parents whose children felt they did not belong in the schools. We heard about incidents of bullying. These are stories of everyday experience that are not told.

On February 28, from 1 to 3 pm at the Davis Community Chamber, I will be moderating the third annual Breaking the Silence of Racism Event.

Things have changed since 2012. In a few weeks we will talk about a huge change that is about to occur.

The 2012 event taught us one thing, though – we need to expect the unexpected.

Nevertheless, national and local issues could push things back out into the forefront. The high profile cases involving the shooting of Michael Brown and Eric Garner by police could well push police-community relations back into a huge topic of discussion.

On the Vanguard those national incidents led to vigorous debate over the role of race and racial profiling in terms of how police handle arrests and deal with resistance to those arrests. Key questions that arose, aside from whether the officers were in the wrong and should have been prosecuted, included the role that race played in those interactions.

Earlier this week, a New York Grand Jury indicted the officer responsible for killing Akai Gurley, a 28-year-old unarmed black man, in the stairwell of an infamous Brooklyn housing project. This decision followed the controversial decision for a grand jury not to indicate Daniel Pantaleo to face the accusations in the death of Eric Garner, after he was filmed placing Mr. Garner in a chokehold.

Now Peter Liang, who has spent less than 18 months on the force, has been charged with manslaughter and official misconduct in Mr. Gurley’s death.

As Christina Sterbenz writes in the Business Insider, “Now that a grand jury in the same state indicted Liang for Gurley’s death, the injustice against Garner and his family becomes all the more clear.”

She argues, “While both deaths are a tragedy for all those involved, a rookie cop getting spooked in a dark stairwell and accidentally firing his gun is easier to fathom than an officer forcibly choking the life out of a man pleading [with] him to stop, especially using a maneuver his force banned more than two decades ago.”

“Both officers also have some level of culpability — at least enough to warrant a trial. Liang paid closer attention to texting his union reps than helping the man he shot, and Palanteo could have released his chokehold on the victim,” she notes.

Nate Silver found that failure to indict is incredibly rare for grand juries. In 2010, the most recent year with available data, grand juries declined to indict only 11 cases out of 162,000 — or 0.0067%.

Adding to the national issue that has been in discussion since last summer and was inflamed in late November with the failure to indict in two high profile cases, is now the issue of anti-Semiticism and Islamaphobia at UC Davis and in the community.

We have the high profile case of the swastika on top of the ASUCD vote, that is seen by many to be anti-Israel. We also have the backlash against the vote that has played out nationally in right wing blogs such as Breitart.

Given two high profile issues and the focus on the militarization of police as the result of the MRAP (mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle) debate locally, we can expect a potentially lively discussion in two weeks.

I am a big believer that there is an air of silence to racism. We often do not hear the real stories by members of our community about everyday occurrences. We take for granted that things like these are a thing of the past, when they are not. We simply do not experience them as part of our everyday lives.

What we hear, instead, are extraordinary incidents – Ferguson, Staten Island, ASUCD, the swastika at the Jewish Fraternity. However, to illustrate the point, until the swastika became publicized, a similar incident at the Hillel House had gone unreported. We need to bear witness to these acts of hatred in our community.

NPR on Friday published the prepared text of the speech given by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves, one of just two African-Americans to have ever served as federal judges in Mississippi. He delivered it to three young white men as he sentenced them for the murder of a 48-year-old black man in a parking lot in Jackson, Mississippi.

“They were part of a group that beat Anderson and then killed him by running over his body with a truck, yelling ‘white power’ as they drove off,” NPR notes.

It is a long speech, and you can read it all here, and in it he laid out that the history of Mississippi, as one author put it, is “almost unspeakably primal and vicious.” Of forty martyrs whose names are inscribed at the national Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, 19 of them were killed in Mississippi.

The judge discussed lynching and noted that, “between 1882 and 1968 an estimated 4,742 blacks met their deaths at the hands of lynch mobs. The impact this campaign of terror had on black families is impossible to explain so many years later. That number contrasts with the 1,401 prisoners who have been executed legally in the United States since 1976. In modern terms, that number represents more than those killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and more than twice the number of American casualties in Operation Enduring Freedom — the Afghanistan conflict. Turning to home, this number also represents 1,700 more than who were killed on Sept. 11. “

“How could hate, fear or whatever it was transform genteel, God-fearing, God-loving Mississippians into mindless murderers and sadistic torturers?” he asks. “Those crimes of the past, as well as these, have so damaged the psyche and reputation of this great state. Mississippi soil has been stained with the blood of folk whose names have become synonymous with the civil rights movement…”

The judge argued, “The common denominator was that the last thing that each of these individuals saw was the inhumanity of racism. The last thing that each felt was the audacity and agony of hate, senseless hate: crippling, maiming them and finally taking away their lives.”

While Mississippi has “a tortured past, and it has struggled mightily to reinvent itself and become a New Mississippi. New generations have attempted to pull Mississippi from the abyss of moral depravity in which it once so proudly floundered in. Despite much progress and the efforts of the new generations, these three defendants are before me today: Deryl Paul Dedmon, Dylan Wade Butler and John Aaron Rice. They and their co-conspirators ripped off the scab of the healing scars of Mississippi … causing her (our Mississippi) to bleed again.”

It was an amazing commentary by a judge and I encourage you to read the entire thing. While the legacy in Mississippi is more local, more brutal, more overt, it is a lesson and a legacy shared by the entire nation that out of expediency turned a blind eye to the atrocities for far too long.

And it is that silence that we must now break, whether it is for a local incident in our midst or for a local incident far away that enters the national scene.

Two years ago the most powerful stories that I heard were those small incidents of everyday life that people of color live with in our community. Those small incidents exemplify the indignity and inhumanity of racism and offer us a way forward to a better future.

Join us in two weeks as we continue this discussion.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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151 thoughts on “Sunday Commentary II: What Breaking the Silence of Racism Means in 2015”

  1. LadyNewkBahm

    “I am a big believer that there is an air of silence to racism. We often do not hear the real stories by members of our community about everyday occurrences. We take for granted that things like these are a thing of the past, when they are not. We simply do not experience them as part of our everyday lives.

    What we hear, instead, are extraordinary incidents – Ferguson, Staten Island, ASUCD, the swastika at the Jewish Fraternity. However, to illustrate the point, until the swastika became publicized, a similar incident at the Hillel House had gone unreported. We need to bear witness to these acts of hatred in our community.”

    To be fair, David Greenwald is not the first person I have heard to use this style of rhetoric – assuming he knows what “we believe” what “we hear” what “we think” and how “we act” as if he enters everyone’s collective head and knows what he/she is thinking and feeling at any given moment. Then telling us what opinion or voice we should be listening to more of based on information or viewpoint he assumes we lack. or assuming an air of importance about the opinion he thinks we should be more exposed to.

    I’ve seen this style used repeatedly by many professors in my classes. it comes across as arrogant, assuming, and above onesself.

    1. PhilColeman

      Taking away the name and personality identified, which I don’t think is useful, Paragraph Two is the one new and interesting topic in an otherwise another bland meal of reheated left-overs.

      The “we” pronoun in any argument or advocacy always implies a state of personal superiority and observation. In this instance, for example, those of “us” (those who are not “we”), are silent due to ignorance, indifference, or maybe we’re racists.

      Who anoints the “I” or “We” as being so superior in observation and intellect that the rest of the masses must accept their points as holy grail? It’s a self-anointment, of course, and always warrants a close scrutiny for validation.

      The community group meeting described was a summation of opinions and analysis, not a transcript. Even with an attendance of 200 persons, and 60 spokespersons, we cannot conclude with any level of confidence that this very small sample of the much larger Davis community is typical or representative. Only advocates embrace this view and only if it supports their particular cause .

       

      1. Tia Will

        PhilColeman

        Only advocates embrace this view and only if it supports their particular cause .”

        While this is true in the limited context in which it is written, I find one aspect disturbing. My problem is not that others may have a different view point, it is that there seems to be a singular lack of curiosity about whether or not the view point expressed may have validity for members of our community whose life experiences may differ from our own.

        It is very easy, and a common rhetorical devise used by members of all political persuasions to imply that “the silent majority” is on “our side”. When the reality is that the “silent majority” is merely that …..silent.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          I find it hard to believe that black students find it tough to go downtown, when it is 10x more “diverse” than it was 30 years ago.

          My educated guess is that if one comes from a predominantly minority community, then coming to a community that is 70 percent (or whatever) white might be a change.

          There is also a class (economic) change for many students.

          They don’t have the maturity or knowledge to say there are economic, social, cultural, and ethnic differences that are unrelated to race.

          I had some of the same experiences when I moved to Davis, and I’m not black.

        2. Davis Progressive

          “I find it hard to believe that black students find it tough to go downtown, when it is 10x more “diverse” than it was 30 years ago.”

          have you talked to any?

        3. South of Davis

          TBD wrote:

          > I find it hard to believe that black students find it tough to go downtown

          I heard on the radio not long ago that almost half of all Americans believe in ghosts.  A Google search found:

          “A Harris Poll of 2,250 people surveyed online in November 2013 found that 42 percent of all Americans, and 42 percent of whites, said they believe in ghosts.”

          So it is not hard for me to believe that someone (of any race) is afraid to walk through downtown…

        4. TrueBlueDevil

          Something else is going on here, and it’s not racism.

          Someone is trying to tell me that young people – many who can survive in Oakland, Compton, Watts and East Palo Alto- are scared of downtown Davis?

          Oh please.

  2. Barack Palin

    I have heard from many African-American UC Davis students that they do not feel comfortable going into the downtown because of how few African-Americans there are in the community and they feel like they are singled out or, at the very least, they stand out.

    “We believe” and “we feel” that they’re acting a little paranoid.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      It’s interesting that my African friends knew they stood out, and why, 30 years ago, but they joined the community and they didn’t have these overwhelming insecure feelings. Same for my Asian-American friends.

  3. zaqzaq

    It sounds like the forum will be about the participants perceived racism that they have suffered in specific incidents.  I wonder if a representative of the Chris Jones family will claim that he is the victim of racism at the hands of the Davis Police Department when they investigated him for driving a stolen motorcycle?  In the trial the defense relied heavily on playing the race card.  His recent trial was covered by the Vanguard.

    Does a person’s status as a minority impact their view of when they suffer from racism.  Take a mixed couple dining at a restaurant who receive poor service from a white waitress.  The minority member of the couple believes that the waitress is racist and the white member of the couple sees the bad service that happens from time to time due to any number of factors having nothing to do with race.  A minority is driving at night and is pulled over by a white police officer for speeding in a situation when the officer was unable to determine the drivers race until after the stop.  That driver feels that he has been racially profiled by the officer because he was doing nothing wrong.  Were either of these minorities victims of racism or did they just perceive it?

    Looking at society today there are many more mixed race marriages in my generation than in my parents and even more in those generations that are younger than I.  Look at the schools today and the number of mixed race children.  You may not be able to determine their racial makeup until you meet the parents and then take a closer look at them.  I see this as a positive trend where more and more people are looking beyond ethnicity when selecting a partner.

    The challenge today is how do you identify racism instead of an unfounded perception based on the individuals biases and prejudices.  When one person claims to be the victim of racism they are accusing another individual of being a racist or having racist tendencies.  I wonder if one of the Davis Police Officers that Chris Jones accused of being racist would address the forum about what it feels like to be falsely accused of being a racist.  How well received would this officer be at the forum?

    1. Tia Will

      Were either of these minorities victims of racism or did they just perceive it?”

      The difficulty here is that we will never know. What is typically heard is the voice of the self perceived victim. The accused perpetrator will probably never know that they are being accused because they will not be called out on the spot but rather in delayed anecdote to others of similar mind as the alleged victim. Even if they were called out and were guilty as charged, do we anticipate that they would step up and admit to being a racist. Not likely. So we really have no way of knowing the truth.”

      I wonder if one of the Davis Police Officers that Chris Jones accused of being racist would address the forum about what it feels like to be falsely accused of being a racist.  How well received would this officer be at the forum?”

      I also wonder about this. I think this is a critical question. As a participant at the December 2012 event, I was eager to hear the anecdotes of those who perceive the effects of racism in Davis as affecting them personally and the responses of the forum discussants. What would be of most value to me would be for individuals on both sides of this issue whom I will refer to as the racism observers and the racism deniers to participate in the same event and really listen to each others point of view rather than merely solidify their own positions repetitively.  The point is not to worry about how your ideas and experiences will be received, but rather to have the courage of one’s convictions and be willing to share one’s own experiences and perspective in a public forum.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Yes, we can know the truth because there are case studies where we can study it quantitatively and objectively!

        Take the typical accusation of racism of “driving while black”. This has been hammered over and over for years, and New Jersey was a state where this claim of police profiling and racism were claimed as being rampant. Because black drivers received something like 20% or 22% of the tickets, but were only 8% or 10% of the population, liberals saw this as defacto proof of racism and racial profiling.

        So the New Jersey Attorney General studied this state, and their police, and set up high speed cameras and radar to see who was speeding. Objective data.

        The Racial Profiling Myth Debunked
        The new numbers prove that there is no systematic police racism.

        “…The elegant study, designed by the Public Service Research Institute in Maryland, had taken photos with high-speed camera equipment and a radar gun of nearly 40,000 drivers on the turnpike. The researchers then showed the photos to a team of three evaluators, who identified the race of the driver. The evaluators had no idea if the drivers in the photos had been speeding. The photos were then correlated with speeds.”

        The results came back and virtually mirrored the rates by which citizens were ticketed by police.

        “The anti–racial profiling juggernaut has finally met its nemesis: the truth. According to a new study, black drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike are twice as likely to speed as white drivers, and are even more dominant among drivers breaking 90 miles per hour. This finding demolishes the myth of racial profiling. Precisely for that reason, the Bush Justice Department tried to bury the report so the profiling juggernaut could continue its destructive campaign against law enforcement. What happens next will show whether the politics of racial victimization now trump all other national concerns.”

        This politics of this story are also interesting in that the Bush administration fought to not have these results released.

        I find it interesting that Tia says we will never know the truth, which gives her something to talk about for another 30 years.

        Logic would also work against this systematic racism. This would thus require a huge conspiracy with the police and fire departments, and many others in the judicial system.

        http://www.city-journal.org/html/12_2_the_racial_profiling.html

        1. Tia Will

          TBD

          Yes, we can know the truth because there are case studies where we can study it quantitatively and objectively!”

          So are you making the claim that a singe study in Maryland debunking the “driving while black” claim means that there is no racism occurring in Davis ?  I doubt that this is a concept that you would agree with, but your post does seem to imply that. Please correct me if I am wrong and clarify.

           

        2. David Greenwald Post author

          “The new numbers prove that there is no systematic police racism.”

          One problem here, as a former Social Science researcher, one of the first things we are taught is that proofs are for mathematics, statistical analysis can only show correlation from which we can draw inferences.

          That doesn’t get to the point of whether or not racial profiling exists, but you citing an article on a 13 year old study is not going to get to the bottom of the question. Police profile all the time. It could be a pretext stop, it could be a car that looks like from out of the area. It could be a minor violation where the police are phishing. I’ve had police officers tell me that they do this. I’ve also been on ride alongs enough to know that much of the time, you can’t see the race of the driver, especially at night. Does that prove that racial profiling doesn’t happen – no.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          Tia: “So are you making the claim that a singe study in Maryland debunking the “driving while black” claim means that there is no racism occurring in Davis ?”

          Did I write that? No, I didn’t, I’m not sure why you jumped to that wide, far-reaching implication.

          One of the dominant complaints heard the past 10-20 years is that of DWB, but here we have a large-scale study that debunks that with a huge sample size and complete objectivity, so it’s pretty important.

          Secondly, David makes the point I was going to relay – oftentimes the police don’t even know the race of the driver when they pull them over! Common sense.

          If the age of the research bothers you, then maybe we should replicate the study and see what we get, but please let’s make sure there is no game playing and chicanery going on.

          The Left simply chooses when they like to profile. They fall all over themselves when there is a mass murder, as we know it is often a middle aged white male. When police profile, they are not racially profiling, they are criminally profiling based on multiple factors … age, dress, behavior, location, actions, etc. They also consider relevant crime statistics and who is being sought. If we’re looking for a 25 year old grungy white male with a tattoo, pulling over a 25 year old grungy white male with a tattoo isn’t racial profiling, its common sense. Just as we know Guatemalan grandmothers aren’t blowing up airplanes.

    2. South of Davis

      zaqzaq wrote:

      > It sounds like the forum will be about the participants perceived

      > racism that they have suffered in specific incidents.  

      Great post makes the point that many people are out “looking” for “racism” will find it every time they run in to a “jerk” or a “rude” person. It is sad that some people are just “certain” that every time something bad happens to them that it is due to “racism” and nothing you can can change their view if they “know” someone was a “racist”.

      In my personal life it is amazing how many times I hear people “assume” why something is happening and say something like “we didn’t get invited to Jim’s Super Bowl party since his wife hates me and my wife” (when the wife has told me she actually like the guy and his wife and plans to invite them to Tahoe and only didn’t invite them to the Super Bowl party because she knows they are not big football fans)…

  4. Frankly

    Were either of these minorities victims of racism or did they just perceive it?

    Bingo!

    You have hit on the absolute issue here… the civil rights 2.0 epiphany.

    Here it is explained another way.  If there is subconscious bias, then it exists in all.  And if it exists in all, it is disingenuous and wrong for one party to single out another party in criticism for having it.

    Call it the Victim Mentality / Victim Advocate Firewall.

    Victim Mentality as defined by Wikipedia as:

    is an acquired (learned) personality trait in which a person tends to regard him or herself as a victim of the negative actions of others, and to think, speak and act as if that were the case — even in the absence of clear evidence. It depends on habitual thought processes and attribution.

    Victim Advocate Firewall is a Frankly term.

    A “firewall” is defined by Wikipedia as:

    is a network security system that controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on an applied rule set. A firewall establishes a barrier between a trusted, secure internal network and another network (e.g., the Internet) that is assumed not to be secure and trusted

    Basically those inside the firewall get access to the internal network; while those outside the firewall are blocked.  And those outside the firewall that attempt to access the internal network are considered hackers and rule-breakers.  Within a firewall you can filter the data and messages that go out, and the data and messages that are allowed in.

    A Victim Advocate Firewall first requires the identification of the victim groups to advocate for.  Blacks are certainly one of those groups.  So are Palestinians.

    The key is to get your group and your advocates behind that protective firewall and then filter the data and messaging coming and going.

    White males are outside the firewall just because they exist.  The exception is for white males that adopt a victim advocacy credential.

    White too are outside the firewall, but certain victim subgroups of whites are automatically included behind the firewall.

    The key is to be assigned to a victim group, or to earn your victim advocate credential.  Once this is done you will have access to the network and will be protected for saying all sorts of crap about racism and bias.

    But here is one big problem… the firewall has holes in it.  At some point the security is compromised.  Those inside the network can develop a false sense of invincibility that they can say or do just about anything in the name of victims and victim advocacy.  They can make giant mistakes in judgment that result in them being kicked outside of the firewall and unprotected from harsh criticism.

    We need to eliminate this Victim Advocacy Firewall for a couple of reasons.   One, it prevents open dialog and togetherness for working on critical social problems.   Two, it sets up people with a false sense of security that can destroy careers and lives from people saying hateful and stupid things.

    1. Robert Canning

      Frankly suggests there is a personality trait called “victim mentality.” He suggests that it is something real – perhaps even a psychological construct that has been studied and drawn attention from researchers.

      But it’s not real. It’s a pop psychology invention that simply confuses the discussion – in this case about racist attitudes and behavior. Go to Google Scholar or PubMed and you come with nothing – no series of studies, no big articles from sociological journal, psychological journals. There is essentially no empirical support for such a personality trait.

      On the other hand, there is significant support for racist attitudes and behavior in a variety of social situations from job interviews, auto sales, housing, medical decisions, and more. These are not one-time chance findings – they’ve been replicated multiple times. See Anwar, et el.; Ayers & Siegelman; Bertrand & Mullainathan; Susan Fiske; Katherine Milkman; and Devah Pager.

      As a society we (and yes I said WE) should, I believe, rely on evidence not superstition and pop constructions.

       

        1. Robert Canning

          Speaking of car sales, take a look at Ayers & Siegelman, Race and Gender Discrimination in Bargaining for a New Car, American Economic Reivew, 1995. They paired white males with either a woman or a Black individual and found that over 300 car sales, the dealerships quoted higher prices to Blacks and women. Each pair bargained at the same dealerships for the same cars over a few day period. They controlled for bargaining strategy, age of buyer, education and appearance. In the bargaining, white males were able to bargain down the most, white females next, then black females, and black males. The authors conclude:

          In negotiations for more than 300 new cars, Chicago car dealers offered black and female testers significantly higher prices than the white males with whom they were paired, even though all testers used identical bargaining strategies. This race and gender discrimination is a robust result, and the magnitude of discrimination is large enough that it cannot credibly be attributed to residual nonuniformities between types of testers.

      1. Frankly

        But it’s not real. It’s a pop psychology invention that simply confuses the discussion – in this case about racist attitudes and behavior.

        Nice try.  And I can tell when people get backed into a corner where they get desperate to hold on to their views.  Just dismiss the inconvenient fact!

        Here is an article that does a good job explaining the real psychology of victim mentality and victimhood.

        https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/women-who-stray/201406/the-culture-victimhood

         

         

         

        1. Tia Will

          Frankly

          Our reactions to cries of victimization must be tempered with a belief in supporting their resiliency”

          To me this was one of the key statements in the Psychology Today ( a pop psychology magazine written for general consumption and largely not evidence based) article that you cited. As with most Psychology Today articles there is some grain of truth and I think in this article, this sentence is it. When someone is identified, either by themselves or others as having been victimized, the key to their ongoing well being is resilience. Those of us who are not identified either by ourselves or others in the situation as victims can help best, not by dismissing their feelings, or claiming that they are wrong, but rather by “supporting their resiliency” as the author of your article clearly states.

        2. Robert Canning

          Dr. Ley’s article is a fair statement of current cultural beliefs. But what evidence does he provide to back up your statements? None. It’s all opinion – not unjustified in some cases – but it’s not facts.

          Psychology Today continues to be a popular psychology magazine and no one should consider it to be a professional journal purveying empirical research. Show me the real data about real psychology. I’ve cited numerous articles by researchers in the field and you’ve cited one opinion piece from a popular psychology magazine.

      2. South of Davis

        Robert wrote:
        > Frankly suggests there is a personality trait called “victim mentality.”
        > He suggests that it is something real – perhaps even a psychological
        > construct that has been studied and drawn attention from researchers.
        > But it’s not real. It’s a pop psychology invention

        I’m not an expert in psychology, but I’m surprised anyone will say that the “victim mentality” is “not real”.

        As a coach and tutor I have some kids that will admit to me, “I didn’t practice hard enough” or “I didn’t study hard enough” while other kids NEVER admit to me that they have anything to do with their failures and will say “the teacher does not like me” or “the ref wanted the other team to win”.

        I’ll admit when I was younger I often blamed others for my failures (I actually remember telling my Mom “the teacher does not like me”) but my life has been much better since I started taking 100% responsibility for EVERYTHING that happens to me.

        1. Robert Canning

          As you say, you are not a psychologist. And this posts confirms it. Take a look at some of the articles I mention if you want to know what “real” psychologists think about race discrimination.

        2. Robert Canning

          Or take a look at the literature on internal vs. external locus of control. Or the literature on attributional errors and how can easily misconstrue their part in negative interactions and attribute problems to the environment vs. their own actions. See if you can find victim mentioned in the literature of personality – the Big Five for instance, or commonly used personality inventories such as the NEO or the 16 PF. And please don’t suggest that things like the Meyers-Brigg Type Indicator or the Rorschach have any validity in measuring personality types.

          1. Don Shor

            Locus of control: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locus_of_control

            A person’s “locus” (Latin for “place” or “location”) is conceptualized as either internal (the person believes they can control their life) or external (meaning they believe their decisions and life are controlled by environmental factors which they cannot influence, or by chance or fate).[1]
            Individuals with a strong internal locus of control believe events in their life derive primarily from their own actions: for example, when receiving test results, people with an internal locus of control tend to praise or blame themselves and their abilities. People with a strong external locus of control tend to praise or blame external factors such as the teacher or the test.[2]

        3. South of Davis

          Robert wrote:

          > As you say, you are not a psychologist. And this posts confirms it. 

          Reading what Don posted it seems like there really are people that feel like “victims”

          People with a strong external locus of control tend to praise or blame external factors such as the teacher or the test.

          > See if you can find victim mentioned in the literature of personality 

          A Google Search for: victim personality trait got 1.2 MILLION hits including 115,000 in the new Google Scholarly articles for victim personality trait section

          Dictionary.com says a ‘victim” is:

          1. a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency:

          2. a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency:

          You may think that people don’t have a personality that makes them more likely to be a “victim” but I’m pretty sure that every teacher that deals with kids who are bullied and fraud investigators that deal with people who are ripped off will disagree…

  5. Davis Progressive

    to me what is striking about this discussion is the disconnect here.  on the one hand, you have a whole group of deniers who like to respond to this.  they tend to evaluate the claims in a very superficial manner – maybe it’s through pre-judgments and preconceived notions.  sometimes its analytically evaluating the case through the narrative.  it’s striking that phil coleman – who i very much respect falls into this a bit – after all, he of all people should know that specific claims need to be explored, investigated, before they can be summarily denied.

    but the other part is that most of the commenters here share no common ground – they haven’t experienced these acts for themselves and most have not witnessed these acts in their everyday experience.  so they are evaluating, site unseen, acts that they really cannot relate to and in most cases based on pre-jugments rather than facts.

    they don’t know these people, they don’t attend these events, and yet they can somehow summarily dismiss the claims.

    so i have a different perspective – actually three.  my ex was african american.  my own world was very different than the world i could see with her eyes.  my daughter is mixed race – and she grew up in davis and has had many experiences that troubled me over the years.  finally, i have the professional experience as a defense attorney in this county for years where i could evaluate cases based on actual investigations rather than eyewitness accounts.

    where does that leave us here?  we like to dismiss perceptions of racism as though they were unreliable and meaningless and yet what i observed is that over time, people of color have very different experiences from whites in this community.  some of that is due to race.  some of that is actually benign and some is malicious and intentional.  however, over time, people grow jaded.  they get tired of the crap to put it bluntly.  and they stop trying to differentiate accident and benign from malicious because after awhile they can’t tell the difference anymore.  you want to dismiss that, put it down, that’s fine, but it comes from a very real place and we really need to figure out to address it.  obviously the hrc is trying to give it voice and force the stakeholders and public officials to address it, why is that bad?

    1. zaqzaq

      The problem is how does a person distinguish between actual racism and perceived racism where none exists.  Individuals do not like to be told that you cannot recognize racism unless your are a member of the ethnic group suffering the alleged racism.  Nor do individuals like to be labeled as racist because they are a member of one ethnic group.  In this community how is the  Hispanic experience different than the African American experience from the Asian experience from the white experience?  Then we have all of the mixed children in our community.  What is the different experience in school, music, sports and other activities that our children participate in?  Do different ethnic groups receive different treatment in school, music and sports?  There are all sorts of subtle slights that can be perceived where not is intended.  Are certain individuals to sensitive to alleged racial slights or attribute all negative experiences to a racism?  How do you get a consensus where to many people are unwilling to listen or admit that they could be wrong?

      1. Davis Progressive

        “The problem is how does a person distinguish between actual racism and perceived racism where none exists.”

        they may not be able to.  the problem is that if you have been abused all of your life, if someone yells at you, you’re going to tend to react as though you were being abused.  it is somewhat conditioning but somewhat about no longer being forthright with a benefit of the doubt.

        “Individuals do not like to be told that you cannot recognize racism unless your are a member of the ethnic group suffering the alleged racism.”

        i think the problem is that if you’re not experiencing the treatment, you may not notice it.  as a white person in this community, if it weren’t for my ex and my daughter, i doubt i would know about what goes on.

        “There are all sorts of subtle slights that can be perceived where not is intended.  Are certain individuals to sensitive to alleged racial slights or attribute all negative experiences to a racism?”

        i think it again comes down to at some point you grow tired of experiencing differentness and stop differentiating between major/ minor and subtle and overt.

        how do we unlearn this?  i think we have to change our mindset overall.  but you know as long as i read denial after denial here, it’s not going to get us anywhere.  we need to accept that stuff happens in this community and then decide how we can  work together to change it.

        the first step is to acknowledge the problem, absent that there is no solution.

        1. Frankly

          the problem is that if you have been abused all of your life, if someone yells at you, you’re going to tend to react as though you were being abused.  it is somewhat conditioning but somewhat about no longer being forthright with a benefit of the doubt.

          First point is that hypersensitive people often cannot effectively distinguish between true abuse and average human interactions that may considered harsh or difficult.

          Second point is that the unfortunate true victim of abuse will just abuse others with over-sensitivity if allowed unless he/she gets therapy to help rebuild trust and coping skills.

          The net effect of going too far protecting the hypersensitive is they become lonely people lacking coping skills and shunned by others over the risk of being criticized.   This is the cul-de-sac problem with people having this victim mentality mindset… demand excessive speech codes to protect hypersensitive people from harm and cause a form of associative segregation due the growing incompatibility of communication.  It is a cul-de-sac because there is no way to force people to associate with one another.  Freedom of association is a constitutional right to be protected by the sword if necessary.

    2. Robert Canning

      South of Davis:

      And did you look at the results of the Google Scholar search (which I duplicated)? One or two of the articles on the first page are about personality and victimhood. The rest have nothing to do with it – victims of crime, victims of suicide, etc. There is simply no area of concentrated research in social psychology about being a victim or victim personality. It doesn’t hold as a stable personality trait. It may be there for a period of time (a state rather than a trait) but they are not long-lasting, lifelong personality characteristics such as optimism or neuroticism (a bit of an archaic term). Being a victim of a crime, or of workplace bullying does not a personality trait make. Being a victim can just be a status – crime victim, for instance.

      A student with an external locus of control could not necessarily feel victimized but rather explain what happens to them as occurring by chance, or simply that (in the case of a bad grade) the test was constructed poorly. Or if they are in a fight, a person with an external locus of control would believe that the size of their attackers is what caused them to lose, and that it was out of their control.

      Victimhood, as far as I know, is not a psychological construct that is measured. There are no tests of victimhood. There are not personality scales that measure victimhood.

      Being

  6. Tia Will

    I am going to share an event in which I was a key player which I also hope to share at the upcoming forum. I will lay out the facts and let the reader decide which of the participants in this event were demonstrating racist behavior, if any.

    About ten years ago, I was the senior physician on duty on our high risk labor and delivery unit in Sacramento.  I was called to the room of a self avowed white supremacist and separatist. She was due for a blood draw to obtain information critical to my decision making regarding her care and that of and her in utero child. She was refusing the blood draw because the phlebotomist was African-American. She requested that I write an order and entry into her chart stating that no one other than Caucasians were to participate in her care or enter her room. I stated that while she had the right to refuse any care for any reason, I could not and would not make such an entry into her chart.

    However, because the information was necessary for her health, I requested that the white nurse who at that time had been assigned to her care do this one single blood draw. Please note that this is common practice, well within the nurse’s scope of practice and frequently done in special circumstances such as when there is urgent need for the information and a phlebotomist is not available or when a patient is particularly needle phobic and the nurse has already established rapport thus lessening the patient’s anxiety.

    Unfortunately, this simple, everyday request was over heard by an African American nurse also working on the unit at the time. Instead of addressing her concern directly to me, this nurse chose to call the Sacramento Bee to report the racist behavior of the attending physician ( me) on the Labor and Delivery unit. This could easily have turned into a PR nightmare, but did not due to the adroit handling of the situation by Kaiser’s public relations specialist.

    Who was exhibiting racially biased behavior ?  You decide. I welcome your comments.

    1. Davis Progressive

      you were doing your job and trying to get the patient the care she needed.  however, you illustrate the pitfalls of judging a situation based on partial information and failing to communicate concerns to the subject.  unfortunately some on here will use this as a reason to suggest that people see racism capriciously when in fact your story illustrates that there was racism involved in the act, it just wasn’t be the person that the complaining subject first believed.

    2. Frankly

      Welcome to the world you helped create and support Doctor!

      There was a similar report by a leader of a feminist group that worked to demand strict sexual conduct rules on college campuses that favored women, and then had a son who was accused by a female college student of some vague inappropriate actions… apparently out of retribution for being rejected by this young man… and the college expelled him.

      The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    3. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > Who was exhibiting racially biased behavior ?  You decide. I welcome your comments.

      You and the “self avowed white supremacist” were BOTH “exhibiting racially biased behavior”.

      Years ago an African American co-worker was working with a white client who lived in another (Southern) state.  The client knew that most of the people at our firm were white and asked our CEO for a white person to manage his account.  Our CEO asked if there was any problems with the service the client was getting and he said he said the service was fine, he just wanted to work with a “white” person.  Our CEO decided that we didn’t need to work with a racist client and let the guy find another firm (he did a similar thing to more than one client that made unwanted sexist/sexual comments to my female co-workers).

      I would do the same thing as my old boss and tell racist/sexist customers to find somewhere else to go, not help them out like Tia did.

      1. tribeUSA

        SOD–I disagree with you here. A physician has a different spectrum of responsibilities than an account manager, as in your example. Timely diagnosis/treatment may be extremely important; I have no questions that Tia did the right thing.

        The patient was exhibiting racially biased behavior, and the African American nurse made a mistake in attributing racism to Tia’s actions–it seems to me that as a society the media, politicos, and activists are priming the population to perceive any ambiguous or misunderstood situation as racist; when in fact there may be no racism involved, either conscious or subconscious.

      2. Alan Miller

        Both were right:

        CEO was right because it is worth dropping a client and losing money to make a stand against a racist.

        TW was right because a) She was not the source of the racism, but merely using good judgement in the moment to counter the racist source, and b) It was a critical medical matter.

    4. hpierce

      I cannot and will not decide.  I was “not there”, and I was taught not to “judge”, but that lesson hasn’t always “stuck”.

      You also asked for comments.  That I can do.  In my opinion (and only that):

      Your patient was in your “high risk labor and delivery unit”.  Ok, pregnant, “high risk” (assume she knew that it was a high risk pregnancy), probably from  a “cracker” upbringing, she said things that would qualify as being considered xenophobic and/or racist.  Given her situation, and hormones/fears that might be “in play”, the patient was clearly lacking situational awareness/good judgement, but I will not judge HER as racist, but will comment that she said stupid/ill-informed (yeah, I know THAT will be deleted by the moderator) and hurtful things.

      The nurse who went to the Bee appears to be “reactionary”.  Have no idea if the reaction was racist or not.  The fact that she nor the phlebotomist (who is the only one that should be “aggrieved” in my opinion — the rest of you seem to be thinking about yourselves), as according to your account, came to you to discuss the situation nor confront the patient, that is in my opinion on their head(s).  If you have not discussed with/confronted the “tattle-tale”, that, in my opinion is on your head (did you fail to confront the nurse because you were afraid that it would be interpreted as ‘racist’, and did you have a “racial stereotype” in mind that caused that fear?).

      I would hope, had I been in your situation (and I’m damn glad I wasn’t), and had the presence of mind, not wanting to upset an at-risk patient, I would have told her something along the lines of “Ok , I’ll note in your chart that even if we deem it medically important, you are declining any blood plasma products as the technology for that was due to an Afro-American Dr (Charles Drew), and if something goes horribly wrong, you’d prefer that no African American doctor or nurse intervene, even if they’re the only ones available at that time, and you accept the risk, and on behalf of yourself and any others hold me and Kaiser harmless when we respectfully comply with your wishes.”  Nah, I wouldn’t be that clever, in that moment.

      If you feel a need to have the others judged, you’re well on your way.  If you want “absolution” from being characterized as being racist, confront the nurse who accused you, or go to your spiritual advisor. I cannot criticize you, nor can I give you absolution.

      You asked for comments, and these are mine.  Take them, or leave them, as you will.

      1. Tia Will

        hpierce

        My thanks to everyone who responded with their comments. I have a few more thoughts in response to hpierce.

        I seek neither judgement of others or myself. I offered this only as an example of a real life, as opposed to a hypothetical situation as a basis for discussion. No more, no less.

        However, you do make a couple of comments that I feel deserve response because they are examples of how complicated situations frequently develop.

        First, I agree that had she known about the event, the phlebotomist would have been the only one who had an actual grievance. However, ironically enough, she was the only one who did not know that anything pertaining to her had happened. This was because all the patient had said to her was that she would not have her blood drawn until she had spoken to the doctor. She did not say why with the phlebotomist present as was confirmed by the initial nurse. Secondly, I did not know at the time that second nurse had called the Bee. I only found out after the fact when I was called by PR advising me not to speak with anyone from the Bee about this situation should I be contacted since the whole thing was being handled by PR.

        This brings me to the point that I made previously about how we can never be certain of the experience of another in any particular situation. I had no way of knowing initially that the phlebotomist had not been rejected to her face because of her race.  Would it not also be possible that this could have happened, but I could have made the assumption that no racial slur had been made because I had not witnessed it directly. We are not living the lives of others and I do not believe that it is valid to assume that everyone is experiencing life in the same way as we do and will see the world from our perspective.

         

  7. Tia Will

    Another word on the “victim mentality”. I believe that this is another example of a condition that it is very easy to detect in others, and very hard to see in ourselves.

    I am going to pick on Frankly because he frequently uses this phrase, because he can take it, and because I happen to like him.

    Frankly has frequently expounded on the “victim mentality” and its lack of validity when applied to minorities. However, he himself has defended the concept of a “war of Christmas” even going so far as in one post citing examples. He also has posted a number of times about how white males are “discriminated against” in our public school system. To me these are also examples of “victim mentality” on the part of the Christians and parents of white males who believe that they are being victimized.

    If one expects minorities or the poor to just “get their shit together”, then why would one not also expect Christians to”get their shit” together with regard to the observance of their preferred holiday or expect that parents of white males would not simply “get their shit” together with regard to their sons educations.

    Now, I do not adhere to this school of thinking at all. In a highly developed, highly prosperous nation, I believe it is the responsibility of all of those who ostensibly “have our shit together” to help those who have apparently not managed to do so.

    But if one is of the “get your shit together” school of thought, then I think that it would behoove you to apply this principle equally to yourself and your group as to others.

     

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Frankly can defend himself, but I think your examples are a bit sloppy. But I’ll trudge in.

      While Christianity has had a large role in our society, it is not the official religion. The Left recetnly pushes back, wants to downplay Christmas, we can’t celebrate Christmas because we are a secular society, we aren’t a Christian society, etc. Confrontations, lawsuits, yakking, you name it. Can’t say “Merry Christmas”, have to say “Happy Holidays”. And no Christmas trees in public places.

      Recently, the Latino community and / or UC Davis administration set up a “Day of the Dead” display right in the middle of campus in the Memorial Union.

      So are Christmas Trees verboten, but skulls and candles OK?

      This isn’t about “Christians getting their act together”, but hypocrisy and PC behavior. Christians aren’t playing victim, they’re speaking up.

      I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say that minorities should “get your shit together”. But as in my example above about the Myth of Driving While Black, many want to see proof that there is some kind of widespread racism occurring. We also don’t hear Korean-Americans, Chinese-Americans, or Ethiopian-Americans complaing about these supposedly widespread practices.

      We’ve also got whole departments on campus that teach and indoctrinate this kind of fuzzy logic. Sociology, ethnic studies, women’s studies, etc.

      1. Davis Progressive

        “Recently, the Latino community and / or UC Davis administration set up a “Day of the Dead” display right in the middle of campus in the Memorial Union.”

        you think that the uc davis administration would involve itself with setting up a day of the dead display?

      2. Tia Will

        The Left recetnly pushes back, wants to downplay Christmas, we can’t celebrate Christmas because we are a secular society, we aren’t a Christian society, etc. Confrontations, lawsuits, yakking, you name it. Can’t say “Merry Christmas”, have to say “Happy Holidays”. And no Christmas trees in public places.”

        Your statement “the Left” illustrates part of the point that I was making. You would have to look far and wide to find someone who is, or self identifies, as further to the left than I. And yet, I celebrate Christmas. I also respect the celebrations of the Jewish faith, the Day of the Dead, and all the peaceful and joyous celebrations of all religions. I was a respecter although not a participant in my ex husband’s and daughter’s choice to observe Ramadan although my son and I consistently chose not to fast with them. We each respected the choices of the others and adjusted our eating times so as to accommodate the needs of all family members. I fail to see why such acceptance of the beliefs and rituals of others cannot be practiced throughout our entire society.

        I personally do not understand why all religious observations, including Satanists, if they so choose, cannot be respected as part of our public life. However, I do not believe it is valid to claim ” Christians aren’t playing victim, they’re speaking up.” while holding that minorities are “playing victim”. I believe that they would have equal grounds to say that they are just “speaking up” albeit with a voice that you do not like.

        1. South of Davis

          Tia wrote:

          > Your statement “the Left” illustrates part of the point that I was making.

          > You would have to look far and wide to find someone who is, or self identifies,

          > as further to the left than I. And yet, I celebrate Christmas.

          He didn’t say “100% of the Left”.  I’m pretty sure that Tia will agree with me that most (but not all) people working to change the school “Christmas Vacation” to the “Holiday Break” and get the Nativity Scenes out of public places are “Left of Center of Liberal”.

          P.S. Has anyone heard of even a single “Right Winger” and/or “Conservative” looking to reduce the use of the word “Christmas”?

  8. Anon

    but the biggest issue by far were parents of school-aged children, many of the children of mixed race, who found Davis schools uncomfortable, and some of them even ended up leaving the school district.”

    Notice that school bullying is currently still a big problem in the Davis schools.  That is certainly no surprise to me – years ago my children were victims of vicious bullying (one of them beaten and property destroyed; one of them had a stick poked between her upper legs).  I am not the least bit surprised bullying in the Davis schools is alive and well.  And it may or may not have anything to do with children of mixed race – race would be only one facet of the bullying.  The school administration has still not dealt with this underlying problem endemic to our local schools.  Instead the DJUSD is concentrating on start times, as if that is so much more important than the thuggery that is the dark underbelly of our local educational system.

    I have heard from many African-American UC Davis students that they do not feel comfortable going into the downtown because of how few African-Americans there are in the community and they feel like they are singled out or, at the very least, they stand out.

    I would say the Vanguard’s fixation on only the African-American experience is unfortunate.  It is clear that bigotry is far broader at UCD, and includes religions, including Christianity and Judaism.  Furthermore, if you know anything about what goes on at the UCD campus, the bigotry includes political persuasion as well – there is little tolerance for conservative students.  And from where I sit, the administration gives mere lip-service to the Principles of Community.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I’m told there is outright hostility to white students on campus, but that generally speaking, the students are quite naive. Mention a few facts to them outside of their brainwashing spectrum, and they have trouble conversing or thinking on their feet.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          A professor has told me that, specifically, Jewish students, closely followed by white conservative students. I didn’t ask who the perps were, I will.

          The prof has said when he engages students in conversation, they know very little, they spout the Jon Stewart one liners. He recommends new sources of information for them to consider.

        2. South of Davis

          DP wrote:

          > have you talked to any?

          And then wrote:

          > you’re told this by whom?  

          What is the point of your many one line challenges other than to hint that the person is lying?

          If you think that someone is lying either come out and say it or just let their comment stand.

           

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          SOD, he’s “skeptical”, but he also mis-states my comments, and doesn’t notice someone who is actually open to honest, open debate. (i.e., I stated I will follow up with my friend. If I was a liar, I could have manufactured a fact or opinion to suit te argument. I didn’t.)

          (If I recall correctly, DP is also fond of asking leading questions which assume prejudice or ill intent.)

          It was not a single conversation, it has come up a number of times. The first time we attended a campus event and a student in line said something quite definitive and harsh. I then asked her a simple question, which she was unable to answer, and when I asked her if she was aware of a basic fact (which ran counter to her opinion), she wasn’t. I thought this was unusual, but my friend told me it was status quo.

           

           

      1. Tia Will

        f the age of the research bothers you, then maybe we should replicate the study and see what we get, but please let’s make sure there is no game playing and chicanery going on.

        The Left simply chooses when they like to profile.

        It is not the age of the research that bothers me. It is your apparent attempt to claim that its validity, or at least your belief, that it is relevant to events and claims here in Davis.

        I believe that this is not a trait exclusive to the “Left” but is equally practiced by those on the “Right” who also choose “when they like to profile”. For example,

        “The prof has said when he engages students in conversation, they know very little, they spout the Jon Stewart one liners. He recommends new sources of information for them to consider.”

        I am wondering if he has also engaged with students on the political right who spout Glen Beck or Rush Limbaugh one liners?  I suspect that at least the younger students of both political stripes tend to engage on a fairly superficial level simply because they have not yet had the time and experience to broaden their world view beyond sound bites. Their current job is to read, study, engage in conversation and try out their views. I am glad to hear that this professor is attempting to steer them to deeper sources and only hope that he is doing so in a balanced basis including academic sources from both the right and the left in order to provide a balanced view from which they will be free to draw their own conclusions.

        1.  
        1. Tia Will

          What is the point of your many one line challenges other than to hint that the person is lying?”

          I cannot speak for DP, however, I can think of a reason other than hinting that the person is lying.

          In medicine, psychology and academics in general, it is common when a generalizing statement is made to ask for the source of information. This is part of our daily professional lives. When making recommendations to the doctors in our department it is very common for us to challenge each other, sometimes quite assertively, not because we think the other person is lying, but because it is very important for us to act on the best possible evidence. So in response to the question “What is your evidence ?” or “What are your sources ? ” the most common response is either the study or review, or in our case, the ACOG position paper, or “hang on, I’ll get that for you” as we are looking it up. What most of us will not accept at face value is “one of my mentors told me…..”

           

  9. Tia Will

    race would be only one facet of the bullying”

    I am in complete agreement with this statement and I apparently come to a different conclusion than some posting here. My belief is that all bullying should be addressed. Some facets, such as bullying on the basis of race are more easily identified and so should be acknowledged and nipped in the bud as “low hanging fruit”, not denied, nor glossed over as only one source of bullying.

    1. Davis Progressive

      there’s another aspect – the white kids are victims too response – which they are and i’m not trying to disparage.  however, this is not a bullying program.  the district is working towards implementing state mandated anti-bullying educational programs through ab 9.  maybe the vanguard can update us on where those stand.  but let us not let that take away from the purpose of this event.

      1. Anon

        This is not a bullying program?  The bullying issue at school came up the most at an event to explore racism in Davis by the HRC.  Are you trying to push the bullying issue at schools under the rug, as it has been for years?  Racism is a form of bullying – and bullying in our schools is the larger issue that needs to be addressed – now. Children are our future – they need to be taught from an early age what is acceptable behavior. Tolerating bullying breeds racism later on.

      2. Alan Miller

        Pardon, are there some here that believe bullying is curable?

        That seems to be the insinuation.

        Bullying has been around forever.  I cannot imagine you can educate bullying out of bullies.  It’s not an education thing.

      1. Anon

        Especially bullying that involves physical abuse of children.  But unfortunately the verbal abuse does need to be addressed, because so often it eventually leads to physical abuse.

      2. KSmith

        TBD:

        Absolutely. The problem (at least in the Davis school system) is that children aren’t empowered to solve their own problems. The victim who tries to stand up for his/her right are punished at the same level as the perpetrator.

        One example is when my daughter was being bullied by another girl (both girls were 3rd graders at the time) who cornered her in the restroom and would not let her leave. The other girl grabbed onto my daughter’s arm, and when my daughter jerked away and proceeded to make for the door, it was later characterized as “violence” and almost got her into the same amount of trouble as the instigator.

        At least at the elementary-school level (where these issues originate) students have zero ability to work things out for themselves. They have to report it to an adult. When they get older it’s a bit better (as I understand it, they can work through their problems with an adult present), but since this crap starts during earlier grades there absolutely needs to be some kind of procedure in place for the kids to work through things themselves. It will help to call out the bullies and modify their behavior, but it will also help the more timid kids learn to be assertive.

        1. Anon

          What your daughter experienced at the elementary school level goes on in junior high and high school as well.  The normal practice at DJUSD is to discipline both students without getting into details of how a fight started.

          My son was literally backed into a corner in a classroom one day by a bully and her sidekick, who had been verbally harassing my son the entire day.  The idea was to harass my son so much he would strike back, and that would get him into trouble but the bully would get off scot free.  My son complained about the harassment to the teacher several times to no avail, which is what he was told by the administration to do when bullied by this girl and her cohorts.  Ultimately the teacher told my son if he didn’t keep quiet about the harassment, he would be suspended for complaining!

          Finally pushed too far, my son felt so threatened and worn down when backed into the corner of the classroom at the end of an horrendously long day of verbal abuse, he came out fists wailing, and beat up the girl bully (she led a gang in West Davis at the time) in front of the teacher and students.  Both my son and the girl were suspended from school. Yet the Vice Principal conceded my son was forced into what he had done, but nevertheless insisted both the girl and my son must be disciplined equally.  It should be noted the girl was living with this Vice Principal at the time, so obviously she was hardly objective on the subject.

          When the girl gang leader that bullied my son returned to school, she was caught with a knife on her person the first day of her return.  Three guesses who she was going to use the knife on, and the first two don’t count!  This gang leader was infuriated that my son had given her a taste of her own medicine.  So this vengeful girl bided her time, and had my son beaten up by one of her gang members on the day of his high school graduation.  The police got involved, and the girl gang leader and her cohort ended up in jail – for beating up a drunken college student a few nights before (who had to be hospitalized) and my son who managed to escape after he was clocked on the side of his head.

          My son was quiet and minded his own business, not bothering anyone.  But for some reason the gang leader decided he was an easy mark to bully, but found out to her cost that a person can be pushed too far, and the abuser may get more than bargained for.

        2. DavisBurns

          My daughter suffered from similar bullying at a Davis elementary school.  She had befriended the daughter of a foreign student who spoke little English the previous year.  The next year this girl had popular friends who parents wanted them to be models (yes fashion models).  Those girls liked one boy band.  My daughter liked another.  They harassed her all year pulling nasty tricks on her.  The last day of school they made the mistake of saying in a note what they had said verbally all year.  My daughter took the note to the teacher who didn’t want to deal with it.  The special Ed teacher took it to the principal who didn’t want to deal with it because it was the last day of school and how could she suspend them which would have been the punishment.  So they got off with no punishment when my daughter had been telling teachers all year about their behavior.  The foreign student was black.  My daughter has multiple invisible disabilities….well not invisible to bullies.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          Anon, can you name the gang? Or was it a small time, small town gang?

          I’m sorry you had to deal with this situation, I can’t tell if this is better or worse than 30 years ago. There do seem to be more gangs, some of the Asian gangs I’m told were created to protect new immigrants from the Bloods, Crips, Longos, MS13, Sorenos,  etc. No bueno.

        4. sisterhood

          My son was bullied and had a student in one of his classes pick up a woodworking object he made and throw it on the floor. The teacher gave my son an F for not completing the project because he shoved the kid who destroyed it. Whatever. My son is very happily out of Davis High, never looks back, and I seriously doubt if he will ever attend a high school reunion or donate money to Davis High. On the other hand, our family has already donated small amounts (to the Photography Dept.) at DaVinci. And I can guarantee you, if we ever had extra money, we would make a donation to DaVinci.

  10. TrueBlueDevil

    Is it possible that diversity isn’t a positive or neutral in some circumstances?

    I don’t see how these recent Middle East related events have helped our community or student body. When I was a student, I can’t ever recall anybody wishing that a whole country be eliminated, and then pretending it was sarcasm. I also can’t recall any kind of anti-Semitic behavior, and I had friends and professors of every kind of background.

    1. Tia Will

      I can’t ever recall anybody wishing that a whole country be eliminated, and then pretending it was sarcasm.”

      I believe that you are making a mistaken attribution here. I may be wrong on the time line and actual statements since I do not participate in Facebook, so if someone has access to the original post, please correct me. I believe that Ms. Fayyaz’s claim was that her statement that Sharia law was in effect on the UCD campus was satirical, which I believe that it likely was given its total lack of credibility. I do not believe that she ever made the claim that her statement expressing her hopes regarding the failure of the Israeli state were intended as “sarcasm” but rather, used with the phrase Insha’Allah is ( at least as used commonly by Turks as the group with which I am most familiar) meaning “God willing” or “if it is the will of God” would have reflecting her unwillingness to accept a religious based and ruled state. This is a position that I also hold, and therefore do not see it as anti semitic, or anti anything except theocracy.

      Given that I do not know Ms. Fayyaz personally, I cannot attest to her original intent. However, I do not see that progressively changing and adding paraphrases to her comments in order to support our own positions does anything to shed light on the issues raised.

          1. Don Shor

            As far as I know, she never said “I hope for the complete destruction of” any country. She said “Israel will fall, insha’Allah.”
            http://davismerchants.org/vanguard/Azka-Fayyaz-Facebook-2(1).jpg
            In the absence of a two-state solution, I’d say it’s actually quite possible that Israel will fall, at least as a Jewish-majority state. The demographics are inexorable.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Did she also shout “Allah Akbar” as Jewish students and supporters left the ASUCD meeting?

          She did praise Sharia Law and Hamas. ““Hamas & Sharia law have taken over UC Davis”

          She is also a member of Students for Justice in Palestine, which was banned by the University of California from engaging in on-campus protests.

        2. Frankly

          I don’t know, did she? Were you there? And just exactly what do you think “Allahu Akbar” means?

          Apparently you are not yet at the point where you will put that term on the list of speech code violations even as it is the single common phrase used by Islamic extremists as they are setting off suicide vests, flying jets into buildings and cutting off the heads of Coptic Christians.

          1. Don Shor

            That is not its only use, or even the most common usage of the phrase. You knew that, didn’t you? Or do you only know of it as a phrase used by “Islamic extremists?”
            Maybe you should look stuff up sometimes.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takbir

            The Takbīr (تَكْبِير), also written Tekbir or Takbeer, is the term for the Arabic phrase Allāhu Akbar (الله أكبر), usually translated as “God is [the] greatest,” or “God is great”.[1] It is a common Islamic Arabic expression, used in various contexts by Muslims; in formal prayer, in the call for prayer (adhān),[2] as an informal expression of faith, in times of distress, to express celebration or victory, or to express resolute determination or defiance.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          I know both uses, but it seems like the more contemporary usage has to do with terrorist attacks. It has become a loaded term, I’m sure there are other phrases that could be used to invoke God’s name.

          What do you two think about Students for Justice in Palestine. Are they a hate group? (See links at the bottom of this blog.)

        4. Frankly

          That is not its only use, or even the most common usage of the phrase. You knew that, didn’t you?

          Do I really need to list all of the words that you would agree should be eliminated from speech even though they have different meanings?  And these are words that might only hurt someone feelings, not be a precursor to a person having their head chopped off.

          Again, your bias is showing through very well here.

          1. Don Shor

            No, Frankly. You are showing your bias. And earlier, you showed your ignorance about the phrase.
            Tens, probably hundreds, of millions of Muslims use that phrase daily. They aren’t terrorists. They use it in common speech, in prayer, in the same way that Christians say “God willing” or other common religious phrases of their particular religion.
            You know that.

          2. Don Shor

            I’m also very curious what “bias” you think I’m showing, since I’m not Muslim or even religious.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Many Democrats / Progressives are utterly obsessed with race. I’ve been keenly aware of this for 20 years, at least in Northern California, SoCal is different.

          There are dozens, hundreds, thousands of reasons why human beings act and make decisions in life and in business. Logic doesn’t support the liberal position from any number of viewpoints.

          For example, if Davis and DJUSD are so racist, that means there are a lot of racist Democrats in town, because this is a largely Progressive city. Same for DJUSD, which must also employ a lot of racist white female teachers. But I don’t think Progressives want to make that jump… they just desire a perpetual state of grievance, assumed moral superiority, and power.

          Or, let’s assume there is a small business person who is racist. Would they really ignore or mistreat a customer or potential customer, especially since most small business fail? That one person would let their community know, and they would lose a whole lot of business.

          Besides, we’ve seen this hyper focus by Democrats in our state for decades, and any number of institutions or facilities are in horrible condition. The schools have gone from #1 in the nation to #48 or #49, the highways are crumbling, our reservoirs are outdated, and we’re focused on outlier tertiary social issues which effect relatively few individuals.

        2. Davis Progressive

          i guess i’ll reciprocate – republicans and conservatives utterly refuse to believe that racism, so prevalent in american life for over 200 years is still around in vestiges today.  it may be politically incorrect to act as many did early in my lifetime – overt racism, prejudice, discrimination, segregation.  instead, we see it eke out.  there is an expectation that african americans, beaten down and utterly destroyed by centuries of subjugation would suddenly be healed.

          “There are dozens, hundreds, thousands of reasons why human beings act and make decisions in life and in business. Logic doesn’t support the liberal position from any number of viewpoints.”

          what is the liberal position?  all you’ve stated here is that liberals are obsessed with race and that logic doesn’t support that position, but you’ve failed to articulate either that position or why it’s wrong.

          ” let’s assume there is a small business person who is racist. Would they really ignore or mistreat a customer or potential customer, especially since most small business fail? ”

          this comment utterly ignores the entire existence of the south for 150 years when they did exactly that and they did it blatantly.  does fear and hatred overwhelm logic and reason at times?  yes it does.  so you are in fact ignoring history and human nature when you make these comments.

           

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          DP wrote: ” republicans and conservatives utterly refuse to believe that racism, so prevalent in american life for over 200 years is still around in vestiges today.”

          Can you provide some quotes and links to that viewpoint? I don’t hear conservatives saying racism doesn’t exist, they just get tired of it being played endlessly, and the Left choosing such poor exampes for what they think is modern-day racism (Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Al Sharpton / Tawna Brawley, Central Park rapists). I think racism exists, historical racism exists, human foibles exist, people act stupidly (not racist), errors are made, life is tough, but many are tired of the Crying Wolf syndrome.

          I’ve never heard anyone say that African Americans would suddenly be “healed”. But we’re 50 years past the Civil Rights Act, there are hundreds of thousands of black lawyers, doctors, dentists, and business people. Our President is multiracial but identifies as Black. Many conservatives will argue that government programs and leaders have done more harm than good for the black community, and that their policies have helped to destroy the Black family. The black family survived slavery, survived Jim Crown, but couldn’t survive government.

          “this comment utterly ignores the entire existence of the south for 150 years when they did exactly that and they did it blatantly….”

          But we’re not talking Selma, 1962, we’re talking California, 2015. Are you living in the past?

        4. Davis Progressive

          i don’t feel the need to go back over the debates we’ve had an play gotcha, the impression i’ve had is what i wrote.  if you think that’s in error, that’s your prerogative.

           

          “the Left choosing such poor exampes for what they think is modern-day racism (Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Al Sharpton / Tawna Brawley, Central Park rapists).”

           

          the central park “rapists” were exonerated.  is that really your example of the left choosing a poor example of racism?

           

          one point where i agree – we are not talking about selma 1962.  but are you really making the argument that a little racism is okay?

        5. TrueBlueDevil

          Yes, they were, but we still have their original confessions (many with parents present) and all of the original police work that got their convictions. Sounds like lberal guilt or politics run amok in New York.

          Don’t forget why they were originally arrested – they were traveling through the park attacking people randomly. I’ve read that the DA’s report was based solely on the new criminal stepping forward – Matias Reyes (he was already serving time for other crimes, and the statute of limitations on this brutal rape had passed).

          “New York journalist Nicholas Stix reports that one inmate says Reyes told him he heard the jogger’s screams and raped her only after the “Central Park Five” had finished with her.”

          “…In Antron McCray’s 34-minute videotaped statement, for example, he said: 

          “Everybody started hitting her and stuff. She was on the ground, everybody stompin’ and everything. … I grabbed one arm, some other kid grabbed one arm and we grabbed her legs and stuff. Then we all took turns getting on her, getting on top of her. … I just like, my penis wasn’t in her. I didn’t do nothing to her … I was just doing it so everybody … Everybody would just like, would know I did it.” ”

          They sound like some real choir boys.

          http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2014-04-23.html

           

  11. DurantFan

    From a previous letter and case history long forgotten by the City Council and the currently politically correct.  Perhaps we should also think about breaking the silence about poverty in Davis once in awhile?

    Dear City Council Members  

    My wifei and I were disturbed to read in the Davis Enterprise recently that the lease for the Old Mill Stream Laundromat is being terminated as of January 6, 2013 to make way for an expansion of the site of the former Right and Relevant Thrift Store to suit Goodwill, another thrift store tenant within Davis.  This action will have a serious and negative impact on the low-income community surrounding the Manor Mall complex in East Davis.  The reasons are as follows:

    The Old Mill Stream Laundromat in the Manor Mall has provided essential laundering service to East Davis families for over 40 years.  My wife and I have used the Laundromat on occasion over the years to wash and dry large items such as comforters, blankets, and sleeping bags.  Whenever we used the facility, we found it very busy, with many hard-working mothers washing loads and loads of family laundry while also tending to their young children.  Many of these mothers also haul their laundry to and from the Laundromat in carts because they live within the many apartment buildings located nearby along East Eighth Street, and lack access to an automobile.   

     Within the Laundromat, we always found the atmosphere busy, purposeful, and friendly. Overall, the Laundromat has a “humble, homey, and community center” atmosphere.  As such, this vital, family-owned small business should be cherished as an asset within Davis, and should not be extinguished as a liability .

     In general, laundromats are scarce within a community in large part because they are equipment and maintenance intensive, and primarily serve a low-income clientele. They are, however, a critically needed resource because they provide users with the means to clean clothing and other household items.   Clean clothing in particular, is an essential element in one’s overall effort to maintain good personal dignity, cleanliness, and health.  

    From our perspective, it appears to be unwise to close the family owned Old Mill Stream Laundromat to make way for yet another thrift store within Davis.  There are other thrift store options within Davis (SPCA, Right and Relevant, etc) to meet this general community need. 

    Thank you for your attention in this matter.

    1. DavisBurns

      Innovation Parks leave me cold but we hear nada but hype hype hype from the city council, the enterprise and the vanguard. All that support for something that does not yet exist but nothing for an important service business with a long standing in the community.  More effort should be spent on keeping essential services and supporting existing businesses.

      1. DurantFan

        Thank you DB for your insightful reply.  The City Council was caught in a flatfooted and reactive posture concerning this matter, and  the “Laundering While Poor” ladies didn’t have much of a chance against the monied  interests of  (Not Much) Goodwill!   I understand that  (Not Much) Goodwill is fully satisfied with their new, expanded site within the Mall.   Too bad the  residents living within the  rows of overcrowded apartment buildings opposite the Mall  (lining the N side of E 8th St) will  have difficulty laundering  clothing in a convenient manner from now on.

        1. Alan Miller

          As I have done with a half-dozen businesses in Davis for various reasons regarding moral lacking, they never get a dime of my money and forever receive my wrath.  While I may or may not have the power to destroy a business (I believe I may as I have delusions of megalomania), I can take some warmth in knowing I have cost many businesses of bad will (pun intended) a few hundreds or thousands of dollars.

      2. Frankly

        More effort should be spent on keeping essential services and supporting existing businesses.

        Then show me the money.  A fiscally insolvent city leave’s me cold.

      3. Davis Progressive

        the vanguard raised the laudromat issue in a big way when it closed down.

        https://www.davisvanguard.org/2013/01/commentary-closure-of-laundromat-strains-working-class-davis-and-student-population/

        https://www.davisvanguard.org/2013/01/sunday-commentary-closure-of-laundromat-embodies-plight-of-the-other-davis/

        https://www.davisvanguard.org/2013/01/good-will-becomes-the-bad-guy-as-residents-describe-impact-of-loss-of-laundry-facilities/

        https://www.davisvanguard.org/2012/12/my-view-the-other-davis/

        1. Davis Progressive

          that really wouldn’t address the issue.  the issue was that this particular landromat, in this particular location served a specific group of people who would have difficulty getting their laundry to a facility two miles away (give or take).

  12. DavisBurns

    Is there racism in Davis?  Recently I took my black daughter in law shopping downtown.  Walking down the sidewalk, I saw two Davis police standing, talking, no clue why they were there.  I moved to the other side putting myself between Naomi and the police.  Why?  I’m not sure.  It felt safer?  Neither one of us said anything.  Now I wonder what it must be like to have that experience as a matter of course.  What is like when there is no white person between you and cops?

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Coffee break, donut break? Foot patrol? Walking to their car, discussing a report? I dunno, when I see police standing on the sidewalk, I believe they are standing on the sidewalk.

      I’d look them in the eye and say hello.

      1. Barack Palin

        Paranoia runs deep.  What were those officers thinking just standing there?   Maybe you should show up to David’s racism meeting and share your story of how the officers were just standing there.  SMH, this is what it has come to.

    2. sisterhood

      I only have old anecdotes from several years ago. Since I do not know if every officer involved is retired or still on the force, I’ll tell one such tale. A close friend told me he was repeatedly stopped for a “flickering tail light”. Amazing how many times his mechanic checked that tail light…It came to be so often, his lighter skinned frat bro’s told him they would be the ones driving anywhere, so they could get wherever they wanted to go more quickly. He did report his concerns to UCD campus police, and the city. He never heard back. He graduated, moved to Sac, and has a very high paying job in the I.T. world. We spoke at work one day & he asked me, “Hey, is it getting any better over there in Davis?” Unfortunately, I had my own issues so I couldn’t encourage him to encourage his kids to apply at UCD. 🙁

  13. Tia Will

    DurantFan

    Perhaps we should also think about breaking the silence about poverty in Davis once in awhile?”

    I could not agree more. During the discussions about making space in Davis for Schilling Robotics, I mentioned our seeming ability to consider aiding those who already doing well while doing nothing for those that are making a positive contribution but who could use help. I was roundly disparaged for my position that perhaps it is the economically less well positioned that are most in need of assistance which we only seem willing to provide to those who have no need for it. Brace yourself for the wave of comments about how these are not the same, how Schilling is worthy while the Laundromat was not, or for the technicalities of how the city’s hands were tied in one instance, but not in the other. I don’t buy it. There always seems to be a way to “help” those who are already prospering while sitting back and watching the less prosperous fall further and further behind until they “fail”.

    But that is off topic and discussion for another day. Sorry Don.

    1. DurantFan

      Thank You Tia!    The “Laundering While Poor” situation should have received as  much coverage as the “Mowing While Black” incident did awhile back.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        OK, so I read both links. Apparently one commenter claimed that the police department was in fact looking for a burglary suspect who matched the gentleman’s description (there were a recent rash of crimes in the area), but they miscommunicated that fact when he called in.

        I guess the “rest of the story” is that this gentleman has lived in Davis for 30 or 40 years and never had this happen before, because if he went to the trouble of writing that letter and calling the police department, if he had had previous bad experiences, he would have shared them. Second, the officer referred to him as “Sir”, a sign of respect. Third, when the officer confirmed that he lived there, he immediately left.

        Every blue moon the police ask me a question or two, I try not to take it personally. They usually have a good reason or a hunch.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          The problem in this case is that the officer had a live call for a burglary suspect in the immediate area and therefore what might constitute a valid reason to question an individual. I was told the police were given an extremely vague description of the suspect.

          However, the incident was poorly handled – he was abrupt, he never really explained the issue to the man involved, and therefore the individual felt violated. I spoke to a number of people close to him including his daughter, but never the man himself. He’s a very private, very soft spoken individual and everyone who knew him offered that he had to have felt a grave indignity to have even written the letter. The officer involved was a veteran, should have known to handle the situation with better interpersonal communication and has since left the department and retired.

          The biggest question that is unanswered from what I understand is what precisely was he doing when the officer approached him. However, the guy was mowing his lawn on his own property, he was an older black man, and at least on the surface there seemed to be if nothing else and utter lack of commonsense by this officer.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          I went to the movies years ago. I passed two officers in two patrol cars, and drove to the top of the parking garage. I wasn’t speeding, there were no violations, there was no loud music, I even had my copy of the Communist Manifesto next to me. (Not really.)

          I reached the top floor. I parked. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. I pulled out my cell phone, and as I looked up, there was the officer giving me the up and down, he rolled down his window and asked me what I was doing there. I answered his questions politely and logically, and he went on his way.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            And probably Mr. Davis reacted the same way the first time he was pulled over on a pretext stop. Maybe even the first ten times. At some point, when you get stopped over and over again, you start to be less accepting of the inconvenience. A point that Assistant Chief Pytel made to me recently was that often times when they get a citizen complaint, the final straw is fairly innocuous, the real issue is a long history and right now the law doesn’t have a way to remedy that. However, that is about to change – more on that in two weeks.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          AG Eric Holder instituted limits of police activities in Seattle, and crime has jumped. I expect this Obama / Holder plan will be duplicated elsewhere… along with more crime.

    2. Anon

      Tia, the laundromat issue was not handled well.  Common Grounds in South Davis went thru a similar problem, but somehow because of community backlash, something was worked out and space was found for Common Grounds, which is now flourishing.  There should have been some attempt to accommodate that particular laundromat IMHO. Also reminds me of the ugly Trader Joe’s incident, and some of the businesses shoved out because of it.

      1. Tia Will

        Anon

        Agreed. And also reminds me of the difficulties encountered by the owners of Konditorei when they were attempting to move from a rental space to their own building.

        I think there is a definite pattern here of seeking to help those who are already thriving while ignoring, downplaying, or commenting about how “our hands are tied” when the issue involves either a very small business, or a business that serves a non affluent segment of our community. I do not agree with Frankly’s implication that this is an either or situation. I believe that in an affluent community we should be able to help not only the most affluent ( or those most like us) and those who are more humble in means and or mission.

  14. tribeUSA

    Perhaps counterintuitively, after all the hoopla, marches, demonstrations about Ferguson and other incidents of proported racism by white authorities and the white establishment trumpeted by media, politicos, and activists; I get more of a sense that such efforts to fan racial flames, to get people to further identify themselves primarily in terms of their race, and to make race a larger factor in civil life; have not only failed but have burst–seems to me that folks of all colors are mixing and getting along better, perhaps because such efforts are being more widely recognized as an attempt to yank their chains; much easier to just let the chains slip off and live day to day; recognizing that there will always be jerks around, some of such jerkhood will be racist jerkhood (mainly by the immature); but thankfully it is not a common or crippling phenomena in their own lives; in fact there are much bigger problems to grapple with that merit their attention more; just leave the jerks behind!

    1. wdf1

      At least the police officer was charged.  The circumstances are still troubling.

      Alabama Cop Arrested for Takedown That Left Indian Man Partially Paralyzed
      An Alabama police officer was arrested on an assault charge Thursday and could be fired for slamming a 57-year-old Indian man to the ground last week, leaving the grandfather partially paralyzed.

      Madison Police Chief Larry Muncey said Officer Eric Parker was not justified when he stopped and then threw 57-year-old Sureshbhai Patel — who had traveled to Madison to visit his son only a week before the incident and speaks no English — on Feb. 6.
      ………………
      In a 911 call to police that day, the caller identifies Patel as “a skinny black guy” he had never seen before walking around the neighborhood. The caller also said that he was following Patel from a distance, and that he was afraid to leave for work and leave his wife alone at home.

      Patel, who’d arrived in Alabama a week earlier from Pij, India, was staying with his son, Chirag Patel, and daughter-in-law who lived in the neighborhood, and had come to help care for their 17-month-old toddler while the younger Patel worked and attended graduate school at the University of Alabama.

      The two dashcam videos show Parker and his trainee, Andrew Slaughter, approaching Patel, and they quickly learn that he does not speak English. A third officer was sent to the scene in a different car, which captured the video of the alleged assault.

      1. tribeUSA

        wdf1–yes, I saw that video, and it certainly appears to me this was an instance of excessive use of force by police. But is there any evidence that this act was racist? Unfortunately the language barrier likely confused the situation, and the police were, let us say, somewhat overzealous in their actions. Definitely merits investigation as excessive use of force, possibly including criminal charges against the slam-down officer; perhaps there is some evidence of racism I haven’t heard about.

        1. wdf1

          tribeUSA:  But is there any evidence that this act was racist? 

          Specifically this aspect to the case makes me suspicious of how the case was framed:

          In a 911 call to police that day, the caller identifies Patel as “a skinny black guy” he had never seen before walking around the neighborhood. The caller also said that he was following Patel from a distance, and that he was afraid to leave for work and leave his wife alone at home.

          Why was Patel viewed as a threat to his wife and home?

          My wife is from a foreign country.  Her father (my in-law) has never visited this country and one issue (there are several) on his part is concern over stories of violence and racism in the U.S. that reach his country.  I don’t view the U.S. as generally unsafe, but I’m not a foreigner to this country.  I assure you that this story is playing bigger in many foreign media markets — especially in India — than it is domestically.

    2. Tia Will

       don’t hear conservatives saying racism doesn’t exist”

      This is true. But we have frequently heard Frankly say that it is “de minimus”. Well of course it is de minimus for Frankly. He is a part of the dominant race and culture in our town and our country. Most of us here can say quite frankly that racism does not affect us much. I can easily say this as a senior Caucasian woman. That is not the question. The question is what would my experience be as a black woman ? What would it be as a black teenaged male ? What would it be as the only black elementary student on the playground ?  Unless we can walk in these people’s shoes, all we are doing is speculating based on our own extremely limited experiences.

      to make race a larger factor in civil life”

      Larger than what ?  Larger than it is for us ?  Larger than it is for the people who live in high crime areas that also happen to be primarily one race in composition ? Larger than it is for those who may have been stopped once by police officers for no good reason, or for those who have this happen to them repetitively for no reason other than the color of their skin and the neighbohood in which they happen to have been born ?

      This is exactly what I meant when I stated that I do not believe that dismissing the experiences of others is helpful.

      1. tribeUSA

        True, none of us can walk in the others shoes. My statements are based mainly on personal observations, including those of children up to high school age, before they are indoctrinated by the establishment to become aware of racial differences, to identify by race, to be taught that race is important, etc. One of the main difficulties, as brought up by others on this forum, is how do we separate perception from reality–if a stranger treats us rudely for no apparent reason, how can we can see inside the persons head and understand what is motivating that behavior?–it seems there is an effort by politicos, media, and activists to attribute such incidents to racism; I would agree that this is accurate some of the time, but is it accurate all of the time?

        With regard to the mowing while black incident, consider a situation where the police are chasing a suspect in a crime who is reported to be 7 ft 2 inches tall. As they are searching the neighborhood thru which he has reported to have fled, they spot a 7 ft 2 inch person out in the yard. Are they height-ist for for approaching and talking with this tall man? Perhaps they are just going with the odds that there are very few people this tall in the neighborhood, and in fact the cops are not height-ist at all.

  15. wdf1

    At least the police officer was charged.  The circumstances are still troubling.

    Alabama Cop Arrested for Takedown That Left Indian Man Partially Paralyzed
    An Alabama police officer was arrested on an assault charge Thursday and could be fired for slamming a 57-year-old Indian man to the ground last week, leaving the grandfather partially paralyzed.
    Madison Police Chief Larry Muncey said Officer Eric Parker was not justified when he stopped and then threw 57-year-old Sureshbhai Patel — who had traveled to Madison to visit his son only a week before the incident and speaks no English — on Feb. 6.
    ………………
    In a 911 call to police that day, the caller identifies Patel as “a skinny black guy” he had never seen before walking around the neighborhood. The caller also said that he was following Patel from a distance, and that he was afraid to leave for work and leave his wife alone at home.
    Patel, who’d arrived in Alabama a week earlier from Pij, India, was staying with his son, Chirag Patel, and daughter-in-law who lived in the neighborhood, and had come to help care for their 17-month-old toddler while the younger Patel worked and attended graduate school at the University of Alabama.
    The two dashcam videos show Parker and his trainee, Andrew Slaughter, approaching Patel, and they quickly learn that he does not speak English. A third officer was sent to the scene in a different car, which captured the video of the alleged assault.

  16. TrueBlueDevil

    One has to remember that many modern Progressives and Democrats start with the assumption of racism of various types and description as a primary motivating factor in society, even without any evidence.

    There are related rules, patterns, and hypocrisy, but they go back to this basic assumption.

    For example, Hillary Clinton can affect a southern drawl or black accent when speaking to a predominantly black crowd, and she gets a pass; she can cackle about a child rapist she defended, and she gets a pass. But Mitt Romney as a child gave a classmate a prank haircut, and he is raked through the coals for a week by the national media as proof of his prejudice.

    1. Davis Progressive

      interesting gross distortion.  we had this conversation last week – the recording you refer to from clinton was 35 years old and she wasn’t cackling about the rapist she defended 40 years ago, but rather the unreliability of lie detector tests. not sure what that has to do with this topic, but i guess it fits your partisan leanings.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        How can a defense lawyer laugh about a crucial piece of evidence which got off a (her) brutal child rapist with a slap on the wrist?

        On top of this, she knew he was guilty, and she knew she was on the record (taped)! Is she that cold, insensitive, or just amazingly arrogant?

        Does it really matter how old the tape is? Listeners can find it on youtube or elsewhere and judge for themselves.

        You didn’t comment on her black dialect.

        1. Davis Progressive

          i think the fundamental problem is that you’re thinking of this from the perspective of politics first and the victim second but not considering her position as the defendant’s lawyer.  so i don’t out myself on a fairly high profile case, let me use an example.  in a high profile case a defendant once walked as the prosecutor failed to introduce what i thought at the time was a key argument.  someone asked me about it lately and i said i laughed, and said, yeah (the prosecutor) messed up by failing to introduce that.

          am i laughing at the prosecutor?  no.  that (stuff) happens.  am i laughing at the fact that my client may have walked?  no, i don’t find humor in that.  i have a job to do.  something times things are just a bit ironic and you laugh.  it was 35 years ago and she was young.

          you keep pointing to a guilty man going free – that’s the way our system has to work, it puts the burden on the prosecution to do their job because liberty is the ultimate societal principle and we have a very high burden on the government to take it away.

          “Does it really matter how old the tape is? ”

          only in the sense that you’re trying to make political light out of something that happened a long time ago, early in her career.

          “You didn’t comment on her black dialect.”

          you’re right, i didn’t.  that’s because i don’t care.  she’s a politician.  i’m a lawyer.  i’m discussing what i’m interested in – her conduct as a lawyer.

  17. Anon

    Is there racism out there?  Yes.  Fayyez is one example of many.  Does every bad encounter between police and ethnic minorities always involve racism?  No.  Should we assume everyone has a racial bias before they even open their mouths?  Why not assume a person’s motives are unbiased until they show otherwise?  When the BDS vote was taken, it did not necessarily indicate all those who voted for it were racists.  But in Fayyez’s case, her next actions removed all doubt as to whether she was racist or not.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Are Students for Justice in Palestine a hate group? When I googled their name, that choice came up, and there have been incidents across America at college campuses where that accusation has been made (or established).

      1. Anon

        Hmmmm, this was interesting, positing an illegal link between Students for Justice in Palestine and Hamas:

        From http://www.newsmax.com/Newsmax-Tv/Everett-Stern-student-group-Hamas/2014/08/12/id/588385/

        Everett Stern, CEO of Tactical Rabbit, told “MidPoint” host Ed Berliner that his firm’s investigation of Students for Justice in Palestine leads him to think the campus organization is helping to finance Hamas in violation of U.S. law.

        Stern said he has forwarded his findings to federal law enforcement authorities and he’s still awaiting a response… We’re praying that they actually do something,” he said, arguing that SJP and its allies “are an actual threat to national security.

        The leader of Students for Justice in Palestine — there’s photos of him online actually in Gaza carrying an AK assault weapon and holding flags for [the Lebanon-based terrorist group] Islamic Jihad,” said Stern. “That’s not normal for a leader for a student organization.”

        Stern said that SJP has moved well beyond simple advocacy, with campaigns including a fundraising drive that sent “convoys into the Gaza Strip and actually met with Hamas leaders.“”

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          FWIW, I have never been to one of their events and never heard of them until this situation. I simply googled their name, and one of the top ten choices offered by google is “hate group”. When you select that choice, there are 1.5 million articles covering this search criteria.

          On Many Campuses, Hate is Spelled SJP

          “They advocate for Israel’s destruction, admire terrorists, and are making Jewish students feel unsafe on campuses across the country. They’re Students for Justice in Palestine—and they’re a huge problem.”

          http://www.thetower.org/article/on-many-campuses-hate-is-spelled-sjp/

          http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/david-james/tcpj-newsletter-ut-knoxvilles-newest-student-anti-israel-hate-group/

          http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/12/29/brandeis-radical-who-insulted-murdered-ny-cops-is-backed-by-students-for-justice-in-palestine/

          http://horowitzfreedomcenterstore.org/products/students-for-justice-in-palestine-a-hate-group

    2. Tia Will

      Anon

      Is there racism out there?  Yes.  Fayyez is one example of many.”

      I am truly wondering which of Ms. Fayyesz’ comments you see as racist. I clearly see her partisanship in valuing the rights of Palestinians over Israeli’s. I see her animosity to the Jewish state. And I see her preference for the Muslim religion over that of the Jews. What I have not seen attributed to her are racist comments. Can you clarify ?

  18. Frankly

    Palestinian-Israel integration is a non-starter because of the existence of extremism and terrorism in the name of Islam.  It is a non-starter because most of even the “moderate” Arab-Islam world has made it clear that they would support wiping Israel off the map, and would support extremists inside of Israel to destabilize it.  The recent terrorists acts in Europe are just a small taste of what Israel would suffer.

    So we are back to a two-state solution.  Which has been offered and brokered several times… and each time rejected by the Palestinians.  Because what Palestinians want is to destabilize and destroy Israel as it exists and overrun it to turn it into an Islamic state.  Anyone that disputes this is either ignoring or fudging the facts and the truth.

    1. Don Shor

      It has been accepted in principle by the primary negotiating party of the Palestinians, but there is now a schism in the leadership between Fatah and Hamas. That is one of the primary obstacles to continuation of the peace process. The other primary obstacle is Netanyahu and his supporters.
      An Israel led by any party even slightly to the left of Likud will probably be able to negotiate a deal with Fatah, and then perhaps be able (with help from the US) provide the resources to help make it stick. There are many moving parts.

      Because what Palestinians want is to destabilize and destroy Israel as it exists and overrun it to turn it into an Islamic state. Anyone that disputes this is either ignoring or fudging the facts and the truth.

      Palestinians are not monolithic in their opinions. What you describe is not even a majority opinion among Palestinians, as measured in various opinion polls.
      The US needs to keep nudging the parties to negotiations about a two-state solution. We provide both sides with considerable amounts of money and, in the case of Israel, weapons. We have some leverage with some of the parties.
      I am not ignoring anything, not fudging anything. I don’t why you are incapable of having a discussion without making these kinds of comments.

      1. Don Shor

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehud_Olmert#Annapolis_peace_talks
        It is amazing how close the Olmert government got to a peace agreement. The points outlined in this Wikipedia article will likely form the basis for any subsequent deal. As you can see, there are lots of haggling points. And the level of American involvement as to things like an international security force are probably no longer operative, given American public opinion about further military involvement in the Mideast.

    2. Tia Will

      Because what Palestinians want is to destabilize and destroy Israel as it exists and overrun it to turn it into an Islamic state.”

      So how does either side have the high ground with regard to this particular point about desiring a theocracy. We have the Jews on one hand favoring the establishment and maintenance of a Jewish theocracy and the Palestinians wanting the establishment and maintenance of an Islamic state. Looks very similar in motive to me.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Please tell me if I am wrong, but I have never heard a Jewish person or leader say they want to wipe Pakistan or Palestine or Yemen off the map.

        Israel is unique in that it is the only Jewish state, whereas Muslims can live and work in numerous surrounding countries.

  19. Tia Will

    TBD

    Please tell me if I am wrong, but I have never heard a Jewish person or leader say they want to wipe Pakistan or Palestine or Yemen off the map.”

    As someone who favors a two state solution, I would make the following observation. One does not have to come out and
    “make a statement”about something that has already been accomplished. Israel was created and established on disputed land. Palestinians were displaced in order to make space for a Jewish state. From a Palestinian point of view, Israel has already accomplished the destruction of their personal homeland. Why therefore would a Jewish person “speak in favor “of what has already been done ?

    Israel is unique in that it is the only Jewish state, whereas Muslims can live and work in numerous surrounding countries.”
    It continues to amaze me when those who seem to take pride in America with our emphasis on freedom of religion, continue to defend the non peaceful actions of a theocracy ( any theocracy) which oppresses those not of the predominant religion. It also amazes me that there is in the above comment the implication that all countries that have Muslim majorities are the same and therefore interchangeable. Would you be happy about having to relocate to Canada since it is a primarily Christian nation because someone wanted to establish a Catholic theocracy here in California. Why not, after all , its Christian even if you weren’t born there, have no connections there, have no allegiance to their history, philosophy or world view !

    1. Anon

      To Tia: Revisionist history methinks.  From Wikipedia:

      The Jewish leadership accepted the partition plan as “the indispensable minimum,”[25] glad to gain international recognition but sorry that they did not receive more.[26] The representatives of the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab League firmly opposed the UN action and rejected its authority in the matter, arguing that the partition plan was unfair to the Arabs because of population balance at that time.[27] However, the Arabs rejected the partition, not because it was supposedly unfair, but because any form of partition[28][29] was rejected by the Arabs’ leaders. They upheld “that the rule of Palestine should revert to its inhabitants, in accordance with the provisions of […] the Charter of the United Nations.”[30] According to Article 73b of the Charter, the UN should develop self-government of the peoples in a territory under its administration.”

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