Communication problems continue in America.
They escalate into other problems. The arrest of the Harvard professor is one of those problems. Is it all about Race? About ‘who’s in charge here?’ About ‘ruffled feelings?’ About ‘who is supposed to be the ‘Adult’ in the situation? Misunderstandings gone bad? If it was between two White people, two Af-Am’s, two Asians or two matched anyones, would the controversy go this far?
The Chief focuses on the issue at hand, not ‘society’s’ issues. It is always about how the situation is handled. Which path gets taken depends on training. Flaring emotions are a powerful force. The focus needs to stay on solving the situation at hand to avoid escalation. However, it does get down to who is the ‘professional’ in the situation.
Ray Suarez, of PBS, interviews Joseph Thomas, Jr., Chief, Southfield Police Department, Southfield, Michigan, July 23, 2009 on PBS’s Newshour.
The Chief says “you can talk yourself into a ticket or, worse, getting arrested with a trip to jail.”
I say: “You have to watch how you talk to an officer of the law.” (no matter what color YOU are or THEY are – even if your colors match) In addition, how do you talk to an officer on YOUR property???? Still, Probably, very carefully.
The Chief says: “Training is the key.” For everyone. Continuing Education. Things change. Society changes. Everyone needs to update their training. Continuously.
Read the transcript at NPR: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/social_issues/july-dec09/gates_07-23.html
The Chief is a really smart guy.