I had more family duties this week for obvious reasons, so my blog will be short.

Jeny. I am very pleased to report Jeny is recovering. Not without pain, not at the speed she would like, but she is showing slow, steady progress. I am so proud of how many people she has touched in her life as reflected by the cards, e-mails, Facebook comments, visits, phone calls and food. I believe the support she received from around the world is a reflection of the wonderful person she is and the love she has spread over the years.

Not one variable alone. Relationships between police and communities is at the highest tension level in my memory. In my opinion too many people on both sides in the tension are thinking singularly. If each side believes the only reason for the problem is the other side, then we will never make progress. Some community members believe the police are solely to blame and some supporters of the police believe members of the community are to blame.

Going one step further, some members of the community believe white racism is the sole cause of improper policing. An overgeneralization of the situation would be — if white policemen would change what they are doing all of the problems would go away. Again overgeneralizing, some community members believe if people of color would respect authority, all of the problems would go away.

In most behavioral situations, multiple causes are responsible for a behavior. In the case of police to community relationships, I certainly believe multiple variables are responsible. As with most issues, the causal factors are A AND B (and most likely C and D and etc.) and not A alone or B alone.

I do not believe police-community problems are solely caused by white racism. That is not to say some of the responsibility for police to community relationships are not related to color. I believe some problems are related to color. But if color is solely responsible, then, if we hold color constant there should be no problems in police community relationships.  However, just as in my last blog, using scientific logic, if color is held constant and we still have problems then something other than color is causing the conflict. Other variables are contributing to the tension. If we can identify those variables then we could look at them IN ADDITION to racial issues. This is our best hope for progress.

Follow the science. Policing in Kenya and Nigeria is almost exclusively people of color on the police force and people of color in the community. Essentially color is held constant. Yet there are serious tensions between the police and communities in Kenya and in Nigeria.

I believe this is clear support for the idea that we should look at issues of color AND we should look at factors beyond color, if we truly want to improve our police-community relationships.




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