Time to Celebrate. Last week, Jeny celebrated her 80th birthday. For some reason round numbers are more emotional than other numbers. She is happily on her way to 81.
We will celebrate another round number next month. Our 60th wedding anniversary will be July 28. Starting next week, we are taking a river cruise in Europe with friends to celebrate our longevity.
Since we will be out of the country, I will not be publishing a blog for a while starting next week. When we return, I will resume publishing.
I hope your summer is off to a great start.
Worthwhile Video. A Mobile, Alabama police sergeant made national news. His interview about gun violence in Mobile is well worth watching. The interview is around 4 minutes long after the U-tube ad.
I particularly appreciated his passion for the victims. I appreciated his belief that a key to finding a solution is to be honest about the problem. I appreciated his idea that making a truthful statement is not racist. Additionally, as anyone who has been following me for a while should recognize, I appreciated that he was careful to say a “subculture.” He is saying some not all.
More Police Information. Last week, we visited with a good friend who is a policeman. He was able to share his life in a meaningful way.
The FBI reports a surge in attacks on law enforcement personnel. As a result, law enforcement personnel are being killed on the average of one every five days. Given the dangers and bad publicity, I welcomed talking to a policeman and hearing first-hand about his experiences.
He works in a large town in which the pendulum has swung in a progressive direction. The pendulum has pluses and minuses. One of his concerns was some courses at the police academy are being taught by people who have not been policemen or policewomen.
That reminded of my early years teaching at Illinois State University. The university hired a president without any administrative experience. He had written books on how to be an administrator. It did not work out well.
Another concern of his is the district attorney is not prosecuting some crimes. The failure to prosecute is creating some problems. For example, the same homeless person repeatedly breaks into cars. He is caught on camera and then apprehended. He is out the next day. The process has occurred 30 times so far. He has never been put on trial.
He also shared the emotional, life changing experience of being involved in a shooting. As a caring person and as a husband and father of young children, the action had effects on him at many levels.
We also discussed stereotyping. He has to go to work and live his home life surrounded by many negative stereotypes of policemen. I regret when people who do not like to be stereotyped engage in stereotypes of others.
In that regard we also talked about the difficulty making fact-based decisions that are perceived as stereotyping. Decisions to put more cameras or policemen in high crime areas, is not stereotyping in and of itself.
I gained appreciation for the difficulties of being a policeman.
When Jeny thanked him for his service, he teared up.
Food for Thought I
For the sake of argument:
Assume C is a culture. X, Y and Z are people who belong to that culture.
Assume X does something bad.
Conclude — therefore Y and Z are responsible for the behavior of X.
Conclude — therefore Y and Z should be ashamed to be members of C.
Do those conclusions make sense to you?
The conclusions do not make sense to me. Yet when we replace the symbols with words some people appear to be making those claims for some cultures.
Some white people hold all people of color accountable for the behavior of some people of color. The same people think people of color should live in shame. I do not agree with those assertions.
Similarly, some people of color hold all white people accountable for the behavior of some white people. Some people think white people should be ashamed of their whiteness. I do not agree with those assertions.
Some people hold all police accountable for the behavior of some policemen and women. Some people think men and women should be ashamed of being in the police force. I do not agree with those assertions.
I had been thinking about this argument when I came across the following article on white masks. I found it to be of interest. I hope you do also.
If you disagree with the author, I would like to hear why you disagree.
Food for Thought II
As a follow up to my blog on cognitive bias for an extreme event, consider the following:
Uvalde was on May 24. The present blog will go out 23 days later on June 16. In those 23 days approximately 115 children will have died from abuse and neglect, another 253 children and adolescents from gun violence and yet another 253 children and adolescents from vehicle accidents. We have deep and persistent problems that go deeper than the horror of a single massive tragedy.
Law enforcement doing good:
Hope for Cancer Victims:
Back in a few weeks,