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13 hours ago, ktgrok said:

Being in a situation where someone is more likely to assault you does not make you one iota responsible for someone assaulting you. The person doing the assaulting made that choice - it is 100 percent their fault. Period.

See, I think this attitude just encourages people to feel powerless and perhaps even perpetuates behaviors that result in further victimization.  You can't change other people's behavior, but you CAN change your own.  So if there is something that the victim can do that will help them avoid victimization in the future, they should be encouraged to do that thing.

The statistics on repeat victimization are pretty compelling.  For example, this page from the Bureau of Justice Statistics points out that "repeat victims accounted for a disproportionate percentage of all violent victimizations that occurred each year.  In 2014, the 19 percent of violent crime victims who experienced repeat victimization accounted for 50 percent of all violent victimizations."  

Edited by EKS
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5 minutes ago, EKS said:

See, I think this attitude just encourages people to feel powerless and perhaps even perpetuates behaviors that result in further victimization.  You can't change other people's behavior, but you CAN change your own.  So if there is something that the victim can do that will help them avoid victimization in the future, they should be encouraged to do that thing.

The statistics on repeat victimization are pretty compelling.  For example, this page from the Bureau of Justice Statistics point out that "repeat victims accounted for a disproportionate percentage of all violent victimizations that occurred each year.  In 2014, the 19 percent of violent crime victims who experienced repeat victimization accounted for 50 percent of all violent victimizations."  

Like I said, I'm not saying it shouldn't be a topic of conversation. Just not as part of the same conversation. 

And blame should not be assigned. The blame lies with the perpetrator. 

Edited by ktgrok
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12 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

And blame should not be assigned. The blame lies with the perpetrator. 

I think that gets into deeper meanings of words, though. What does "blame" mean? Is it possible to take responsibility for one's actions but not feel blamed? If I say that I shouldn't wander around in dangerous areas at night, am I blaming myself if I do it anyway and get hurt? 

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14 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

And blame should not be assigned. The blame lies with the perpetrator. 

If we are talking about criminal blame, then of course.

4 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I think that gets into deeper meanings of words, though. What does "blame" mean? Is it possible to take responsibility for one's actions but not feel blamed? If I say that I shouldn't wander around in dangerous areas at night, am I blaming myself if I do it anyway and get hurt?

This says it far better that I was about to.

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12 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I think that gets into deeper meanings of words, though. What does "blame" mean? Is it possible to take responsibility for one's actions but not feel blamed? If I say that I shouldn't wander around in dangerous areas at night, am I blaming myself if I do it anyway and get hurt? 

I'm referring to blame for the attack. 

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17 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I think that gets into deeper meanings of words, though. What does "blame" mean? Is it possible to take responsibility for one's actions but not feel blamed? If I say that I shouldn't wander around in dangerous areas at night, am I blaming myself if I do it anyway and get hurt? 

See, this is where I struggle. Yeah, I would blame myself if I wandered around downtown Chicago at 1am. It is why I didn't drink. If I get drunk and go to a frat party, who knows what I would do or what I would be able to stop someone from doing or remember them doing.  I can prevent being assaulted in both of those incidents by choosing not to participate in those activities. I'm in bed by 9pm and I don't drink.  Now some random guy could shoot me at Walmart and there is nothing I can do to prevent that. You cannot prevent everything.  But I mitigate the risks I can.  So yes, I struggle because I feel like I am responsible for my safety to a certain extent.  ( I am NOT blaming those that are assaulted. I am stating MY personal responsibility and the shame and blame I would feel if I participated in dangerous activities.)

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2 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

Scarlett, I totally understand your frustration with this issue.

I think a HUGE part of the problem with civil discourse nowadays is that far too few people can, or understand that others can, hold two even slightly contradictory thoughts at the same time. Shoot, sometimes I have multiple at least slightly contradictory thoughts stomping around in my brain about any given issue. Other people live in black or white land, I live in the land of shades of gray. It's often crazy making. But I think most issues are multi-factorial, and I think we'd all be better off if we could get back to acknowledging that, and having more nuanced discussions. We don't always have to choose one side to dig our trench on. Unfortunately, I do think social media--even something as great as the Hive--coerces people into choosing sides and digging in to defend them.

The problem with some of the examples being given is that they're not illegal. They may perhaps be seen as unwise, but leaving your bedroom window or your car unlocked isn't illegal. Most of us don't, even in the wee dark recesses of our brains, think that someone who leaves their window or car unlocked is doing anything illegal. And neither are, AFAIK, seen as morally wrong by anyone. And that's why we don't so much blame the victims in those cases.

Then you get into situations where the things someone does isn't technically illegal but might often be viewed as immoral or simply a bad decision that subtly reflects on character. I think the getting-drunk-and-then-getting-assaulted fits this category. It's easy to say well, you shouldn't have gotten drunk. We morally judge those folks. We judge their decision making ability, and we find them lacking. Some see their actions/decisions as contributing factors to what happened. Personally, I think that's okay--and maybe even a good thing--to acknowledge that, as long as we understand that the ultimate responsibility/blame for the assault is on the assaulter. It's the old two-wrongs-don't-make-a-right thing. There is a kinda sorta wrong or at least bad decision (getting drunk) and a really, really wrong (assaulting someone). 

Then you get into the category of something like the GF case, where the victim did, wittingly or not, do something illegal. Most of us have been raised and have tried all of our adult lives to be law abiding people. We try our best to not do illegal things, even unwittingly. Sure we might take the pen or the sticky note pad from our office, or drive five miles an hour over the limit sometimes, but that's about as unlawful as we get. We don't get drunk in public, we don't pass counterfeit bills, etc. So it's very easy for some people to say "Well, if he hadn't put himself in that situation . . ." It's fairly easy to see the victim in a case like this as also being in the wrong, sharing part of the blame for what happened. And like in my previous example, I don't necessarily think that's wrong. I think rational people can and should analyze an incident and parse out the individual elements that make the whole. But in the end I think rational people also have to conclude "this incident should not have ended the way it did." Someone who commits a civil crime, even someone who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and who isn't acting entirely right, shouldn't end up dead because of that. We shouldn't have to learn to avoid bad cops. None of us. There shouldn't be bad cops. Full stop. So sure we can say "GF did some wrong" but we need to make sure we don't let that overshadow the really, really, really wrong thing that Chauvin did, and that the other officers (IMO) contributed to.

Tl;dr -- Life is complicated and messy.

Nicely put Paws.  It's really important to pass this truth on to the next generation, too, because if not, they are then cut off from the wisdom that lives in the gray area. 

 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, TexasProud said:

See, this is where I struggle. Yeah, I would blame myself if I wandered around downtown Chicago at 1am. It is why I didn't drink. If I get drunk and go to a frat party, who knows what I would do or what I would be able to stop someone from doing or remember them doing.  I can prevent being assaulted in both of those incidents by choosing not to participate in those activities. I'm in bed by 9pm and I don't drink.  Now some random guy could shoot me at Walmart and there is nothing I can do to prevent that. You cannot prevent everything.  But I mitigate the risks I can.  So yes, I struggle because I feel like I am responsible for my safety to a certain extent.  ( I am NOT blaming those that are assaulted. I am stating MY personal responsibility and the shame and blame I would feel if I participated in dangerous activities.)

As an extension of that though, one of the reasons people don't report crime against themselves is a sense of sharing the blame. 

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Why are we even having this conversation wrt George Floyd?    None of the 'blaming' talk even applies to that situation.  We're not even sure if he knew it was counterfeit.    Maybe pick someone else who did something egregious?   

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5 hours ago, ktgrok said:

As an extension of that though, one of the reasons people don't report crime against themselves is a sense of sharing the blame. 

Edited

Blaming the victim for "being at the wrong place" or "doing the wrong or immoral XY or Z" or "dressing like that" becomes a reason to hide the assaults especially in the most vulnerable people's minds - mentally ill, trafficked, addicted, etc. Therefore, making all of us more unsafe since people who would perpetrate these assaults are not prosecuted and convicted.

Edited by historically accurate
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The addiction is a red herring. No one uses more drugs than upper middle class white college kids. Yet they are NEVER treated this way. 

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5 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

Scarlett, I totally understand your frustration with this issue.

I think a HUGE part of the problem with civil discourse nowadays is that far too few people can, or understand that others can, hold two even slightly contradictory thoughts at the same time. Shoot, sometimes I have multiple at least slightly contradictory thoughts stomping around in my brain about any given issue. Other people live in black or white land, I live in the land of shades of gray. It's often crazy making. But I think most issues are multi-factorial, and I think we'd all be better off if we could get back to acknowledging that, and having more nuanced discussions. We don't always have to choose one side to dig our trench on. Unfortunately, I do think social media--even something as great as the Hive--coerces people into choosing sides and digging in to defend them.

The problem with some of the examples being given is that they're not illegal. They may perhaps be seen as unwise, but leaving your bedroom window or your car unlocked isn't illegal. Most of us don't, even in the wee dark recesses of our brains, think that someone who leaves their window or car unlocked is doing anything illegal. And neither are, AFAIK, seen as morally wrong by anyone. And that's why we don't so much blame the victims in those cases.

Then you get into situations where the things someone does isn't technically illegal but might often be viewed as immoral or simply a bad decision that subtly reflects on character. I think the getting-drunk-and-then-getting-assaulted fits this category. It's easy to say well, you shouldn't have gotten drunk. We morally judge those folks. We judge their decision making ability, and we find them lacking. Some see their actions/decisions as contributing factors to what happened. Personally, I think that's okay--and maybe even a good thing--to acknowledge that, as long as we understand that the ultimate responsibility/blame for the assault is on the assaulter. It's the old two-wrongs-don't-make-a-right thing. There is a kinda sorta wrong or at least bad decision (getting drunk) and a really, really wrong (assaulting someone). 

Then you get into the category of something like the GF case, where the victim did, wittingly or not, do something illegal. Most of us have been raised and have tried all of our adult lives to be law abiding people. We try our best to not do illegal things, even unwittingly. Sure we might take the pen or the sticky note pad from our office, or drive five miles an hour over the limit sometimes, but that's about as unlawful as we get. We don't get drunk in public, we don't pass counterfeit bills, etc. So it's very easy for some people to say "Well, if he hadn't put himself in that situation . . ." It's fairly easy to see the victim in a case like this as also being in the wrong, sharing part of the blame for what happened. And like in my previous example, I don't necessarily think that's wrong. I think rational people can and should analyze an incident and parse out the individual elements that make the whole. But in the end I think rational people also have to conclude "this incident should not have ended the way it did." Someone who commits a civil crime, even someone who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and who isn't acting entirely right, shouldn't end up dead because of that. We shouldn't have to learn to avoid bad cops. None of us. There shouldn't be bad cops. Full stop. So sure we can say "GF did some wrong" but we need to make sure we don't let that overshadow the really, really, really wrong thing that Chauvin did, and that the other officers (IMO) contributed to.

Tl;dr -- Life is complicated and messy.

Yes, I can agree with all you said here.  
 

To be clear my thought is NOT a flippant, ‘well that is what he gets, he shouldn’t have passed fake money and he shouldn’t have been on drugs’.  My thought and feeling is, ‘We know there are bad cops out there who will murder you, so please be extra careful what situations you get yourself into., because you don’t deserve to die at the hands  of a bad cop over a minor crime. ‘

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GF may not be the best example, but I agree with the general concept that 2 thoughts can co-exist, but it seems to be politically incorrect to think that way.

I have some examples in mind, but I can't bring them up here because it is politically incorrect and I don't want to go down that path right now.

From what I know about GF, I think he had some health issues (mental and/or physical) that led to a situation that increased his risk.  I don't blame him for that though.  Maybe he would be alive today if the police who encountered him had better training to deal with the kind of situation he was in.  I leave it to the court to decide what happens to the police officers involved.  I hope they have all the evidence they need to decide well.  I also hope that police departments in general learn something valuable from this situation.  It seems largely preventable.

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Yes, again I don't see anything wrong in theory with discussing what measures we can take to protect ourselves from predators and bad actors. The problem is that doing so complicates the mission of reducing the ability of the predators to prey and the bad actors to get punished.

Of course it's true that our choices increase or decrease our risk of being preyed upon. But our emphasis as a society should be on cutting down on predators, not learning how to adjust to them. Date rape was a basically unpunished crime for a very long time in our society because we focused on the victims and not the predators (regardless of all the jokes about dad with a shotgun). We are shifting to no, nope, not okay no matter what, and that's good. Doesn't mean it still isn't smart to chug alcohol and take your top off at a frat party, but now at least some attending would know it still isn't an invitation to be raped and try and protect her against the predators. We no longer think it's understandable for a police officer to shoot an unarmed person because they were scary when we looked at them in the newspaper. We have a long way to go, but the focus on the perpetrator and not the victim around these situations is heartening. Only a bit ago, knowing GF was on fentanyl would have been end of conversation, no repercussions for police officer. Shouldn't have taken drugs, you know. Instead, that info was not emphasized, and rightly so, because the police officer killed him and shouldn't have.

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5 hours ago, Danae said:

Two things can be independently true. Using drugs makes it more likely you will be involved in an out-of-control situation and using drugs doesn’t mean you deserve to be killed.

The fact that they are independently true means that they can be discussed independently.  It is not necessary to bring up the fact that George Floyd would have been better off if he’d never taken drugs when discussing the trial of the man who murdered him.

It’s useful and good to discuss ways to prevent COVID infection. It is not necessary when someone posts that they or a loved one has tested positive to talk about the things they could have done differently that might have prevented it.   

What better time to have a discussion then when a prime example is in the news? No I would not go to GFs family and say ‘you know he could have prevented his death. ‘ But  as we talk to people we love and who might listen to us this can be a warning example. ‘There are bad cops out there who will murder you. ‘

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4 hours ago, ktgrok said:

Protecting women deserves to be its own, separate discussion. 

If your child dies dies in a car accident due to your car being hit by a drunk driver, my reaction should not be to go into a discussion of defensive driving techniques. It's not appropriate to have that discussion at that time, or to veer away from the pain and suffering you are feeling to lecture you on how you can prevent it next time. It just isn't. 

That doesn't mean that a general discussion of defensive driving techniques isn't an okay topic on it's own. Just at it's own time, in it's own place.

See..but that phrasing to discuss all sides tends to equalize the various "sides" here. It takes an attack in which someone needlessly assaulted and killed a man and implies there is blame on both sides. 

 

Well, if anyone sees that as assigning equality or assigning blame to GF they are not using their reasoning powers.  

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14 hours ago, Scarlett said:

That just does not seem logical to me. Don’t walk the streets because it is dangerous. Saying that after a street walker has been murdered seems logical.  No where in that statement does it imply it is the victims fault.  

Sex workers everywhere: "Oh, is walking the streets dangerous? Thanks for telling me! I'll just quit and dip into my trust fund for expenses." 

First, I would hope that everyone knows that women and girls are often brutally forced to walk the streets. Second, for those who are not brutally forced, they are still often forced by circumstances that may include poverty, lack of education, scarcity of other jobs, addiction, untreated mental illness, or a mix of these. 

4 hours ago, Danae said:

Two things can be independently true. Using drugs makes it more likely you will be involved in an out-of-control situation and using drugs doesn’t mean you deserve to be killed.

The fact that they are independently true means that they can be discussed independently.  It is not necessary to bring up the fact that George Floyd would have been better off if he’d never taken drugs when discussing the trial of the man who murdered him.

It’s useful and good to discuss ways to prevent COVID infection. It is not necessary when someone posts that they or a loved one has tested positive to talk about the things they could have done differently that might have prevented it.   

Great post. I particularly like the part I bolded, and I am saving it to read again - the first sentence in particular succinctly expresses what I often fail to convey in discussions. 

3 hours ago, EKS said:

See, I think this attitude just encourages people to feel powerless and perhaps even perpetuates behaviors that result in further victimization.  You can't change other people's behavior, but you CAN change your own.  So if there is something that the victim can do that will help them avoid victimization in the future, they should be encouraged to do that thing.

The statistics on repeat victimization are pretty compelling.  For example, this page from the Bureau of Justice Statistics points out that "repeat victims accounted for a disproportionate percentage of all violent victimizations that occurred each year.  In 2014, the 19 percent of violent crime victims who experienced repeat victimization accounted for 50 percent of all violent victimizations."  

It also points out that victims of intimate partner violence make up the highest percentage of repeat victims, which makes sense. I haven't read the full report in depth yet, but I don't see that they address the reasons for repeat victimization. However, I'm confident that the main reason is an inability to escape the person committing the violence: you live with them, either as an intimate partner or as a dependent; they are in a power position over you (boss, teacher). Coming in second would be being part of a vulnerable population: mentally ill, cognitively disabled, sex worker. And, of course, living in a dangerous neighborhood as opposed to a safer one. 

If anyone has information that supports or refutes my theory, I'd be interested. 

My essential point is that I don't think most repeat victims are simply making bad choices again and again. They are most often in complicated and dangerous situations, with less agency than many of us who are discussing this. 

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4 hours ago, ktgrok said:

The reason victim blaming is seen as diverting attention away from the true perpetrator can be seen in this very thread. At this point, most of the posts are about George Floyd - his drug/alcohol use, did he know it was counterfiet, etc etc. No one is talking about the police officer anymore. More energy is being given to discussing the victims actions and what he could/should have done differently, what blame he has for various things from immoral to illegal, etc....and none is being given to the actual person on trial. Again. We are not discussing what HIS behavior was driven by, did he have an addiction, mental condition, bad childhood, obsession with power, history of abusing others, poor training, poor leadership, etc etc etc. All valid things to be brought up in a discussion about HIS actions. Instead, we are going over the victims life and actions. Again. 

That is what happens when you victim blame. You THINK you are discussing both, but what seems to always happen is it focuses on the victim almost entirely. 

A little confused because of course since I am talking about victim blaming GF is likely to come up.  The cop is on trial for killing GF.  So I don’t think he has been let off . 

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4 hours ago, ktgrok said:

Like I said, I'm not saying it shouldn't be a topic of conversation. Just not as part of the same conversation. 

And blame should not be assigned. The blame lies with the perpetrator. 

Again, I am not assigning blame to GF.   But it is only smart for people to look around and see ways they can avid being murdered by a bad cop.  And I don’t know why it can’t be a part of the same situation. What better time to discuss it.  

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21 minutes ago, katilac said:

If anyone has information that supports or refutes my theory, I'd be interested. 

Here is a more detailed analysis.  

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15 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Again, I am not assigning blame to GF.   But it is only smart for people to look around and see ways they can avid being murdered by a bad cop.  And I don’t know why it can’t be a part of the same situation. What better time to discuss it.  

Do you really think that "warning" people that if George Floyd had cooperated with the police, he wouldn't have been murdered is helpful information for those who are actually likely to be murdered by bad cops? Do you think that every Black person in America is somehow unaware of this??? Or do you think your advice will be helpful to white kids, who are more likely to be taken to Burger King for a hamburger after committing mass murder than they are to be strangled to death while handcuffed?

I don't think you realize how clueless and insensitive and even insulting this sounds.

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2 hours ago, Katy said:

The addiction is a red herring. No one uses more drugs than upper middle class white college kids. Yet they are NEVER treated this way. 

True enough. It doesn’t change that some people are treated thus way.  

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I don't understand what George could have done, though.  Not pass a counterfeit bill?  Ok, how do we know he knew it was counterfeit?   I may have a counterfeit in my purse right now.  I don't carry around one of the markers to check my bills before I hand them over.    So what could he have done differently?    Not taken drugs?  What did the drugs have to do with a cop murdering him?  Did anyone know he had fentanyl in his system before the autopsy?    Everyone keeps saying they don't blame George.    But in the same breath, talking about what he could've done different.    🙇🏻‍♀️
 

@livetoread said "But our emphasis as a society should be on cutting down on predators, not learning how to adjust to them."   Exactly.  This bears repeating.   

I am glad you brought up the George Floyd case, though, Scarlett.  I do think it's a case we need to discuss.    I think we need to look at why there's so much violence among cops.   I know many cops are ex-military.  Let's face it, military has the same problem as Law enforcement.   I am afraid of people in the military and people in law enforcement. I'm a middle aged white woman with a retired cop and veteran as a father.  I'm still afraid of them.   

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

Do you really think that "warning" people that if George Floyd had cooperated with the police, he wouldn't have been murdered is helpful information for those who are actually likely to be murdered by bad cops? Do you think that every Black person in America is somehow unaware of this??? Or do you think your advice will be helpful to white kids, who are more likely to be taken to Burger King for a hamburger after committing mass murder than they are to be strangled to death while handcuffed?

I don't think you realize how clueless and insensitive and even insulting this sounds.

 I don’t think anything coming from me is going to help the people most likely to be murdered by bad cops.  It doesn’t mean my thoughts on it are wrong. Or that I am clueless and insensitive or insulting.  Saying people should do what they can to mitigate their risk in this very unjust world is not clueless.  
 

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1 minute ago, WildflowerMom said:

@livetoread said "But our emphasis as a society should be on cutting down on predators, not learning how to adjust to them."   Exactly.  This bears repeating.   

Well, yes, clearly. But our emphasis as individuals is learning to adjust to the world as it is, not the world as we wish it were. That's the dilemma here. 

And if you overfocus on the things society should do (which you can't control) and underfocus on the things an individual can do (which you can), you can inculcate a kind of learned helplessness in people. And that's troubling, too. 

Again, this doesn't really apply to George Floyd, which is about the most clearcut case I've seen in ages -- I'm sure that's why it became such a rallying cry. 

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2 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Well, yes, clearly. But our emphasis as individuals is learning to adjust to the world as it is, not the world as we wish it were. That's the dilemma here. 

And if you overfocus on the things society should do (which you can't control) and underfocus on the things an individual can do (which you can), you can inculcate a kind of learned helplessness in people. And that's troubling, too. 

Again, this doesn't really apply to George Floyd, which is about the most clearcut case I've seen in ages -- I'm sure that's why it became such a rallying cry. 

Wut?  
I don't even understand this.  

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Just now, Not_a_Number said:

I'm sorry to hear that. Perhaps you could ask a question that would make it easier for me to clarify. 

Ok.  Black people are singled out most and arrested at a much higher rate.  They're also disproportionately abused by police officers.    They should "just adjust to the world as it is"?   

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4 minutes ago, WildflowerMom said:

Ok.  Black people are singled out most and arrested at a much higher rate.  They're also disproportionately abused by police officers.    They should "just adjust to the world as it is"?   

Well, that's highly emotional, and I wouldn't phrase it like that... it's not about what they "should" do, it's about the fact that none of us have any choice about it. If I could snap my fingers and change it, I obviously would. And I approve of activism. In the meantime, though... 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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10 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Well, that's highly emotional, and I wouldn't phrase it like that... it's not about what they "should" do, it's about the fact that none of us have any choice about it. If I could snap my fingers and change it, I obviously would. And I approve of activism. In the meantime, though... 

you did phrase it like that.   Those were your words.  

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43 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

But it is only smart for people to look around and see ways they can avid being murdered by a bad cop.  And I don’t know why it can’t be a part of the same situation. What better time to discuss it.  

(Bolding is mine.)

I'm not sure I see how many people, especially Black people & other PoC, can avoid this. The racism is baked into the system & it has been from the beginning. (There's tons of literature on this out there if you want to research it. As well as plenty of examples on the news & in our daily lives.) Literally, Black people & other PoC are arrested, accused, & sometimes murdered for absolutely no reason at all. Other than they were... outside? Having skin that was a different color? Breathing? How do you "avoid" being murdered by a bad cop when you aren't doing anything wrong in the first place? (This also includes how do you avoid being arrested by a bad cop, etc....)

 

Honestly, it's a pretty effed up country we live in if our conversations have to even revolve around *how do we try to behave better so as not to be murdered by rogue cops*. Seriously, wtf?

Yep, there's crime out there. Yep, bad things happen. Yep, there is probably some need for police in some format. But maybe, just maybe, our police forces are out of control & that's the real conversation that needs to be happening.

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re The Talk vs He's No Angel

1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

...To be clear my thought is NOT a flippant, ‘well that is what he gets, he shouldn’t have passed fake money and he shouldn’t have been on drugs’.  My thought and feeling is, ‘We know there are bad cops out there who will murder you, so please be extra careful what situations you get yourself into., because you don’t deserve to die at the hands  of a bad cop over a minor crime.

 

43 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

What better time to have a discussion then when a prime example is in the news? No I would not go to GFs family and say ‘you know he could have prevented his death. ‘ But  as we talk to people we love and who might listen to us this can be a warning example. ‘There are bad cops out there who will murder you. ‘

These posts suggest (?) that you're working toward is a version of The Talk that a great many POC parents have described as having with their children.  That you will not get the grace / patience / break / warning that a white person in the same situation likely would.  That the reality you face is different. How to hold your tongue, hold your body, speak slowly, keep your hands visible.

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I remember the kids asking to go to the park and the laundry list of what I had to tell them: "Don't wear your hood. Don't put your hands in your pocket. If you get stopped, don't run. Put your hands up. Don't make a lot of moves. Tell them your mother works for NPR." I mean, it just went on and on.

There are stages of the talk as they start to get older...That was the first time it changed to a new iteration of the talk. And that talk was, what do you do once you're inside those walls? 'Don't ever sign a confession...

This time around, it's been more about what's not fair. You know, 'This just isn't fair, you guys. But this is the way the world is. This is the way America is right now. It's the way it's been for a long time. And I can't lie to you, I don't think it's going to change in your lifetime...

If that is the kind of counsel you're advocating... those Talks *do* take place, prospectively, repeatedly, coming from parents/elders caring deeply for the safety of the rising generation.  Countless parents who've walked that walk have talked about those Talks. As necessary, painful, chronic, infuriating and frightening; and still (see: Philando Castile) Not Enough.

8 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

Do you really think that "warning" people that if George Floyd had cooperated with the police, he wouldn't have been murdered is helpful information for those who are actually likely to be murdered by bad cops? Do you think that every Black person in America is somehow unaware of this??? .

They already DO happen, constantly and chronically, between blacks and other POC *who care deeply about the survival of their loved ones.* The counsel of us white people, on the other side of the divide, really don't have a lot of value to add in joining that particular chorus.

 

But these ubiquitous prospective Talks to help the rising generation understand and attempt to navigate the broken violent racist world they have to live within, is different from the equally ubiquitous after-the-fact He's No Angel trope (or the equally ubiquitous She Was Drinking one for that matter, but GF like most black MEN got the He's No Angel).

He's No Angel gets rolled out (every.single.time) after some egregious fatal misconduct, and thus we see it is not at all about protecting the vulnerable; rather it is about justifying ex post the conduct of the powerful.  (So, too, She Was Drinking, but that will come around another day.)

 

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I know some people are going to say the man in the video should have cooperated more, but my first thought was that he is following the advice that's always given to women when they're approached by a potentially dangerous person: Never let them move you to a secondary location.

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6 minutes ago, Stacia said:

 

Honestly, it's a pretty effed up country we live in if our conversations have to even revolve around *how do we try to behave better so as not to be murdered by rogue cops*. Seriously, wtf?

Yep, there's crime out there. Yep, bad things happen. Yep, there is probably some need for police in some format. But maybe, just maybe, our police forces are out of control & that's the real conversation that needs to be happening.

Definitely this is a conversation we need to have. Not the only one, but an additional one. And that's not to say that ALL police are rogue and out of control. But the ones who are -- yeah. Something needs to be done about them. Preferably yesterday.

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Quoting Stacia for truth: Honestly, it's a pretty effed up country we live in if our conversations have to even revolve around *how do we try to behave better so as not to be murdered by rogue cops*.

Quoting Pam in CT for truth: He's No Angel gets rolled out (every.single.time) after some egregious fatal misconduct, and thus we see it is not at all about protecting the vulnerable; rather it is about justifying ex post the conduct of the powerful.  (So, too, She Was Drinking, but that will come around another day.)

We won't make substantial progress until we focus on the behavior of the perpetrator and not the victim. 

 

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Implying that George Floyd wouldn't have been murdered if only he hadn't passed that counterfeit bill is no different from saying "Your husband shouldn't have beaten you, but he wouldn't have done it if you hadn't made him mad."

The idea that anyone in this thread thinks they are being helpful or contributing to a productive and useful discussion by suggesting that Black people should be really really careful not to commit crimes and should totally cooperate with the police so they don't get murdered by a bad cop is just... surreal.

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1 hour ago, WildflowerMom said:

I don't understand what George could have done, though.  Not pass a counterfeit bill?  Ok, how do we know he knew it was counterfeit?   I may have a counterfeit in my purse right now.  I don't carry around one of the markers to check my bills before I hand them over.    So what could he have done differently?    Not taken drugs?  What did the drugs have to do with a cop murdering him?  Did anyone know he had fentanyl in his system before the autopsy?    Everyone keeps saying they don't blame George.    But in the same breath, talking about what he could've done different.    🙇🏻‍♀️
 

@livetoread said "But our emphasis as a society should be on cutting down on predators, not learning how to adjust to them."   Exactly.  This bears repeating.   

I am glad you brought up the George Floyd case, though, Scarlett.  I do think it's a case we need to discuss.    I think we need to look at why there's so much violence among cops.   I know many cops are ex-military.  Let's face it, military has the same problem as Law enforcement.   I am afraid of people in the military and people in law enforcement. I'm a middle aged white woman with a retired cop and veteran as a father.  I'm still afraid of them.   

I'm also glad you raised this, @Scarlett .

I absolutely concur that multiple things that lie in tension with one another can be (and very often are) simultaneously true.  I also agree that multiple true things in tension are going on in this case and in the parade of (all too many) similar cases.

The disagreement is more around what are the truths in tension, and who is in the best position to speak them.  Some truths-in-tension that I see include:

  • Truth 1: "Young black men are much more likely to meet LEO violence and end up dead" is true. 
  • Also true 2: Neither you nor I are particularly effective messengers of that particular message. 
  • Also true 3: that message is already being conveyed, repeatedly: in the words of parents, in the words of black activists; also  in the actions of LE, also in the parade of videos of "incidents" like those being shown recently in Floyd's trial.  Young black men in American ALREADY KNOW Truth 1.  It isn't secret knowledge that somehow isn't getting out.
  • And yet, also true 4: a great many white Americans are extremely uncomfortable with Truth 1.  And so...
  • Truth 5: White American have devised a number of tropes that get repeatedly rolled out every time another Incident re-proves Truth 1.  There are many, but the three most common are a) That officer was a single Bad Apple; b) That victim was No Angel; and c) What's Race Got To Do With It.

To my mind, you and I are better able -- from our particular vantage -- to witness and discern and name and speak to Truth 5, than we are to Truth 1. It is not a matter of their relative Truth. It's a matter of where we stand, what we therefore see and hear, and who is in the circles we move in.

Edited by Pam in CT
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What Derek Chauvin did to George Floyd was wrong and evil.  Period.  He is the one who is at fault, 100%.  

But if we want to talk about things that were secondary wrongs, honestly, I don't want to talk about George Floyd.  I want to talk about the fact that the 19 year old convenience store worker was held accountable financially for any counterfeit bills he accepted, without being given the tools to identify them (a pen).  And that when he contacted the owner, he was told to *go out after George Floyd and stop him.*  Like, what the heck kind of screwed up society is it when we're putting low wage workers in that kind of screwed up position?

I can't imagine the secondary guilt that poor kid has.  

Edited by Terabith
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34 minutes ago, Terabith said:

What Derek Chauvin did to George Floyd was wrong and evil.  Period.  He is the one who is at fault, 100%.  

But if we want to talk about things that were secondary wrongs, honestly, I don't want to talk about George Floyd.  I want to talk about the fact that the 19 year old convenience store worker was held accountable financially for any counterfeit bills he accepted, without being given the tools to identify them (a pen).  And that when he contacted the owner, he was told to *go out after George Floyd and stop him.*  Like, what the heck kind of screwed up society is it when we're putting low wage workers in that kind of screwed up position?

I can't imagine the secondary guilt that poor kid has.  

Christopher Martin is his name. I watched his testimony and felt so very sorry for him.

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I think we need to give some grace to people who are at least paying attention and thinking through and learning about these issues.

IDK. I'm finding out that I've been pretty clueless about a lot of things. 🙂 (Not saying Scarlett is clueless!!! Talking about me only.)

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