View Poll Results: Who's right?

Voters
270. You may not vote on this poll
  • Your black friend is right.

    137 50.74%
  • The cop is right.

    0 0%
  • Both are right.

    31 11.48%
  • Both are right... and wrong.

    56 20.74%
  • Both are wrong.

    18 6.67%
  • Other (please explain)

    28 10.37%
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Thread: Who's right?

  1. #11
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    Re: Who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by OrphanSlug View Post
    I am not convinced we can separate the concept from the one instance of race relations.

    On race relations alone, yes a non-black can obtain an understanding of what is (and was) like to be Black in this nation. They may not get *all* the associated feelings with it, but they can at least understand enough to have a seat at the table of discussion on some issue. I am not saying an education is a direct replacement for experience, it is not an all or nothing attribute.

    The concept is an important one to debunk. We see it all the time. You should not criticize the military unless you have been in the military, you should not criticize the police unless you are a police officer, you should not criticize whatever unless you are whatever. It is not true. I've found that usually when that argument is presented it is basically because of not being able to debate the merits of whatever the real argument was.

    Otherwise, we are basically saying no one can criticize another unless they have the same experiences. And trying to have it both ways comes of hypocritical.
    I can criticize your actions all day long. Fact is, right is right and wrong is wrong. I think most people inherently know when someone's actions are not right. But the OP isn't just talking about what people do. It's also talking about what people experience and how they react to those collective experiences, as well as, how people feel as a result of the treatment (actions) of others towards them. As such, a White person will never know exactly what it's like to be a Black person who has experience racism first-hand whether blatant or subtle any more than a man could possible know what it's like to be a woman who has experienced child birth. You may be able to empathize with that person's pain, but you may never know what that pain feels like.

    By the same token, I'll never know what it's like to be vulnerable out there in the streets whether in a rural area or urban city going into unknown, sometimes dangerous areas, confronting people who you may not know whose emotions may be so ramped up such that you have no idea how things will turn out or if you'll come out the situation alive.

    I'll never know what it's like to be a police officer, but I do know that fear and stress can cause even the most professional of first responders to throw protocol to the wind and act on raw emotion. And sometimes that leads even our finest Boys in Blue to act irrationally. It's the main reason why even as a Black man knowing the somewhat tainted history of police, I still conduct myself respectfully in their presence. The last thing I want them to do is snap and see me as "the target of their unbridled rage and aggression". I know a few cops who have "gone there" for that very reason. Adrenaline gets ramped up and next thing you know they guy in cuffs also has an unexplained knot upside his head.

    That said, most of the cops I know are overall good guys who do a difficult, sometimes dangerous job. I try to make their job as easy as possible.
    Last edited by StillBallin75; 12-25-14 at 11:50 AM.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    A black friend of mine says that non-black people cannot possibly understand what black people go through as they have not "walked in my shoes".

    This morning on the radio I heard a NY cop being interviewed say, "Until you have put on a uniform and a badge, and strapped on a gun, and walked a beat, you have no right to criticize me for how I do my job." (paraphrasing, but that's pretty close)

    Both, obviously, saying that unless you've 'been there, done that', you don't know what you're talking about and your opinion is irrelevant.

    Who's right?

    This question is specifically about race relations, not a general concept.
    A Black cop may get both, or has the greatest chance of grasping both.

    But, the cop part of him, if it's strong enough, it could compromise his ability to feel what it's like to be Black while American.

    Politics has a tendency to polarize and blind, so many are not going to grasp the "what it's like".

    That's just the way it is.

    Being Black in America has roots in a lot of pain, and, much of that reminder continues in the many metropolitan poverty enclaves.

    "We shall overcome .. someday" remains the mantra of many in these communities, and that someday is simply not here yet for them.

    This suffering while Black in America while hoping to overcome but continuing to fall short has become a philosophical foundation for many.

    Sometimes they cope with suffering by breaking the rules.

    Then they're at odds with the cops.

    It will be difficult for them to see the cops as "good" when the cops are just trying to thwart their attempt to get some relief.

    The cops are then seen as people who are the current suppressors of their attempt to, once again, overcome.

    There is no real solution for this.

    Somehow, each party must be able to cry the others tears.

    That kind of empathy will only occur if both sides suffer and each side sees that suffering.

    Other than drastic population reduction to lessen poverty and thereby let those remaining "overcome", until the overcoming occurs, there's really no good solution that doesn't first augment the suffering on the side that "appears" to be suffering the least.
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  3. #13
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    Re: Who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    I can criticize your actions all day long. Fact is, right is right and wrong is wrong. I think most people inherently know when someone's actions are not right. But the OP isn't just talking about what people do. It's also talking about what people experience and how they react to those collective experiences, as well as, how people feel as a result of the treatment (actions) of others towards them. As such, a White person will never know exactly what it's like to be a Black person who has experience racism first-hand whether blatant or subtle any more than a man could possible know what it's like to be a woman who has experienced child birth. You may be able to empathize with that person's pain, but you may never know what that pain feels like.
    Oh yeah, what about growing up Hasidic in a Catholic neighborhood or even a predominantly black neighborhood?

  4. #14
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    Re: Who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    A black friend of mine says that non-black people cannot possibly understand what black people go through as they have not "walked in my shoes".

    This morning on the radio I heard a NY cop being interviewed say, "Until you have put on a uniform and a badge, and strapped on a gun, and walked a beat, you have no right to criticize me for how I do my job." (paraphrasing, but that's pretty close)

    Both, obviously, saying that unless you've 'been there, done that', you don't know what you're talking about and your opinion is irrelevant.

    Who's right?

    This question is specifically about race relations, not a general concept.
    The black friend is right.

    The statements they made are fundamentally different.

    The one made by the black friend dictates that perhaps you should be consulting the people affected to have a grasp of this issue. You don't live it, and you can't assume you understand. It does not say that they are above criticism for their actions.

    The cop is claiming to be inherently above criticism for his actions.

    I don't need to be black to know gang violence is wrong. I don't need to be a cop to know police brutality is wrong.

    Similarly, I might say you really should be consulting women to grasp women's issues, but you don't need to be a woman to know abuse by women is wrong and I would never try to tell you women are inherently above criticism.

    Beyond that, bigotry based on inherent characteristics is not comparable to a job. The cop takes off his uniform, and no one knows he's a cop. He can stop being a cop any time he likes, temporarily or permanently. He wasn't a cop until adulthood, and thus his profession had absolutely no impact on his formative experiences and resultant personality.

    None of those things are true of race. A black person cannot stop being black. They cannot take off their black, or call their blackness in sick, if they don't wish to deal with it today. They've been black since the day they were born, and it has been impacting them since their very earliest memories.

    I find the cop's flippancy and arrogance rather offensive, honestly. He seems to believe himself a dictator, and he'd do well to remember he serves the people.
    Last edited by SmokeAndMirrors; 12-23-14 at 10:55 PM.

  5. #15
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    Re: Who's right?

    I guess no one takes Psych classes in college anymore.

  6. #16
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    Re: Who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    I can criticize your actions all day long. Fact is, right is right and wrong is wrong. I think most people inherently know when someone's actions are not right. But the OP isn't just talking about what people do. It's also talking about what people experience and how they react to those collective experiences, as well as, how people feel as a result of the treatment (actions) of others towards them. As such, a White person will never know exactly what it's like to be a Black person who has experience racism first-hand whether blatant or subtle any more than a man could possible know what it's like to be a woman who has experienced child birth. You may be able to empathize with that person's pain, but you may never know what that pain feels like.
    It is why I voted other, I do not agree with the mentality that suggests all or nothing.

    To your point using your examples. It does not mean that a White person cannot be critical of something a Black person does (and vice versa.) At the same time a man not knowing with first hand experience what it is like to experience child birth should not mute him on the subject.

    As a bottom line to ensure discourse on the subjects that effect us, we have to avoid attempted disqualification steps to remove people just because we do not agree with their take on things. Ultimately that is the reason to engage in the practice, mute people when they should not be muted.
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  7. #17
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    Re: Who's right?

    Does this mean that only veterans are allowed to have opinions on where how and when the U.S. goes to war?

  8. #18
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    Re: Who's right?

    Your comparison is bad. One person is saying you cannot understand my feelings because you haven't lived it, the other is saying you can't critique anything I do.

    I voted other because the comparison sucks.
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  9. #19
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    Re: Who's right?

    While there's something to what each says, they're wrong in the long run. Non-black people and non-police officers can learn to understand your point of view and experiences to a productive end, it's called empathy. It may not be the same as truly walking in your shoes, but it's enough to lead to productive revelations and societal changes once you up the scale. I could easily shut down my non-black friends for their inability to walk in my skin, but that wouldn't be very productive.

    As others have said, the statements are different. But I see what the OP was going for, he probably took it to mean more in line with the "black friend" example.
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  10. #20
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    Re: Who's right?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post

    Both, obviously, saying that unless you've 'been there, done that', you don't know what you're talking about and your opinion is irrelevant.

    Who's right?

    This question is specifically about race relations, not a general concept.
    I'd say that both of them are right, wrt their own specific circumstances. Cops have a terrible job, and it's very stressful. It's hard not to let that type of work have a negative effect on you. It's like my profession, but much worse.

    As for the black issue, I don't doubt that's the case. It doesn't just apply to blacks though. It applies to every ethnic or racial group. Until you've been in someone else's shoes, you don't truly understand their world.
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