The two pick at their dinner salads, staring down at the leafy mound before them. Finally, one of them tries to grease the wheels of conversation. Some people consider themselves skilled communicators because they can talk endlessly.
But the ability to speak is only one part of the equation—and not the most important part.
That’s not to say it’s impossible for a white person to adjudicate a criminal matter with fairness and justice, but because the case involves racialized issues of excessive force and police harassment — — this lack of perspective certainly isn’t an asset.
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Either way, it’s exciting to be able to get to know another human being and get a peek into his or her world.
Great communication starts with being genuinely interested in the individual you’re with and paying close attention to what he/she says.
But for many Black people and people of color, an encounter with white cops while driving is oftentimes simply a question of being seen as an outsider. ” becomes a de facto referendum on whether or not someone who’s a minority has any good reason to travel through white or affluent areas with the underlying assumption that it’s to commit a crime.
Even pedestrians get stopped for “walking while Black” — a reality known all too well for a Black TV producer who was confronted, cuffed, and forced to sit on a sidewalk on August 22 because he “matched the clothing and physical characteristics” of a robbery suspect.
Therefore, in the interest of community-building and general human empathy, we’ve compiled a few of the more common questions that African-Americans may feel compelled to ask themselves over the course of a normal day that white people rarely, if ever, have to consider.
“Driving while Black” is not limited to any one city, but it’s pretty telling that the phenomenon is now being investigated in Missouri.
Editor’s Note: The first step to addressing racism is to identify when it’s happening, including in the form of white privilege, which this article is teaching.
And once you start seeing how racism works, you can start working to dismantle it.
The best communication occurs with an even and equal exchange between two people. Getting to know someone new is like peeling an onion one thin layer at the time. But some people, overeager to get into deep and meaningful conversation, go too far too fast.
Think of conversation as a tennis match in which the players lob the ball back and forth. They ask personal or sensitive questions that put the other person on the defensive. If feeling inhibited is a problem for some people, others go to the opposite extreme: they use a date as an opportunity to purge and vent.
In a 2013 report by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, the data showed a disproportionate number of police stops in the majority-Black suburb of Ferguson.