Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gates: "Time to move on"

I agree with Gates when he suggests it's time to move on. Everyone's said their piece, made their points, and (hopefully) learned something about race relations in America.

Lesson: Listen and ask questions first. Would have saved Obama from stepping in the poo.

Lesson: Humility and humor can defuse any situation, quickly. Gates would never have ruffled the officer's feathers if he'd simply have laughed off the situation and right away offered to show ID. We all forget keys, locks jam, doo-doo happens. Explain it, laugh, and move on.

Lesson: Some people can be grumpy and indignant, especially when they've returned from long trips. Patience, and a calm attitude seem like an officer's best friends (which Officer Crowley appears to have demonstrated). And when an angry person (any person, black, white, or martian) is demanding your name and badge number, give it to them. If they want to stomp off and make a fool of themselves, no worries.

Lesson: The Internet has changed everything. Government officials can not abuse power (as much) these days without it showing up on the Internet and going viral. People have high definition cameras in their phones, which are Internet connected. We can "live blog" an abusive situation in seconds. Racist cops (I'm sure they exist) will star in their own career impacting show on YouTube.

Lesson: The Internet has changed everything. Be polite. Never know when someone will put that video of "that jerk" on YouTube and everyone can see what a child you are.

Lesson: Delicate one - many of us white people are are tired of being called "racists" by misbehaving and immature people of other races. We work hard and most of us believe in treating everyone with dignity. However, we also are human and react when we are confronted with a 'tude. Chill. Even if some of us have developed a bit of an attitude about "Blacks" there has been a reason. We observe. We learn. We have experiences. It's not the media that has "programmed" me into thinking that drivers who are talking on cell-phones have dropped 50 IQ points and are Mobile Idiots. It's experience. Yet, be patient with us. I believe that most of us really do want to get along better with people who are not like us.

Lesson: Delicate one - if you are Black, there is a history and a struggle that none of us White Folk can ever understand. You have a much harder situation than we do. I can be rude occassionally, mostly with no wide impact. When you are rude people (wrongly) say "Gosh, Black peole are rude." Again - wrong. It happens. You need to be careful of your actions in public since you represent your brothers and sisters in a cause. Think of yourself as a very important ambassador. Gates was a terrible ambassador for both his color and for Americans. Fair disclosure: I'm often a terrible ambassador for my color and for Americans. I'm working it out, you should too.

Lesson: Obama has nailed it 100%. Let's all have a beer and talk it out.

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