A Race Discussion I Like


I am sad to say I have not yet read Mr. R. Navarrette’s book, “A Darker Shade of Crimson: Odyssey of a Harvard Chicano” as I would have to say, I think I would really learn from it and enjoy it.  Mr. Navarrette writes in a manner which demonstrates poise and the ability to think about more than one point of view.   He demonstrates how hearing more information makes for better decision making.  I would have to say I think I could be his friend if we were to ever meet in person.

My thoughts ran similar to what Mr. Navarrette expressed, including how to interact with a police officer.  My father taught me long ago that you never know if a police officer just left a horrible car wreck and they are hurting emotionally inside or they just dealt with some one on drugs and had to drop them off at jail and fill out tons of paperwork or they had to talk to some snarky teenagers or some one would not act appropriately at the last ticket or the officer just found out one of his fellow officers was killed in the line of duty – you owe the officer respect. Further more, you look stupid and guilty acting out of order in relationship to what is being asked of you – identification and explination of the situation, even if I am a white female. Don’t try to act holier than thou.

I am a teacher and have had to deal with crazy parents who come in all charged up about one thing or another and treat me as though I am their servant and some how didn’t finish cleaning the floor properly rather than asking to talk.  Parents act as if I had just been watching TV and eating a snack, even though I may desperately need to go to the bathroom and just have a 5 minute respite from the business of the day.  It is all about the approach.  Perhaps that is why I appreciate what Mr. Navarrette is stating. 

In my minds eye, I can not see a neurosurgeon doing well in surgery with people yelling and acting crazy and while teaching is no where near that level of need for perfection, it requires some degree of thinking and establishing facts/data.   We have become a culture of ‘self’ and putting what we believe are our needs ahead of the reality of the situation. 

While we all have something that gets us agitated/worked up, it is also up to us to get calmed down and paced (just like the neurosurgeon) so we can attend to matters at hand.  While race seems to be a raging issue in so many situations, apparently, so is class.  Many people seem to expect more or less than from people who are not like themselves – as if we can’t be equal in some manner. 

What appealed to me most about Mr. Navarrette’s piece is the following:

Yet now, thanks to a little South Lawn diplomacy, some good might come from the bad. There were hopeful signs. Crowley said Thursday’s beer gathering was a “cordial and productive discussion.” The sergeant talked about how he and Gates were more interested in moving forward than looking backward.

After the meeting, Gates wrote, “We’ve learned that we can have our differences without demonizing one another. There’s reason to hope that many people have emerged with greater sympathy for the daily perils of policing, on the one hand, and for the genuine fears about racial profiling, on the other hand.”

Well said, gentlemen. We could use more cordial discussions, and more sympathy for each other’s positions. Believe it or not, you might just be on the same team after all.

Imagine that, interacting  with each other as though we both mattered and wanted to solve a problem, rather than escalate it for the dramatic effect.  You as an individual always have the choice about how you act – no one can make you behave idiotically.   Having a moral compass is up to you.