Thursday, July 23, 2009

Some political/race-type rambles.

So, there's this case from Massachusetts regarding a black professor who was arrested for breaking into his own home. A lot of people who've read the news coverage regarding this have strong opinions about it. (And there are A LOT of people talking about it.)

Even the president has thrown his two cents in, which is unfortunate, because he doesn't actually know what exactly went down either.

People who think racism is rampant are up in arms. People who think all is well between whites and minorities are up in arms. I've read and heard some people point out that there are two sides to every story (and then go on to, for all tentative purposes, choose a side) -- I'm going to put my neck out here and point something out.

When two people/entities present their "side of the story" it is rarely what actually occured. There is often much more to it than that single event and there is often much left out (or added) to make their case stronger.

From all media accounts (which is all I can trust, as I'm not in Massachusetts to judge), there is a mistrust between the minority community and the Cambridge police force. I'm not saying that this particular occurrence actually had anything to do with race, but the mistrust is there... and it has been there for some time and that is a problem. It's not something that is easily combated, but steps should be taken to do just that.

Saying that someone is simply "pulling the race card" simplifies it far too much. Perhaps his man has heard of some of the injustices done to others (or maybe he has experienced it in another form or fashion). Perhaps the arrested man did overreact. However, if someone was accusing you of breaking into your own house, wouldn't you be a bit incredulous too? Wouldn't you feel it's a bit extreme that someone is arresting you for walking into your own home?

And as a police officer, if you were called to a reported burglary, wouldn't you want to do everything in your power to prevent it?

The situation might have gotten out of control simply because of a misunderstanding, but those previous suspicions or beliefs amplified a problem and made it larger than necessary.

So, yes. There are two sides to every story... but both sides rarely tell the whole truth. Just keep that in mind before you call someone else stupid, racist or insensitive for their veiws.


f1trey said...

lets keep going.....people also like theings concrete...dialectic..its black , its white, its 4, people dont like something explained in grey..... the human condition is is complex...issues such as politics, health, evolution, religion, schooling are multipolar in nature..they dont boil down to 1 cause = 1 effect like we want them to....makes sense?

c.e.z. said...

It does make sense and unfortunately there is nothing in this world that is black and white and concrete. Everything is constantly shifting. Realities are constantly changing, viewpoints twist and turn.

I happen to find the always-changing world as interesting and challenging. It's a shame other people can't consider how someone else's reality might color their perception of an event.

There is likely no "right" or "wrong" in this case. I'm almost certain that it was a combination of things that simply escalated to the point of confusion and no return.

There's an opportunity here, though, to make a difference. If people can talk about it in a civil and mature way, actual progress can be made towards a more tolerant and accepting society.