Many Trump followers I have spoken with regarding the incident at the capital have expressed that they don't believe the incident was handled any different from the BLM protests over the killing of George Floyd. So many nuances can be argued as subjective, however when we look at the objective facts, the differences are crystal clear. No threat report happens when there is no perceived threat. BLM was a perceived threat and the Trump supporters were not. The question is, why not?
Many comment that George Floyd died from Fentanyl in his system or from preexisting conditions etc. The fact is, even with those factors, the knee to the neck was the primary factor in his death.
If you've applied for a job recently, you've probably seen one of those online résumé or CV builder tools that allow applicants to create a quick online résumé or CV. Recently a job seeker in the United States was looking for work. On a question asking when he'd graduated or gotten his first professional job, he clicked on the drop-down list to find he was unable to answer.
The years offered in the drop-down list only went back as far as 1980.
The man was 70 years old and would have graduated or gotten his first professional job around 1967—more than a decade before the 1980 cutoff. The application process automatically excluded any applicant over the age of 52 years old.
How did this happen? Was this age discrimination—an intentional decision to exclude people 50 years old or older from the pool of applicants? Or was it an unintentional oversight (a blind spot) by the development team?
If it was a mistake, then there is a good chance that unconscious bias played a part in the choices the developing team made while creating this résumé builder. It may not have occurred to them that a 70-year-old person, or even a 55-year-old person, might be looking for a job! Perhaps the developers had a preconceived idea of what a typical job hunter looks like and based the drop-down list on their own experience or what was familiar to them. Or maybe the developers were on a tight deadline and working quickly and they didn't take the time to think about all of the potential applicants.
So often we hear people say they don't see color. Their claim is that when it comes to the treatment of others, they exclude the color of their skin from the equation and they treat them the same. Of course, those who are forced to confront their pigment on the daily basis know this to be both impossible and un-preferred. Our color is the most visible part of us. There are men who look and identify as women, women who look and identify as men and everything in between. If you have dark skin, you cannot identify as someone who is light skinned or vise versa. In other words, you cannot hide it and live in the other world. There is no "closet" for a dark person to come out of after achieving success to speak on behalf of other "closeted" blacks. If there were, I assure you there would be many who'd be standing behind the door.
Seeing color is a wonderful thing that should be appreciated. In 1994, A Boeing Chief Engineer said the following, after a report was published showing a correlation between the instances of plane crashes and the culture of the pilots, "...Why is the fact that each of us comes from a culture with its own distinctive mix of strengths and weaknesses, tendencies and predispositions, so difficult to acknowledge? Who we are cannot be separated from where we're from- and when we ignore that fact, planes crash."
So often, black officers are questioned regarding the behavior of white officers and their lack of effort to protect minorities. We must keep in mind that bias does not only affect white officers. I have seen behavior by blacks result in the same racist results as those by whites. As Robin Diangelo states in her book "White Fragility" we are all swimming in racist waters. Bias does not make a person a racist and well-meaning people actually do things that further racist systems. Now, the minority community is hurting over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white officer. While one officer had his knee on the neck of Floyd there were three other officers standing at the scene of the incident who could have stepped up and said something but they did not. Why didn't they? Why did they stand by and allow this to happen? Perhaps they agreed that Floyd was a danger? Maybe they felt he deserved the treatment he was getting. How many have considered the possibility that they knew it was wrong but that. they did not feel it was their place or that they had the power to step in and correct the behavior of a fellow (Senior) officer. What would those officers have to fear? Take a look at the attached video and consider the questions of why some don't speak out when it is clear that they should. Cariol Horne spoke up. Do you think other officers would speak up more often or less often after observing what happened to her?
"2018, Officer Kwiatkowski, the same officer that Horne prevented from harming Neal Mack, was sentenced to 4 months in prison for using unlawful and unreasonable force against 4 teenagers that were already under control."
Microaggressions have been defined as brief and common daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental communications, whether intentional or unintentional, that transmit hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to a target person because they belong to a stigmatized group. Wikipedia.com
I was honored to be invited by my niece Alanna Stevenson who organized this event in East Palo Alto. Nothing is as important as supporting our young leaders especially when it comes to such an important topic. Throughout my career, I have seen too many protests and demonstrations go terribly wrong because of the "Us v Them" mentality and rhetoric. The police and the public are a team. They are both looking for the same thing, peace. During this demonstration, the police department and the community worked together to create a peaceful atmosphere where communication could take place, and it did. Voices were heard and bonds were formed. To Alanna Stevenson, keep going. You are the difference we need. Do not accept simple diversity but insist on inclusion because it is the lynchpin for equality in our society.
Quincy K. Ruffin