The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

Man at yogurt shop doing his job asked to leave for being black. Options
Oscar D. Grouch
Posted: Saturday, November 17, 2018 9:55:00 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/2014
Posts: 606
Neurons: 986,609
'Unwanted subject': What led a Kirkland yogurt shop to call police on a black man
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/unwanted-subject-what-led-a-kirkland-yogurt-shop-to-call-police-on-a-black-man/

Byron Ragland is a court-appointed special advocate and a visitation supervisor. He was overseeing an outing between a mother and her son at a frozen-yogurt shop when two police officers showed up and asked him to move along.


It's 2018 folks! It's high time to get over your prejudiced fears!
mactoria
Posted: Saturday, November 17, 2018 11:21:28 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/13/2014
Posts: 604
Neurons: 1,376,387
Location: Stockton, California, United States
I may be terribly naïve or reading things completely wrong on this situation --- I certainly think this gentleman is entitled to feel mistreated and/or discriminated against ---- but I feel there are other possible motivations than obvious racial bias on the part of Menchie's employees or Mr. Cruz. Menchie's is a yogurt/ice cream store, which means a lot of it's customers are kids and kids with moms. The staff on duty were both young women (per the 911 recording) who were aware of that store having been robbed and frequented by drug users using their bathroom (also per 911 recording). A lone man of any color who doesn't buy anything, but sits alone for 30+ minutes while looking at his cell phone, then at the women staff, then phone, staff, etc. would make employees concerned about him being a potential robber, someone scoping out the place for opportunity. Equally as concerning, a lone man of any color sitting for 30+ minutes not buying anything but fooling with his cell phone and looking around would make employees concerned about him stalking the children frequenting the store (a pedophiliac) or stalking young mothers with kids (a rapist or follow-home robber). I get that as a Black man this gentleman's experience has been to be followed, suspected, picked on, even stopped and hassled by police for just being a Black man where whites and others don't think he should be, just based on his color; it happens everyday in the US to Black men and women and is a wretched result of our racial divide But listening to the 911 recording, Mr Cruz the store owner didn't mention him being Black until the 911 operator asked the color of the man, and Mr Cruz didn't dwell on it, comment on the man's color, disparage his race, etc. I did feel a negative vibe that the 911 operator mentioned 'Black" when asking for the man's color; I would expect a 911 operator to be neutral in asking for a description, to ask for the person's skin and hair color, not suggest it. Maybe that was just the 911 operator's awkward way of getting necessary info fast, but suggesting 'Black' instead of asking Mr Cruz for a description feels too much like an indication that Kirkland's 911/police has bias; it certainly made me wonder a lot. And that the police didn't respond to either the man's identification as a CASA employee or the mother's verification of the reason for the visit, didn't take a minute evidently to try to mediate the misunderstanding and just made them all leave, seems like poor policing.

Finally, as a retired socialworker who had to observations and similar tasks, I question how Washington's CASA program trains it's advocates to do parent/child supervised visits in public places; certainly doing more than playing with a cell phone and looking around at the staff doesn't seem particularly functional. Fitting in with environment, buying a coke or dessert, kicking back and doing something normal and calm like looking out the window, looking like he's reading a book etc. is way more functional to the task and way less likely to make store employees worried if he was a robber, stalker, or pedophile.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2018 7:59:42 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,133
Neurons: 47,476
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

It's a lazy, sunny but cold November day here in Brighton. In the street below Brighton citizens saunter past - some are black, some brown, some white - brown babies in push-chairs and prams are pushed by parents or grandparents of every nationality and colour: there are no guns or uniforms except for the high-viz jackets of the "Ask me" people - those whom you can ask for directions, or for information.

Reading about the incident in the OP seems to bring a huge, dark shade down on the innocuous scene before me. It's as though some sort of contamination is settling on the bright streets and people.

For a moment I get a glimpse of how many worlds apart our lives are: a guy's in your shop and you don't know why? You know what that scenario means outside of the USA? It means one of the staff goes up and discreetly asks him!!

Sheesh! The employee asks the guy, the guy explains, the staffer says "You've got a great job then, sitting on your arse all day!" They both laugh. End of story.

The sight of a person of different skin colour does not throw people into a panic, they don't stand around trembling with fear. And they don't call in people with lethal weapons to throw someone out because the colour of the person makes them a boogie-man!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We're always being told that we don't understand. That America is different. That we couldn't possibly begin to comprehend how all this fear and loathing is necessary.

There isn't a developed country in the world who doesn't have slavery, colonialism, sadistic treatment of fellow-humans, or shame, as part of their history. In that department the USA is no different: the history of humanity is full of horrific things every culture/civillisation took part in as humanity itself evolves.

The only thing it seems that the rest of the world doesn't understand about America is why they alone can't learn from past mistakes? Or why peace, contentment, and the happiness and well-being of the country is of little importance when weighed up against war, invasion, militarianism, capitalism, or world domination? Or why the only time people outside of America quote the words "Leaders of the free world" or "Home of the Brave" "Land of the free" is as a preface or suffix to the relegation of some incident concerning the lack of Human Rights for most of the American population if they are female, not white, poor, unemployed, sick, gay, non-Christian, children or consumers.

I know - we all know - that it's only a minority of the whole country who support the illiterate thug who is turning the USA into a paraih state. No-one is so naive as to believe that either he or his immoral and horrifically corrupt gang speaks for the whole country. We all know - especially since the mid-terms - that the grown-ups are trying their very best to stop the disintegration into the Banana Republic which Trump and his Trumpeteers are all hell-bent on achieving.

But the fact that, every time one looks at a headline, or watches a news report, even the most fair and bi-partisan commentators keep telling us all Americans are "the leaders of democracy", "the greatest country on earth","a shining, great beacon", "the envy of the world" "exceptional", as if we were all 5 year olds taking part in a "My Daddy's better than your Daddy" conversation...THAT bodes ill for everyone. For years this Nationalistic blindness and smugness has been grumbled about, laughed at, scorned...but tolerated. It's a new country - a teenager in terms of the rest of the world. Teenage gauchness was understood and everyone sat around waiting for it to grow up and adopt a little reality.

But Trump's laid bare the bleeding, immovable corpse of good-governance, aspirational leadership, honour and truth. And to keep slapping us all in the face with this fantasy of World's Role Model, is going to cause more and more anger, division and lack of respect across the globe for the most violent, confused and out-of-step country in the free world.

The majority of Americans may get their country back if they can make (very public) changes. But respect? Remember we don't think calling someone Sir or Ma'am shows respect: we have to FEEL respect before we give it.

In order for a change in government to change the downward spiral, leaders will have to fight too for the regard their warm, fuzzy superiority made them feel was their unquestioned right.

And now I'm going out into the sunshine to mingle with the people around me, secure in the knowledge that the streets are not armed fight-grounds filled with threat, hatred, animosity or "Law givers" with the power to shoot one.







progpen
Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2018 8:47:13 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 1,908
Neurons: 329,522
Location: Haddington, Scotland, United Kingdom
Mactoria, I guess I don't see it exactly the same, but I can imagine that a black man with a white woman and child would raise eyebrows in certain areas. I don't at all buy the employee's description of his actions, but I'm sure that if they were afraid then any of his actions might feel threatening. The fact that he arrived with the white woman and child can't be overstressed. Social workers are put in uncomfortable situations so if this was one of those times I can imagine him looking uncomfortable as well. I don't think a poker face is something that social workers have extensive training in.

That said, if he noticed that the employees were staring at him or seemed uncomfortable around him, he should have let them know what he was doing. Most likely, he didn't even notice them.


Romany. This is another case where only the most egregious a$$hats make it into the international news cycle. I've lived and worked in far too many melting pots in the US to think that these moral deviants are the norm, but just like anywhere else in the world, they tend to be the loudest. They also tend to have the money.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Romany
Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2018 6:58:51 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,133
Neurons: 47,476
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Ah, I know that Proggie. As I said, people everywhere know that. It's the fact that the lunatics have been able to take over the whole asylum that stymies one!

However, to-day I saw one of the most hopeful segments I've seen on American TV in quite a while. One of the new people who has emerged from the latest elections had a piece on tv today. I have no idea whether she was a Republican or a Democrat - it doesn't matter. And I can't remember which news outlet it was.

But the new representative was explaining how the process works after one has won; what "Fresher Week" is all about for politicians; what they have to do, and learn; hows she's been finding the process etc.

What a brilliant idea! It underscores the fact that processes take place after actions; it demystifies that process for the public; it puts the new politician not just in front of people, but WITH them; it was transparently bi-partisan; - and most of all it didn't make lunatic claims that one side cheated, or was favoured, or was told by a leaker that it was all a plot or a hoax or a conspiracy. Nor did it try for the Guiness Book of Records for the number of lies told per sentence.

It struck me as a ray of unadulturated light in the murk and wretchedness of so much current "news". (And hey, like so many of my sex overseas, each woman elected was like a great big kick in the pants to both the amoral misogynist-in-chief and his sychopantic, morally bankrupt, eggers-on!)
Oscar D. Grouch
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 7:05:01 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/2014
Posts: 606
Neurons: 986,609
The fear and the hate is irrational. It's been around longer than tRump. He's just near the end of a long line of tRumpeters using fear and hate to ascend in power. McCarthyism was a symptom as well as are the wannabe neonazis. Watch the film "Welcome to Leith" http://www.welcometoleithfilm.com/ and you'll see that many of these people are just lost misfit loners that have gotten sucked into the wrong group looking for a sense of belonging. Read Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the US." Zinn uses plain unsweetened language to describe the conditions under which slaves were brought to the US. They were treated worse than livestock. The fact that this irrational hate and fear persists is disheartening to say the very least. A recent show on NPR discussed one woman's experience growing up in the segregated south. http://www.knkx.org/post/melba-ayco-shares-life-lessons-childhood-segregated-south A mob was prepared to commit mass murder and burn a buss full of young children. The children's only crime was having more melanin in their skin.

Quote:
"When Melba was nine years old, growing up in rural Louisiana, she stepped onto a bus to head to a new school.

She was going to be one the school’s first African American students. She would end up being one of two children of color in a classroom full of white faces.

When the bus arrived in front of the school, she says crowds of white people were gathered outside, shouting and screaming for the black kids to go back home. It wasn’t until people started throwing bricks and shattering the bus’s windows that Ayko became afraid.

"I was thinking, oh my god, oh my god, what’s gonna happen?" said Melba, recalling that day.

Then, the angry mob threatened to set the bus on fire. Mr. Jackson, the principal and a white man, put a stop to that by stepping onto the bus.

"He talked about how these were children and that he wasn’t getting off. And that if they were going to torch the bus, they needed to know they would be burning a white man too," said Melba."


It's high time to end the stupidity.
Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 12:18:54 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 8,510
Neurons: 48,696
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
And the way to help these misfits is money for social programs to give kids a sense of purpose and a better and diverse group to belong to such as sports and arts. They won't need to join gangs of nazis and use drugs/guns. As adults they will teach their children better and race will hopefully disappear - may take generations, though. Exposure to individuals of different groups helps with tolerance. When humans don't have to worry about food or healthcare, it is amazing how their outlook changes. They do not become hopeless. In spite of all that the problem often becomes intractable but it is all we have to change attitudes.

This is a general statement - not just USA. Problem is, everybody wants everything for themselves for nothing. Nobody wants to pay taxes and when there's an advantage for them they are entitled or it's social progress. When it helps someone else, it is socialism.

The other problem is often how parents treat - mistreat - their children. What is the answer to that? Education? They grow up angry.

"Do the people you care about love you back?" Warren Buffett's measure of success
Oscar D. Grouch
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 8:27:57 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/2014
Posts: 606
Neurons: 986,609
Oscar D. Grouch wrote:
'Unwanted subject': What led a Kirkland yogurt shop to call police on a black man
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/unwanted-subject-what-led-a-kirkland-yogurt-shop-to-call-police-on-a-black-man/

Byron Ragland is a court-appointed special advocate and a visitation supervisor. He was overseeing an outing between a mother and her son at a frozen-yogurt shop when two police officers showed up and asked him to move along.


It's 2018 folks! It's high time to get over your prejudiced fears!




Kirkland police apologize for helping yogurt shop owner expel African-American social worker; investigation ongoing
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/kirkland-police-apologize-for-helping-yogurt-shop-owner-expel-african-american-social-worker-investigation-ongoing/

Quote:
The Kirkland Police Department apologized Monday for an incident in which officers helped the owner of a frozen-yogurt shop expel an African-American man from the business because employees said they felt uncomfortable.
· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·
Outrage over the incident prompted the Kirkland police to announce an internal investigation into the incident to determine if “proper protocol” had been followed. On Monday, the city announced it had reached “preliminary findings” in the investigation and issued an apology to Ragland and the people of Kirkland.
· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·
Cruz, the owner of the yogurt shop, and Menchie’s corporate offices in Encino, California, each released apology statements Monday. “This does not reflect our values, and we are genuinely sorry,” the company said.


Robert Mandava
Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 1:56:46 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/29/2015
Posts: 111
Neurons: 1,075
Location: Espungabera, Manica, Mozambique
Oscar D. Grouch wrote:
'Unwanted subject': What led a Kirkland yogurt shop to call police on a black man
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/unwanted-subject-what-led-a-kirkland-yogurt-shop-to-call-police-on-a-black-man/

Byron Ragland is a court-appointed special advocate and a visitation supervisor. He was overseeing an outing between a mother and her son at a frozen-yogurt shop when two police officers showed up and asked him to move along.


It's 2018 folks! It's high time to get over your prejudiced fears!


Mafirakureva
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 9:17:29 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/2/2009
Posts: 5,383
Neurons: 76,625
Location: Drain, Oregon, United States
I am a white baby-boomer, past retirement age.

This was racism and implicit bias. It does not mean that any of the white people of the yoghurt shop are bad people, or that they think they are prejudiced, or that they meant to be racist. It does indicate that, just as with the rest of us, they have inhaled the societal attitudes in which we swim. We are drowning in unconscious prejudice and racism. Me, too, though as with most of us, I have enormous difficulty finding it in myself.

Here are three books that should be on everyone's reading list:
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein
You think you know about red lining? I did, and this book proved that what I knew (which was not inconsiderable) was nothing. State and local laws were passed, abrogating constitutional rights. This was not a few actions in the South, nor was it actions of individuals and private companies. These were government actions. The federal government refused to enforce constitutional rights. The Supreme Court declined to enforce the Constitution. In the Fifties. These laws were on the books into the Eighties. The book looks at the effects which have handicapped the affected people and their descendants. It made me (finally) understand why reparations need to be on the table. The focus is on African-Americans, but the same concerns apply to Native Americans who have been successively driven off lands that were theirs, not compensated, and placed in a position with no work opportunities and no educational opportunities; to Japanese citizens who were interned and had property both personal and business properties, seized without compensation; to Chinese-Americans, who like African-Americans were driven from some states, and not allowed to invest in businesses or purchase houses.

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo Exactly what it says. The author is a white woman, who has been a "diversity" trainer since the `70s. She holds anti-racism workshops for schools, workplaces, community groups where, either proactively or retroactively, for people who wish (or think they wish) to come to grips with racism and make a more inclusive workplace. (Just a hint: if you do not already see a problem with the concept of an "inclusive workplace" you will be uncomfortable for at least part of this book.) Her intended audience is white. And an important point is that being racist does not mean standing in the schoolhouse door (a la George Wallace; if you're too young to recognize it, look it up). Being racist does not mean being bad. We are all racists, we probably will be all our lives, it still affects the younger generation and we white people are the ones who need to put in the effort to discover what we are doing wrong. It is not the responsibility of the non-white communities to tell us, or to make us feel OK about racist actions because we "didn't intend it that way".

So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Cluo As above, but a Black author, Black perspective. This book will be more deeply understandable for white people if Robin DiAngelo's book is read first. I need to re-read this, because I did it the other way and suspect I missed a great deal.

All three books are eminently readable. White Fragility and So You Want to Talk About Race are also very short. The Color of Law is of more substantial size, but is a fast read, extremely interesting and well written, though I had to keep putting it down because it was so upsetting. I should have known these things. Again, I think I need to re-read this, having read the other two, but I think it was extremely helpful to me to have read it first. I think I recommend reading the books in the order listed, but any order will work.

Most of us don't think that we are uneasy-nervous-afraid because of color. Most of us don't think we believe people of color, and especially black / African American people are less than us, or more dangerous than us, or different from us. Unfortunately, the problem lies below the level of conscious thought. Objective studies, ranging from massive reaction-time studies with huge numbers of subjects to tiny fMRI (functional MRI) decision-making studies show we don't know how or what we are deciding.

With respect to this incident, Oregon (my home state) and Washington (where the incident occurred) are overwhelmingly white states with largely liberal reputations. In neither case is that completely true. (And, when it comes to unconscious racist actions, it doesn't matter, anyway.) Both states have very, very bad, discriminatory histories. (In Oregon's case, "very bad" is not enough: When it first became a state, it was free, so there would be no African-Americans here. African-Americans were prohibited from buying houses or owning property or businesses, or living in the state. The KKK ran the state openly for a part of the twenties. Cities had "sundown" laws, requiring African Americans to be out of the town by sunset into the fifties, with some evidence of it into the seventies. Portland Oregon just conducted a housing test which returned discriminatory results in real estate agents and rental agents giving different information about prices, financing, availability, and terms to non-whites and whites. Now. The end of 2018. In the vast majority of cases.)

It is unlikely the people in the yoghurt shop or in many of the real estate encounters thought they were doing what they did because people were non-white. But they saw "suspicious activity" or perceived a risk of, what, non-payment, property damage, whatever because the people they were dealing with were African-American or other non-whites. They interpreted actions, attitudes, speech on the part of others because of their (probably) unconscious racism. They didn't intend to act as a racist.

But it doesn't matter. The effect of their actions was racist. The people they interacted with were affected by racism. Their lives were circumscribed, their options shortened, they were shut out of general society and denied opportunities, whether to sit quietly in the shop or to rent an apartment or buy a house. And they live with this all day every day. And I don't. And it is my responsibility to call this what it is. It is my responsibility to see that none of my neighbors need to live like this.

"They" cannot exclude me from the societal norm, because society defines "norm" as like me. Only I can change this. Only all of us . . . only all of you other white people with me . . . can change this. And we can only do that by changing ourselves and we can only change ourselves (I can only change myself) when I listen when someone tells me I was racist and I ask how to do it right the next time. What I meant to do to or for someone is not the point. What I did do to them is. And I cannot know that unless I listen, pay attention, and believe when I am told.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 7:38:46 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,133
Neurons: 47,476
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Ruth -

I think that most of us outside the USA have come to realise - rather brutally - the undeniable truth of what you say about the "baked in" attitudes towards race. This seems inevitable in a country which can't even bring itself to confer 'Americanism' on all it's multitude of citizens, but continues to prefix and compartmentalise them as "African-American" or "Hispanic-American", "Asian-American" etc. I don't think the majority of people in America even realise that their's is the only developed nation in which this constant re-iteration of "different-ness" dooms any feeling of unity or inclusion.

But I think what gets up most people's nose is when we are told - as we have been here on the forum - that those of us who have NOT had this subtle sectioning before us all our lives are also racist - but that we don't acknowledge it.

I'm neither naive nor stupid enough to assert that there are no racist people outside of North America. As I've mentioned many times before - I've been the butt of racists most of my life for being a white person in black countries or communities.

I've even been told here on TFD that experiencing racism as I have is "reverse-racism" - itself a very parochial assumption that racism itself only occurs when the superior, master race of white people express their god-given fear/dislike/otherness towards black or brown people! The point that black or brown or Indian or whatever-the-damn-pigment-may-be people could consider themselves superior, or harbour ill-feeling towards white people, seems not even to be considered as a "thing": yet is the only reasonscenario in which such a racist phrase as "reverse racism" could even be considered to make sense.

The thing that's personally shocked me more than anything else in the last two dystopian years is to discover that Obama and his family had to battle racism not only all through their tenure, but even now!

When Obama was elected countries everywhere considered that America had stepped into the contemporary world and finally left behind it's blind "baked in" ideas. We rejoiced, congratulated and went back to our own lives. His re-election was, for us, a further signal that all the b.s. was being overcome. Neither I nor the general, non-political citizens of the countries I lived in during that 8 years, had any idea how many people hated the idea of having a black President! We'd thought it was the kind of social progress that would bring about the kinds of changes needed to begin the process of inclusivism.

I consider your post, given the circumstances now, very brave. But I live in a world where, though racists (and religionists, and doomsday-sayers, and flat-earthers and even neo-Nazis etc) also, of course, exist: but where they are a despised minority, "kooks", "fringe-dwellers" "loonies". The election not only of a racist President, but an entire Administration of "White is right" proponants has already been seen as a green light in many places across the globe.

I would think that this is what has to be tackled first - before there is any chance of change to a system that is so insidious and, as you say, unconsciously imbibed. It's not enough solely to get rid of the noxious influence of the Trump Administration; but to seriously demand a determination on behalf of Government to formulate a long-term plan based on education, government initiatives, consultation with diverse countries and communities which are truly "free", well-being, ensuring stiff and enforcable penalties against those who promulgate racial tension; and clear goals which will be worked towards by future Administrations in schools, tertiary education centres, the Military, Churches, the Press, and Government initiatives.

Yes, of course, more people should be "woke" and read books such as those suggested - along with real, factual history. But, though I once in my innocence felt that all that would be needed would be ground-root changes, my conclusions over the past two years have been that, without the conviction of those elected to office to do what's best for the country - and by extension the world - this is a problem which can only be tackled now from the top down? While it may be "comforting" for fringe-dwellers to have the kind of support that has shocked the world for the last two years, surely there must come a point where the fate of one's country is a bi-partisan imperitive?

If not, democracy has failed to incentivise the country.And the irony of a country which makes war against those whose Human Rights record is poor while their own doesn't stand scrutiny is unlikely to be tolerated any longer.

Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2019 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.