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Problems vs. Solutions and criticizing (e.g.), BLM

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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12 July 2020 09:35
 

It seems as though many (not all to be sure), of the folks who are protesting these days have come to believe that if a person has a problem, they’re the best source of the solution. When did this become a thing? We don’t take this myth seriously in most other domains of human endeavor.

If I tear my ACL, I’m clearly the person that best understands the pain associated. But that doesn’t make me a knee surgeon.

But as a white male, I’m often scolded for criticizing BLM or other protesting groups. I’m told “if I haven’t lived it, I don’t know it”, or some such. It seems as though the scolders are bundling the problem and the solution together.

[ Edited: 12 July 2020 09:37 by icehorse]
 
 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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12 July 2020 10:15
 

Do you have a specific example in mind?

Unless you’re coming into the conversation saying “we should do X to address one of the issues you[BLM] care about”, Which is not a criticism, I’m not seeing that considerations of who has a solution comes into play.

If you’re coming into a conversation with a person just criticizing their organization, then it’s natural and even sensible for them to reject you.  It’s sensible in that for someone you don’t know to pop into a conversation with you and actually be well versed enough about your group to offer useful insights without already being a member of that group is a pretty unlikely occurrence.

It’s making me think that this might be part of the pathology of online communication: you might actually have good ideas but the person you’re talking has no good reason to take you seriously.  Thus, the whole conversation starts off on the wrong foot.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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12 July 2020 10:35
 

map:

Unless you’re coming into the conversation saying “we should do X to address one of the issues you[BLM] care about”, Which is not a criticism, I’m not seeing that considerations of who has a solution comes into play.

Let my clarify. Personally, I’m not criticizing how the problems are stated. Of course I agree that I haven’t lived as a black person in a dangerous neighborhood, and so I openly accept their descriptions of their problems.

The OP is about when we get to discussing solutions. For example, I’ve said on this forum and on others and in person, the following:

“IMO, the folks who are - legitimately - putting a lot of energy into fighting racism, ought to be focusing on fighting oligarchs not police.”

I might be right about this, I might not.

The point is that I’m often told “Dude, you’re a white male, you don’t even get to have an opinion about solutions to racism, STFU”.

 
 
DEGENERATEON
 
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DEGENERATEON
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12 July 2020 10:51
 

Here’s an idea:  increase police budgets heavily.  Recruit people from the highest crime areas or nearby to become officers in their own community.  Provide increased training.  Increase police presence in these areas by a wild amount with a goal if reducing crime by 50+%.  Police jobs for the community, businesses can operate with reduced crime, citizens can feel safer.  New businesses will have an incentive to move into the area.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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12 July 2020 10:53
 
DEGENERATEON - 12 July 2020 10:51 AM

Here’s an idea:  increase police budgets heavily.  Recruit people from the highest crime areas or nearby to become officers in their own community.  Provide increased training.  Increase police presence in these areas by a wild amount with a goal if reducing crime by 50+%.  Police jobs for the community, businesses can operate with reduced crime, citizens can feel safer.  New businesses will have an incentive to move into the area.

According to many of the protestors, the merits of your idea depend on your ethnicity and the amount of “privilege” you have, NOT on the quality of the idea.

 
 
diding
 
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diding
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12 July 2020 11:12
 
DEGENERATEON - 12 July 2020 10:51 AM

Here’s an idea:  increase police budgets heavily.  Recruit people from the highest crime areas or nearby to become officers in their own community. Provide increased training.  Increase police presence in these areas by a wild amount with a goal if reducing crime by 50+%.  Police jobs for the community, businesses can operate with reduced crime, citizens can feel safer.  New businesses will have an incentive to move into the area.

My black cop friend said that’s a bad idea.  He said it creates a conflict of interests when you end up arresting “So and so’s little cousin”.  He said sometimes when the people know where you live they come to your house and try to “do something about it”.  He said he had to shoot someone who tried to do just that.  But he also said that there was a problem with cops who lived in the burbs who wanted to be assigned “where the action is” because they wanted to “police up on some thugs”. 

I asked him if people who have had military training make good cops.  He said sometimes, but they’re not any less likely to be racist.  They benefit from firearms training and the fact that some of them have been shot at before.  He says a cop that hasn’t been shot at before is dangerous.  But he also said that a cop who has been shot at before may be also dangerous, it depends on their mental state.  He said ex-military may be extra aggressive.  As Neil Degrasse Tyson said in his interview by Coleman Hughes, he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to have a “C” student with a “Kill ‘Em all, let God sort them out” tattoo become a cop. 

Better, longer training maybe some instruction in de-escalation.  My cop friend said that was his specialty.  He said he was on call to “talk down” people.  He thinks they could all be trained to do that.  He wants cops to be better at hand to hand combat and to be able to use choke holds. He’s just one cop but I know he’s telling me the truth because he’s a good friend.  He tells me like it is.

 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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12 July 2020 11:16
 
icehorse - 12 July 2020 10:35 AM

map:

Unless you’re coming into the conversation saying “we should do X to address one of the issues you[BLM] care about”, Which is not a criticism, I’m not seeing that considerations of who has a solution comes into play.

Let my clarify. Personally, I’m not criticizing how the problems are stated. Of course I agree that I haven’t lived as a black person in a dangerous neighborhood, and so I openly accept their descriptions of their problems.

The OP is about when we get to discussing solutions. For example, I’ve said on this forum and on others and in person, the following:

“IMO, the folks who are - legitimately - putting a lot of energy into fighting racism, ought to be focusing on fighting oligarchs not police.”

I might be right about this, I might not.

The point is that I’m often told “Dude, you’re a white male, you don’t even get to have an opinion about solutions to racism, STFU”.

You’re approach sounds like it might be received by your audience a bit like going up to the “save the whales” people and saying “hey, you should save the rainforests”.  Of course that’s not going to fly (even though it’s all in the same ecosystem).  To the extent that you could draw out the connections between the oligarchy and the state of policing I suspect that you could find some common ground there. maybe my history is off, but I think of the idea of “the man” as having come from the African American community, and (maybe) still being important today. What is “the man” other than the realization of the oligarchy?

Don’t you think that in many places the police serve the interests of the oligarchy?  If so then, I’d figure that at least partially defanging or reorienting them might provide some room to open other avenues for empowering the people.

That being said, I also wouldn’t be surprised if most of the time even the most tailored approach were rejected.  You’ll always have to expect people defend their turf, so to speak. 

 

[ Edited: 12 July 2020 11:23 by mapadofu]
 
weird buffalo
 
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12 July 2020 18:36
 
DEGENERATEON - 12 July 2020 10:51 AM

Here’s an idea:  increase police budgets heavily.  Recruit people from the highest crime areas or nearby to become officers in their own community.  Provide increased training.  Increase police presence in these areas by a wild amount with a goal if reducing crime by 50+%.  Police jobs for the community, businesses can operate with reduced crime, citizens can feel safer.  New businesses will have an incentive to move into the area.

Police budgets already account for 25-50% of city budgets.

Police can’t solve unemployment.
Police can’t solve mental health problems.
Police can’t solve the causes of homelessness.
Police can’t solve a lack of education.
Police can’t solve single-parent families.

Essentially, all the causes of crime… police cannot solve them.  You are proposing that hospitals only increase their bandaid budget.

 
Skipshot
 
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13 July 2020 10:46
 
icehorse - 12 July 2020 09:35 AM

It seems as though many (not all to be sure), of the folks who are protesting these days have come to believe that if a person has a problem, they’re the best source of the solution. When did this become a thing? We don’t take this myth seriously in most other domains of human endeavor.

If I tear my ACL, I’m clearly the person that best understands the pain associated. But that doesn’t make me a knee surgeon.

But as a white male, I’m often scolded for criticizing BLM or other protesting groups. I’m told “if I haven’t lived it, I don’t know it”, or some such. It seems as though the scolders are bundling the problem and the solution together.

You’re barking up the wrong tree.  You may contact BLM yourself and offer your solutions.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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13 July 2020 10:53
 
Skipshot - 13 July 2020 10:46 AM
icehorse - 12 July 2020 09:35 AM

It seems as though many (not all to be sure), of the folks who are protesting these days have come to believe that if a person has a problem, they’re the best source of the solution. When did this become a thing? We don’t take this myth seriously in most other domains of human endeavor.

If I tear my ACL, I’m clearly the person that best understands the pain associated. But that doesn’t make me a knee surgeon.

But as a white male, I’m often scolded for criticizing BLM or other protesting groups. I’m told “if I haven’t lived it, I don’t know it”, or some such. It seems as though the scolders are bundling the problem and the solution together.

You’re barking up the wrong tree.  You may contact BLM yourself and offer your solutions.

So, because you’re not aware of a problem, it doesn’t exist? good to know.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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13 July 2020 11:21
 
icehorse - 12 July 2020 09:35 AM

It seems as though many (not all to be sure), of the folks who are protesting these days have come to believe that if a person has a problem, they’re the best source of the solution. When did this become a thing? We don’t take this myth seriously in most other domains of human endeavor.

If I tear my ACL, I’m clearly the person that best understands the pain associated. But that doesn’t make me a knee surgeon.

But as a white male, I’m often scolded for criticizing BLM or other protesting groups. I’m told “if I haven’t lived it, I don’t know it”, or some such. It seems as though the scolders are bundling the problem and the solution together.

Out of curiosity, would you say that you are to this topic, what a knee surgeon is to knees?
Roughly 10+ years of training/experience and have had your knowledge independently verified by some sort of certification process.

 
icehorse
 
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13 July 2020 12:12
 
weird buffalo - 13 July 2020 11:21 AM
icehorse - 12 July 2020 09:35 AM

It seems as though many (not all to be sure), of the folks who are protesting these days have come to believe that if a person has a problem, they’re the best source of the solution. When did this become a thing? We don’t take this myth seriously in most other domains of human endeavor.

If I tear my ACL, I’m clearly the person that best understands the pain associated. But that doesn’t make me a knee surgeon.

But as a white male, I’m often scolded for criticizing BLM or other protesting groups. I’m told “if I haven’t lived it, I don’t know it”, or some such. It seems as though the scolders are bundling the problem and the solution together.

Out of curiosity, would you say that you are to this topic, what a knee surgeon is to knees?
Roughly 10+ years of training/experience and have had your knowledge independently verified by some sort of certification process.

I don’t, and that misses the point. I’m looking at a recurring, society-level problem.

I’m making two, related points:

- the idea that a person who has “lived experience” somehow has the expertise to develop the best solutions
- the idea that a person of the wrong color cannot be a part of the solution

Are two common, and bad ideas.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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13 July 2020 16:44
 

I think you are misrepresenting both of those ideas.

1: the idea that a person who has “lived experience” somehow has the expertise to develop the best solutions

This isn’t actually how the idea is presented.  Usually the “lived experience” is proof that someone is aware of the problem.  For example, black people tend (notice this word, it’s important) to be more aware of racism, because they are the targets of racism.  I don’t actually see a lot of people saying that black people know the keys to solving racism, but that they are aware of how prevalent the problem is.  It’s like saying that homeless people would be aware of the dangers of being homeless.  All that said, there are a lot of experts who are black who do have solutions and ideas on how to solve it.  And when I say experts, I mean historians, sociologists, and activists who have put a large amount of time and effort into researching the topic.  Some of these people are the equivalent of knee surgeons, and have spent their professional lives studying these topics.  One way of identifying an expert is when they focus their statements and efforts on a narrow topic.  They aren’t trying to solve everything, but rather have chosen to specialize in one small area… like a surgeon who specializes in knees.

2: the idea that a person of the wrong color cannot be a part of the solution

Couldn’t be further from the truth.  White people are more than welcome to engage in the conversation.  But those who downplay racial elements WILL be ignored.  Why?  Cause it sounds like a random person telling someone with knee pain that they aren’t experiencing knee pain.  It’s like when you’re sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, and some random know-it-all leans over and starts telling you about their friend’s herbal supplement and how you don’t actually need the doctor to fix your knee.  Or that it is all in your mind, and the knee pain isn’t real.  It is clear they aren’t an expert on the topic, and their advice is bad.

I think your “common ideas” are actually ones pushed about the conversation by those on the other side of it.  They’re perceptions of the conversation that we’ll find on Fox News, but they aren’t ones we’ll find if we go to a BLM meeting being held in a black church.  The other part to number 2 is easily solved by first just listening to the conversation.  And I don’t mean “having read about it once”.  I mean…. if you approach a conversation, join it by listening to it.  Engaging people of color by listening to what they have to say, and then instead of pushing the ideas you had before the conversation started, engage with them on the things that they say.

 
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13 July 2020 17:34
 
icehorse - 13 July 2020 10:53 AM
Skipshot - 13 July 2020 10:46 AM
icehorse - 12 July 2020 09:35 AM

It seems as though many (not all to be sure), of the folks who are protesting these days have come to believe that if a person has a problem, they’re the best source of the solution. When did this become a thing? We don’t take this myth seriously in most other domains of human endeavor.

If I tear my ACL, I’m clearly the person that best understands the pain associated. But that doesn’t make me a knee surgeon.

But as a white male, I’m often scolded for criticizing BLM or other protesting groups. I’m told “if I haven’t lived it, I don’t know it”, or some such. It seems as though the scolders are bundling the problem and the solution together.

You’re barking up the wrong tree.  You may contact BLM yourself and offer your solutions.

So, because you’re not aware of a problem, it doesn’t exist? good to know.

Straw man alert.

 
no_profundia
 
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13 July 2020 19:32
 

IMO, the folks who are - legitimately - putting a lot of energy into fighting racism, ought to be focusing on fighting oligarchs not police.

There are at least three problems with this. First, this isn’t really analogous to the knee surgeon scenario. You are not offering a solution to the problem of racism in this scenario you are saying that the people fighting racism should care about another problem more than the one they care about. It is not up to you to decide what other people should care about just as it is not up to other people to decide what you should care about.

There may be respectful ways of discussing rationally what the most pressing problems in the world are but saying “You shouldn’t care so much about this problem that affects you but doesn’t affect me and should instead care about this problem that affects me” is not the way to do it.

This has nothing to do with white people not being allowed to offer an opinion about solutions. There are lots of white people out there offering potential solutions to issues of race and policing and they are not being shouted off the stage because they are white. This is simply about individuals (of any race) getting to decide what problems they consider important and what problems they feel have the most direct effect on them.

I read an article a while ago about the cities in the US with the highest crime rates. At the time St. Louis was ranked number one and the article said there was a particularly bad neighborhood in St. Louis where the chances of being the victim of a violent crime were 1 in 4 per year (if I am remembering correctly). Now imagine someone comes into that neighborhood and says “You shouldn’t care so much about the high crime rate here because it is not a threat to civilization as a whole (and doesn’t affect me since I live in a low crime neighborhood) and should instead care about this other problem that I care about and that affects me more.”

You are likely going to get the same reaction you got here: “If you don’t live in the neighborhood, and you don’t have to face a 1 in 4 chance of being the victim of a violent crime per year, you don’t get to tell us how important the problem is from a cosmic perspective.” This has nothing to do with race so I think you are simply mischaracterizing this scenario when you describe it as “white people not being allowed to have an opinion.” You are allowed to have an opinion. You are allowed to have an opinion about the possible solutions to the problems that people care about. If, instead, you decide to tell people that some problem you care about is more important than a problem they care about (and they feel they face every day) you are likely going to get a negative reaction.

Second, political solutions are not just about finding the right scientific answer which is why we live in a democracy and not a technocracy. People need to have some say in the institutions they live under, what the ends of those institutions should be, and so on. This can’t be determined by experts but has to be determined by the people who live under those institutions. So an expert (or a white person) doesn’t get to tell African-Americans that they should accept how a particular institution functions because they are an expert or because it seems reasonable to them.

If people who live in communities that you don’t live in are saying “We don’t like how the police operate here” it is not up to you to tell them that they should like it. This again has nothing to do with a white person not being able to offer an opinion and is simply based on the fact that in a democracy people get to express their own preferences about how the institutions they live under operate.

Third, lots of the people who are calling for reforms in police believe they are fighting the oligarchs. Lots of BLM supporters believe, rightly or wrongly, that the criminal justice system (including the police) is a major factor in perpetuating the material inequalities between blacks and whites (I recommend reading The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander to understand why they believe that). Just saying “you should be fighting the Oligarchs” is not all that helpful. If you put forward specific policies that you think would address oligarchy then I suspect the vast majority of the anti-racist crowd already support them and may be actively working for them.

I have noticed a tendency to make lots of assumptions about protesters and members of groups based on very little information. The protesters are individuals, lots of them are activists, and lots of them are active in addressing other problems in their personal lives (climate change, economic inequality, crime in largely African-American communities) but they often get accussed of only caring about whatever happens to be included in BLM’s mission statement. No grassroots political organization has an infinite platform. Greenpeace (as far as I know) does not have a mission statement that includes addressing racism. That does not mean that members of Greenpeace do not care about racism. They might also be supporters of BLM.

I do not see any reason why there is not room in political space for lots of different causes. The notion that we have to drop all of them and focus on just one issue seems insane to me. That may not be what you are suggesting but that is sort of how it comes across which is another reason you may have received the negative response you have received.

It is also strange that BLM and the issue of racism seems to be singled out. If I am a bird watcher and I care about preserving my local wetlands would you tell me I should not devote time to that problem since it is a merely local problem and not of national or international significance? If I live in a city with lots of homelessness and want to do something about it would you make the same argument? That I shouldn’t be focusing so much energy on homelessness and should instead be focusing on the oligarchs? Should I make no effort to help the real people who are cold and hungry because their death or suffering does not pose an existential threat to society? It doesn’t seem like this argument makes sense in these scenarios so why is it racism and BLM specifically that get singled out and criticized for pursuing problems that are not as important as other problems from some cosmic perspective?

Perhaps you have made the same argument in response to other issues but I seem to mostly see you illustrating it with the issue of racism.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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13 July 2020 19:59
 

weird,

I’m not making a claim that the issue I’m seeing happens 100% of the time. Of course it doesn’t and when it doesn’t your post seems reasonable. I’m concerned about thse instances when you’re reasonable approach is not followed.

no-pro,

I’m asking you to zoom out. As I said earlier, it’s not about whether I happen to have an opinion that you agree with. That was just an example, as I think I stated. The bigger point is that there is a meme going around that only those with “lived experience” can participate in solution finding. That’s the meme that I’m talking about.

skip,

If my answer is a strawman, then WTF were you talking about in your earlier post when you said I was barking up the wrong tree?

 
 
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