Monday, November 16, 2015
I'm going to make these following comments very carefully. Tread, very carefully. I abhor violence. Of all kind. I detest bias. Of any kind. But. I also dislike bullying. Which is using the most tentative term I can find.
When I was the son of an American family, born and raised in the UK, in the late Fifties and early Sixties, there was strong feeling against Americans in Europe.
This was a leftover from the Second World War. And also the product of the fact that, after that War, the country which most helped Europe to find its feet economically was also the US.
Gratitude finds expression in many strange ways. And I grew used to seeing graffiti inviting Yanks To Go Home.
When I first moved to the US in 1989, I began in Rhode Island. Where they loved me. Until they discovered I was looking for work. I then experienced my own form of bias.
I'm not pretending for one moment that my life was in danger because of profiling. But I do know about profiling.
Which is where I come to the tread softly part. When I engage with those of my friends whom I would describe as anarchist, and they make generalized comments about police violence, there is no hesitation on their part in profiling anyone wearing a blue uniform and holding a gun.
I don't have a problem with that. There are too many folks in blue uniforms with guns killing unarmed civilians in the US at the moment. But, rather than joining the chorus of those aimlessly profiling every blue uniform, I say, ok, let's find a way to stop blue uniforms killing unarmed civilians.
In much the same fashion, as much as I feel for those folks who feel targeted because of the few of their religion, race, nationality, occupation, whatever, who misbehave (another gentle term), I am not going to spend my time joining the chorus of those who choose to spend their time decrying anger (of course anger is wrong), rather than finding time to come up with solutions as to how to stop the few misbehaving.
There is misbehavior which some see as being the common experience of a few belonging to the same religion, race, gender, occupation, whatever. We do not sensibly find solutions to that misbehavior by blinding ourselves to the commonality of the experience.
If you choose to call that profiling. So be it. But, at the same time as you may castigate me for that, please be prepared to offer solution and comfort to those who are scared. For one without the other may feel appropriate. But it achieves nothing.