One of the videos Denise posted here is about Mexican community leaders in Arizona welcoming the new law, behind it completely.
Bob, it sounds to me like you are making a judgment based on how someone looks or dresses. I find that strange based on other comments of yours.
Go to a bar to have a drink and meet a dentist. I can assure you that, at some point in the conversation, he will be checking your teeth. A chiropractor will be checking your posture. A dermatologist will be checking your skin. It's natural. That's their profession and that's what they are used to doing. A cop? He will be checking your manner, your actions, looking for signs into your personality. It's natural. That's where his training is and that's what he does. You live in a world of family, friends, employees and rainbows. Cops live in a world of wife-beaters, addicts, pushers, murderers and rapists. It's not always easy to keep one's objectivity in that world...but, for the most part, they still do and should be commended for it.
Well, Mike, you have a point and you don't have a point, to coin a phrase.
A police person has a different set of obligations than I do. A police person chooses a difficult place to work and live that requires him or her to be very much in tune with all the cues that they get, but which only allows them to act on some of them. Their actions must pass legal muster and must be within constitutional bounds when they are acting in legally defined situations. That makes their lives very tough. A lot of people go into police work without a clear understanding of this, and they get very bitter and very angry very quickly because they didn't understand the job from the beginning. They want to have greater power and less responsibility than they in fact have, and that's a bad combination. The constraints of the constitution are very difficult for them.
They can make whatever judgements they want to make about a person based on ethnicity, gender, religion, race or whatever; but they are only allowed to act on very specific types of judgements. They are forced to disregard a lot of conclusions they may have come to because the constitution says that we do not allow our citizens to be treated based on ethnicity, gender, religion, race and so on. A cop has to be very clear about what sort of judgements they are allowed to make. Failure to be clear and to act clearly can get a case thrown out of court.
For the rest of us there are obligations as well.
We are obliged by law about some things.
About other things, we make prejudiced decisions or intuitive decisions that may be right or wrong depending on what the basis may be for our intuitions.
About the guy in the video, there were things that were very clear about him. 1) He was only a single person. That means that he was not "Mexican Community Leaders in Arizona welcoming the new law, behind it completely.." He made a point of saying that he was "American" and not "Hispanic." He certainly did not claim to be "Mexican," nor a "Mexican Community Leader..." He did claim to be successful. 2) While there was applause in the background, we have no idea who was applauding. It may have been a conclave of the most respected "Mexican Community Leaders" in Arizona or it may have been a group of drunks on a street corner. Whoever it was, the conclusion that it was a bunch of "Mexican Community leaders" who were completely behind the new law is not supported by any evidence that I saw in the clip. Perhaps you might care to point some out to me that I missed. 3) We have only his estimation that he was "successful," and not even further self-estimation of his success in any particular field. Was he successful at being "A respected Mexican Community Leader?" Was he successful at being famous? Was he filthy rich? Was he a successful leather entrepreneur? Was he a successful Whatever?
He might have been a successful career Criminal. We don't know, he hasn't told us, and you are building a background for him that you have no evidence for building.
What basis do I have for making any other judgement on the guy?
I point you back to the third quotation I have lifted from your comments. I am not a Dentist. I am not a Doctor. I am not a cop. I am not a military man, who examines each piece of ground with an eye to where to set up appropriate overlapping lanes of fire for a defense, and where I might try flanking maneuvers to bring enfilading fire to bear for attack.
I do have some competencies that may relate.
As part of my over-education, I am trained in counseling & consulting psychology and in social work. Specifically, I am fairly good at The Mental Status Exam, which assesses a whole bunch of factors, including the way somebody looks and talks and thinks out loud and uses language to come up with a fast evaluation. It's second nature. I've used it for more than 30 years. It's one of the lenses I see the world through, for better and for worse.
So yeah, I did actually make a quick judgement about the guy by the way he looks and sounds. It was a diagnostic judgement. It was interesting, and it wasn't useful to anybody but me. I certainly didn't have all the information I needed to do a complete Mental Status. I certainly got an interesting impression that's private because it's as likely to be wrong as not, and it's nobody's business anyway.
The gentleman on the tape that Denise presented with the kerchief and the tattoos may have identified himself as doing well, but you have promoted him to the status of community leader, which I did not hear him claim, and you also promote him to a status that sounded to me like community spokesman, which he may or may not be. What he was clearly was somebody who agreed with you and who dressed like the bikers I knew back in Massachusetts. Maybe he's a well-off leather entrepreneur, but for a man who says that a cop can't help but make cop-type judgements, you're remarkably restrained.
In looking at my comments, above, I notice that my comments are not about the biker, other than to note specific details of how he was dressed, and to comment that people I had seen dressed in the same style previously in another state had been bikers. I have no idea if this guy was a biker or not. Malcolm Forbes loved bikes, you know, and he did happen to be a community leader, though as far as I know he wasn't in the habit of giving tv interviews dressed this way.
About this man, joked he might have been a leather entrepreneur. Then I noted that it was funny the way that you had reacted to him.
With the comments you've made in the past about not being able to restrain a professional judgement — and I quoted you above on the subject — I thought it funny that you would leap to the assumption that here was a community leader, and that he was Mexican, and that the Mexican community was with him.
The man would hardly allow himself to be thought of as hispanic, let alone categorized as Mexican; or Cubano, or from Guatemala or whatever, for that matter. He did look like some of the leather guys I used to know back in Boston and Ohio and Iowa. Of course back then, everybody I remember who dressed like that was a hippie and was just as likely to give you a hug as not. That was nicer, I think. I miss that these days.