All posts by the Educating Gossip

Advocate, educator, inspirational speaker.

Turn Up the Dark | the Educating Gossip Finds Things to do in the Dark

Turn Up the Dark

#EarthHourLive

Own It!

I’ll admit this is the first year I’ve heard of and will be participating in this annual event.  Every year, hundreds of millions of people around the world switch off their lights for one designated hour to demonstrate a commitment to fighting climate change.

Feel It!

This year, Earth Hour takes place at 8:30 p.m. local time on March 25. There’s never been a more critical moment for the world to show solidarity for and a strong commitment to fighting climate change. By going dark, local government, cities, companies, landmarks, and individuals send the message that we will remain steadfast as we deliver on the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.  All life on planet Earth is at risk.  Its sucks.

Live It!

Momentum is on our side. The world is looking toward a renewable future. This Earth Hour, turn up the dark and get loud about climate action. Let the world know you’re all in!

Love It!

the Educating Gossip ™ is in!  Are you?

Turn Up the Dark

#EarthHourLive #EducatingGossip

Why Discussing Race and Class Continues to be Necessary | International Day for the Elimination of Discrimination

Getting up close to examine[1] why everyone everywhere needs to continue race and class discussions if we love one another.

Own it!

Through critique and criticism, I examine my thoughts and own what I believe–leaving space to modify my beliefs as new and truer information is received.

Finding purpose and meaning in life is human nature. The brain by its design generates thoughts about our experience of being alive. What does it mean to be on a planet, in what appears to be a cosmos devoid of other similar life forms? Are we unique? Is our presence here of some significance, whether grand or inconsequential?

Is it human nature for the brain to think about and then move individuals to act on those thoughts and form ‘out-groups’ based on biases like skin tone, sexuality, gender, abilism? Or to form ‘heirarchies’ based on heuristics like stereotypes, cognitive ease, the halo effect, et cetera? The human brain produces and processes thoughts that involve ideas and concepts about the future. What is the future for the planet where humans discuss the source of these biased and hierarchical thoughts and behaviors?

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March). Thus, this reflection of the Oscar nominated feature film documentary, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO.   What struck me most profoundly is author James Baldwin’s prescience in clearly understanding the dynamic at play in America regarding power’s use of racial bias as a means to economic gain while at the same time ignoring the oppression and suffering this brings to individuals and communities.

This documentary film does just that. It explores and examines the life of distinguished American James Baldwin. Baldwin devoted his life to understanding the nature of humans to racially discriminate and manufacture class hierarchies. Those thoughts formed his writings, his understanding of reality and his experience of the world. He lived a fascinating life. One that lead him to believe that only through acceptance that these biases and hierarchies are the product of the thoughts and actions of a few intent on achieving and amassing power, and then rejecting that power structure could humans live the realized shared aspiration to be equal and pursue happiness.

 Feel It!

I acknowledge the scientific fact that emotions influence the thoughts that inform my opinions.

Exposing myself to the thoughts of those who have dedicated their lives to exploring history, philosophy, ethics, religion, science, et cetera enriches my experience and understanding of what this life is. It gives me knowledge of what to do, how to live a life as an independent individual (with responsibilities to self) and how to live a life as a dependent individual in community (with responsibilities to others).

Watching this film was admittedly emotionally challenging. Seeing the history of America unfold in the murders of democratic society leaders Macolm X, the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy, Meadger Evers, civil rights activists Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney, and so many more as it maintains race and hierarchy to provide a continuous source of cheap labor for capitalism’s economic system. It has become an increasingly deregulated, unaccountable economic system that has spread to the global community of all humans.

 Live It!

I can now more consciously act in ways that form my experiences of the world, the lens through which I see, the filter through which I understand others and myself.

The film has enlivened me to face the reality that generates these racial and class divides. I actively seek insights from fact-based and truer sources that tell me how, in America’s flawed democracy, how to resist and dismantle the limiting, biased thought and actions that keep humans everywhere from equality with one another and the ability to purse happiness. I resist anxiety-generating thoughts of my own and those of others that are not based in truth and fact. And, I act in the spirit of all humans are created equal, and the pursuit of happiness.

 Love It!

I’m now more fully aware of my thoughts, how they influence my feelings and actions. I experience life with more emotional well-being and happiness.

James Baldwin inspires me. His debate with William F. Buckley, Jr. remains an icon to discussion and logical conclusion to end racism and class hierarchy.

 

#jointogether #standup4humanrights #fightracism #AfricanDescent

[1] the Educating Gossip pioneered a way to approach life using critique, criticism, emerging science of how humans acquire belief through the processes of the brain (thoughts and emotions), and the spirit or energy of belief is expressed in the world. For more information, see SSRN Paper

Live It! Love It! | Be Brave, Live Courageously

OPPOSITIONAL CULTURAL PRACTICE, INTEGRAL THEORY, & SPIRAL DYNAMICS – A REFLECTION

The concept of memes resonates with the philosophy of Grace Lee Boggs, an activist philosopher from Detroit Michigan. Ms. Boggs was of the belief that once you have reached a goal, you have stagnated. Her idea was that movements, activism, growth, creativity, art, is in constant movement. It is always in development. The movement grows, evolves and changes.

Jared Anderson, in his January 25, 2017 JFKU blog post Spiral Dynamics Theory and the 2016 Presidential Election states, “After the green postmodern stage is integral consciousness. This new stage has an extremely important feature which is that it is not just a meme jump, but a tier jump. This jump is moving from an ethnocentric identification into a world-centric identification.” This is an interesting statement from an historical perspective. Consider Ms. Boggs as an example. In the documentary of her life, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, she is asked why she has experienced neither psychological cognitive dissonance nor conflict with being a woman and a Chinese American in a predominately African American community doing civil rights work. The persistent asking of this question by the documentarian Grace Lee perplexed Ms. Boggs. After some reflection, Ms. Boggs noted that her formative years in the movement preceded the women’s rights movement and the Asian American rights movement. Thus, her perspective was not segmented nor informed in this way. This reflects the early civil rights movement when the movement itself was universal, seeking freedom for all oppressed peoples in the world, with a focus on the trials and struggles of African-Americans. And so it seems Mr. Anderson is suggesting that we are now in a meme that is reflective of the early days of the civil rights movement. A time when the emphasis and focus was on global liberation of people everywhere, with attention, in America, on advancing liberation through securing civil rights for African-Americans, and by extension, all Americans.

That said, Oppositional Cultural Practice™ is a return this homoversal and universal values focus, along with an emphasis on humility. Mr. Anderson writes, “World-centric thinking is the world of, “I am right, but partial, and so are you.” This is indeed a welcomed consciousness evolutionary step, yet one that is not new. As it is written in Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun. Perhaps the time is now ripe for world centric thinking to bear fruit once again (recalling the civil rights gains of the 1930’s and 1960’s.) The challenge, as I see it, will be to expand this renewed focus on world-centric thinking and humility (a willingness to hold the thought that one could be wrong and that an adjustment to one’s thinking may, and probably will, need to occur.) In Oppositional Cultural Practice™, historical critique and criticism coincide with spirituality to transform both self and society.

The JFKU online courses I have developed, and that are available for everyone’s edification, speak to these ideas through Oppositional Cultural Practice™. Although the courses provide continuing education units for lawyers, the content is designed to be accessible and practical for all people who desire to experience personal and social transformation. Through these courses, one can gain new understanding into world-centric consciousness and its connection to the world’s wisdom traditions.

Legal Practice and Feeling Go(o)d: #1 California Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 3-110 Failing to Act Competently

Legal Practice and Feeling Go(o)d: #2 Critical Race Theory – Introduction to the Genre, Intellectual Influences and Emerging Issues

Legal Practice and Feeling Go(o)d: #3 Competence Issues

Legal Practice and Feeling Go(o)d: #4 Practice, Praxis and Connecting with Feelings of Well-Being

The journey of transformation can be emotionally charged for some individuals, as it requires critique and criticism of deeply held beliefs, often up-ending reality as we once knew it. The courage to change one’s reality can be grasped. At the February 2, 2017 screening of Abby Ginzberg’s film Soul of Justice: Thelton Henderson’s American Journey, at Berkeley Law, Judge Henderson, when asked where he found his source of courage, said

“Through seeing bravery, I became bolder and bolder. You learn courage by seeing courage.”

My strategy for the next four years is to organize and build alliances based on universal values; and to imagine, create, and realize new institutions, systems, and structures that bend the arch of the moral universe towards justice. Interested in joining me on this journey? Go to the online course catalogue and sign up. I look forward to engaging with you there.

Written by Kim E. Clark, J.D. Adjunct Professor and certified Spiritual and Social Transformation changemaker. View her work at SSRN Author ID: 2430405

Contact her at the Educating Gossip 

TAGS: Consciousness & Transformative Studies; Law; Legal Studies; #EducationForChange #EducatingGossip #Women’sHistoryMonth #jointogether #standup4humanrights #fightracism #AfricanDescent

HOLI, LENT, LAW & ME | Spring Festivals and Celebrations…

HOLI, LENT, LAW & ME

Spring Festivals and Celebrations – Getting up close to examine[1] spirituality, law and me as both an individual and a member of community.

Own it!

Through critique and criticism, I examine my thoughts and own what I believe– leaving space to modify my beliefs as new and truer information is received.

Spring ushers in the arrival of celebrations. Today, people are celebrating Holi, a Hindu spring festival known as the “festival of colors.” The festival signifies the arrival of spring and the victory of good over evil. Other people are well into Lent, a Christian spring celebration. Lent is a time of year when individuals and community reflect on how to live together as one, on this planet. The individual engages in self-refection to identify and sacrifice a personal behavior that impedes realization of this universal goal. (It is not self-punishment or extreme hardship.) Recurring rituals and traditions are designed to bring the individual and the community together to advance peace and harmony.

Laws alone cannot create a civil society. The individual and community also have a responsibility to develop local customs and set of behaviors, and to inspire to the spirit and aspirations of the democratic society.

 Feel It!

I acknowledge the scientific fact that emotions influence the thoughts that inform my opinions.

I can easily feel discouraged and isolated and alone when I am seemingly in community with people. I attend conferences and seminars, book club meetings and other gatherings. Yet I leave with no lasting connections. What I realized in reading about Lent is that the scheduling and looking forward to engaging with groups and individuals who share a common desire for inclusive love, without judgment, creates a different dynamic. It can create more satisfying feelings of community and shared accountability to others, and myself.

Live It!

I can act more consciously in ways that form my experiences of the world; shape the lens through which I see the world; that filters the thoughts that form my understanding of others and myself.

So for Lent, my self-sacrifice and repentance is to release behaviors that keep me from maintaining a deeper awareness of my human nature (that is, to produce thoughts that can be biased; to feel and be influenced by emotions; to need to be connected to something greater than myself). I will sacrifice anxiety about current events and instead, face the reality of uncertainty. I will sacrifice doubt about expressing spirituality.  I will accept that it is a human motivational need. I will sacrifice my fear of death (non-being) and instead, act in ways that affirm that all humans are created equal and it is their nature to pursue happiness.

Love It!

I’m now more fully aware of my thoughts, how they influence my feelings and actions. I experience life with more emotional well-being and happiness.

[1] the Educating Gossip pioneered an approach life using critique, criticism, emerging science of how humans acquire belief through the processes of the brain (thoughts and emotions), and the spirit or energy of belief is expressed in the world.

Live It! | New Online Courses

Legal Practice and Feeling Go(o)d: #1 California Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 3-110 Failing to Act Competently

Legal Practice and Feeling Go(o)d: #2 Critical Race Theory – Introduction to the Genre, Intellectual Influences and Emerging Issues

Legal Practice and Feeling Go(o)d: #3 Competence Issues

Legal Practice and Feeling Go(o)d: #4 Practice, Praxis and Connecting with Feelings of Well-Being

Own It! How appropriate it is on International Women’s Day to face the world as it is.  Making this conscious  choice to go up close, and examine our beliefs today and everyday is empowering.  It takes courage to critically ask:  Where did these beliefs came from? Do these beliefs now need to change in light of new understandings?  This journey must be prepared for before it is begun.

Feel It!  It can feel scary and unsettling to have our core beliefs challenged.  Especially when those beliefs are revealed to be untrue or based on bias and mistakes.  Yet, it is the honor of being human to learn, stretch and grow.  Making space for our thoughts, feelings and actions to constantly develop is a sign of maturity, and a civic responsibility.  Yet, it is emotionally hard to do sometimes.

Live It!  These online courses are designed to prepare those who are willing to undertake this classic human hero’s journey that results in seeing life as it is.  The courses are one hour each, with transcripts and audio.  Completion of the courses can lead to personal and social transformation because it reveals how to live a human life that is rich with purpose, meaning, and a truer understanding of others and ourselves.

Love It!  Sign up for the courses and embrace the new beginnings that await.

 

Love It! | International Women’s Day Celebrations

 

 

Clara Zetkin and Rosa Luxembourg in January 1910

Own It!   Note the human error in linking this day to an event that did not occur (a 1908 strike of the International Ladies Garment Worker’s Union.)  Let’s not let this be a stumbling block to the spirit of protecting our human rights and its rich global history.  So long as there is a desire to produce, create, buy and sell, the need for restraint and oversight of these economic activities will continue.  It is a necessary element of economics and human rights.

Feel It! Today is International Women’s Day and I am excited.  Remembering to hold an awareness of human history, our relationships with economic development and human rights, is an act that feels astonishing.

Live It!  Check out UNESCO,  Wiki, the Google Doodle and search, to remember our human history.  Get out there and march, and/or get Social Media active: Tweet, Follow, Like the events of the day.  Make a note on your calendar  for next year’s celebration, with plans to become more involved in 2018.

Love It!

Love It! Teach Yourself

Love It!

I just stumbled across a series of books designed to help individuals teach themselves about basic philosophical concepts at work in civil societies.

You don’t often get easily accessible secondary sources that take complex primary sources about philosophy and make it understandable.  It’s easy to know why ethics and ethical behavior is required not just for individuals but especially for individuals who are elected to serve and govern a country.

These books are so important, especially now when many people, in many countries, are living with flawed democracies.  I’m reading them and learning how to improve the performance of democracy.  Check them out from your local library. Or, click on our Resources page.

Live It!  Love It!

UPDATE Individual Fears Produce Racist Acts – Transformation and Healing on the Horizon | Educating Gossip

LIVE IT!

PART I

The American Bar Association Journal posted on September 22, 2016 that the police officer who shot and killed stranded motorist Terence Crutcher on September 16, 2016 will be charged with manslaughter in that fatal shooting.

As I posted recently, emotions are linked to racial beliefs. According to reports, Officer Betty Shelby has said in an affidavit she feared for her life and had ordered Crutcher to get down on his knees.

One wonders where the fear arose from: Is it a result of police training that teaches to treat everyone as a criminal, rush in spouting commands, and feel the emotion of fear if the individual reaches for a closed driver’s door?

And, is it possible the professed fear arose from some paradigm shared by others in the police department? (A paradigm is a set of understood assumptions that are not meant to be tested; in fact they are essentially unconscious. These buried assumptions are part of one’s every day thinking.) Note that both the Tulsa World newspaper and Tulsa television station KJRH later reported that video footage contradicted initial reports:

7:43 p.m.: Helicopter footage begins, showing Terence Crutcher slowly walking with arms up toward his vehicle while being followed at a close distance by two uniformed officers. One of the men in the helicopter notes that it appears a Taser is about to be deployed, and the other comments that Crutcher “looks like a bad dude, maybe on something.”

One must ask, “How can one make such a character assessment from high above in a helicopter?” And why pull a gun? Clearly others on that police force understood that other less lethal options were available and in fact one officer had Taser sights on the stranded motorist.

PART II

Daniel Kahneman has reportedly stated that it is his hope that the modes of thinking that result in bias and errors in decision-making will become widely understood and efforts will be made to adjust one’s thinking so that bias and errors are reduced or eliminated. He calls this educating gossip. In this case, perhaps one sees System 1 intuitive thinking behind both the officer’s actions and the helicopter pilot’s statement. Intuitive thinking is fast, automatic and emotional and often based on paradigms (simple mental rules of thumb), and thinking biases that result in impressions, feelings and inclinations.

Perhaps what we witnessed was representativeness heuristic. Heuristics, very simply stated, involves or serves as an aid to problem-solving, learning or discovery.  Representativeness heuristic is when an individual intuitively thinks that different events that seem similar to the individual have a similar likelihood or occurrence—when often they don’t. Perhaps this different event of a stranded black male motorist seemed similar to some other event where danger was present, when in fact, this occurrence was not the same.

 

Take a look at this under 2 minute video to hear what educating gossip is:

 

PART III

System 2 thinking poses other bias and errors in thinking.

According to Kahneman, System 2 thinking is rational thinking that is slow, deliberate and systematic and based on considered evaluation that result in logical conclusions. And yet, System 2 lazy thinking can lead to errors and bias in decision-making.

Perhaps confirmation bias resulted in the killing of the stranded motorist, Terence Crutcher. Confirmation bias is intuitive thinking (fast, automatic and emotional and often based on paradigms (simple mental rules of thumb), and thinking biases that result in impressions, feelings and inclinations) towards interpreting information in a way that confirms preconceptions. Clearly, the pilot voiced his preconception that the motorist “looks like a bad dude, maybe on something.” Here, it is difficult to identify what information about a motorist and a stopped vehicle can be interpreted in a way that perhaps confirmed these preconceptions.

One can also consider perhaps an additional System 2 bias at the center of these police actions: Halo Effect and WYSIATI.

The Halo Effect is intuitive thinking biased by existing judgments about a person—if one judges the person negatively in one respect, one is likely to assume they will be negative in another. In other words, Shelby may have been judged Cruther to be a “bad dude” in one respect, leading to an assumption that he is a “bad dude” in this circumstance. (Note that there is some debate in race studies about possible underlying psychological anxieties, reinforced by racial stereotypes, that often result in acts of violence against racial minorities.)

WYSIATI

WYSIATI is intuitive thinking biased by the assumption that “What You See Is All There Is” where one discounts or ignores what one does not know; jumping to conclusions on the basis of limited information. WYSIATI helps to explain over confidence, framing effects, and base-rate neglect biases.

Perhaps the officers were over confident, intuitively believing that they were encountering a ‘bad dude.’ WYSIATI rule implies neither the quantity nor the quality of the evidence counts for much in subjective confidence (like the motorist’s hands in the air; the vehicle stopped in the road.) The confidence that individuals have in their beliefs depends mostly on the quality of the story they can tell themselves about what they see, even if they see little. They often fail to allow for the possibility that evidence that should be critical to their judgment is missing—what we see is all there is.

WYSIATI also helps to explain other bias that may have been present at the point of decision-making by the officer. Perhaps the framing effect bias also was present. The framing effect is when different ways of presenting the same information often evokes different emotions. If the same information of a stranded motorist had been the same, yet the different way of presenting was a white female or a white elderly male motorist, that information might have evoked different emotions in the police officers such as compassion, empathy, provision of aid instead of evoking feelings of fear. (If indeed we accept this defense of fear to be accurate.)

And lastly, WYSIATI also helps to explain another bias that may have been present at the point of decision-making by the officer: Base-rate neglect. The personality description perhaps held by the police of Cruther as a ‘bad dude’ is salient and vivid, and although one surely knows that there are more black male law-abiding citizens than black male ‘bad dudes’, that statistical fact almost certainly did not come to mind when they first considered the hapless motorist.

PART IV CONCLUSION

It is highly likely System I and System 2 biases were in play during this tragic encounter between police and a motorist needing roadside assistance. Many questions arise: Why were the responding police officers so suspicious? Why did the officer rush in rather than take the time to assess the situation? Why not see the situation as a motorist needing assistance rather than a ‘bad dude’ who needs to be shouted into submission? Why the use of lethal force? These and many more questions can be answered by bias and errors in decision-making: System I and System 2 thinking.

The good news is that as people talk about and consider these human biases and errors in thinking, educating gossip will become more natural and commonplace, thus displacing intuitive thinking that is fast, automatic and emotional and often based on paradigms (simple mental rules of thumb); and thinking biases that result in impressions, feelings and inclinations. And by reducing lazy System 2 thinking that can lead to errors and bias in decision-making.

Watch the video again about educating gossip and join me in owning our beliefs; feeling courage to change those beliefs so when we know better we can do better; live a better life in community with others; and love the life you live. Let’s start edugossiping!!

Own it! Feel It! Live It! Love It!

the Educating Gossip ™

 

When the Killer Wears a Badge: Race, Advocacy, and Healing

When the Killer Wears a Badge: Race, Advocacy and Healing

Own it!

Image Courtesy APA
Image Courtesy APA

I am currently researching a paper while reading the works of psychoanalysts who are uncovering how power uses race as a tool to oppress people around the globe for economic gain. I appeal to all psychoanalysts to step up and advocate for human kindness and dignity to be afforded to all people. The profession is in an ethical impasse, as I understand it, about its place in society to advocate from their position as professional healers. And while Rome burns, they fiddle. This I know is harsh criticism of the profession and I know it does not reflect the position of everyone in the profession. Yet, society needs them to lead the way towards healing. The works of Paul L. Wachtel, Carter A. Wilson, Robert Maxwell Young, Frantz Omar Fano, Joel Kovel, Eugene Victor Wolfenstein and so many more reveal that we must never lose sight of the economic and social interests being served and mediated by racism. Racism is viewed as false consciousness at the social level, scapegoating and rationalization at the individual level. It is not unique and is always a mediation of socio-economic issues. What is unique is its virulence – the sheer psychotic permissiveness of racist feelings and the actions to which they lead.

I can’t do this work, as I am not a trained psychoanalyst. Thus I call upon the profession of psychoanalysis to engage in professional advocacy on behalf of human kindness and dignity.

Feel It!

13-year-old Tyre King, who police said was wanted for questioning in an armed robbery, ended up fatally shot by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio. Photo Courtesy of Walton and Brown, LLP
13-year-old Tyre King, who police said was wanted for questioning in an armed robbery, ended up fatally shot by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio. Photo Courtesy of Walton and Brown, LLP

As a lawyer who studies critical race theory and spirituality, and having developed a theory for personal and social healing, I still felt in my body shaking, my stomach churning, tears streaming from my eyes; and the emotions of profound sadness, helplessness, frustration, exhaustion, insecurity, disgust and so many more emotions when I read stories of two black men and a 13-year-old male child were killed by police since September 14th. (Tyre King, Columbus, OH; Keith Lamont Scott, Charlotte NC; Terence Crutcher, Tulsa, OK) and the release of a shocking video characterized by former Cook County Judge Andrew Berman as “gangster-like” police shooting, saying, according to Susan Richardson, Editor and Publisher of the Chicago Reporter, “If these had been White kids, this would not have been handled this way.” How can one justify tazing a motorist who is trying their best to not be a threat by hands up, hands on vehicle when all that is happening is a motorist needing assistance? Where is the “Serve?” The facts of these killings suggest something deeper is happening. The psychoanalysts have insights to this phenomenon. The economic and social relationship comes first and finds plenty of scope for mediation through human psychic processes. I can relax, breath deeply and write. The emotions of hope, optimism and enthusiasm now give me courage and vitality to carry on my work. I am a lawyer. I recognize that policing is difficult; it requires continuous training on officer safety, identification of threats, proper use of force, and so many other tactics. Yet the center of policing, to “Protect and Serve,” requires people skills and emotional intelligence.

Live It!

Image Courtesy ClassCrits
Image Courtesy ClassCrits

In doing the work of critical race theory and spirituality, I can add that it might be wise for society to consider a higher standard of care required by trained police officers than that of an ordinary citizen who has not received the specialized training of police officers. The current “fear of imminent danger” is woefully lacking in its acceptance of a recitation by trained officers that “I was afraid.” Policing by definition places officers in harm’s way. One should be afraid. Yet, proper training and debiasing practices can reduce or eliminate the emotion of fear to the point of killing when encountering black people.

I think about Young’s statement that “the dialectic – the deep, mutually constitutive interrelations between the racist and the oppressed. What binds them together is not only the worst aspects of human nature – aspects that may well be ineradicable. What makes these destructive aspects take the specific form of racism is historically contingent, and at the root of that contingency is the social and economic organisation of the world that gives order to consent along the lines of economic and nationalistic relationships which are specific to our own age.”

Love It!

Original painting by Emilia Bang-Chalk used with permission of the artist’s parents.
Original painting by Emilia Bang-Chalk used with permission of the artist’s parents.

I intend to incorporate these psychoanalytic findings and revelations into my work. On September 16, 2016, NBC News published an article by writers Kurt Chirbas, Alexander Smith and Erik Orti, reporting “As with all police-involved shootings, the officers will receive “mandated psychological support counseling” and be given the opportunity to “take leave time to assist in recovery from a traumatic experience,” according to Columbus police.”   Let’s hope the psychological support counseling is lead by professionals familiar with the psychoanalytic studies about race, power and justice. Let’s hope the counseling provided is informed by the economic and social interests being served and mediated by racism. Let’s hope, dare I add, the counseling reaches beyond recovering from a traumatic experience to racial healing.

“The key to any attempt to keep economic and social interests in the forefront of our understanding [about racism] is to try to think dialectically,” suggests Young.

 “The arch of the moral Universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

More Moral Panics : Dog Whistles that Distract | the Educating Gossip ™

KaepernickOwn It: I find moral panics both bothersome and intriguing. On the one hand, I know them to be lame attempts to disrupt, distract, and divide, typically around race. Yet as a strategy, it is so effective at snaring a large segment of the community. Why? Why are individuals so easily triggered emotionally to the extent that they can’t think straight?

Feel It: These moral panics get me shaking my head: I’m no longer amazed, nor surprised by the panic it creates. As I dive deeper into my spiritual journey, I feel sad. Good people want to care about issues that matter. And the technique of moral panics is jerking their chain: intentionally causing stress, pain, dis-ease, outrage, and strife.

All these intentionally negative disruptions cause tears in the fabric of peace and unity within the individual and the community. Wisdom studies identify these acts of disruption as a mindset, a spirit, if you will. It is a mindset of hate, hostility, and confusion. Individuals are warned to beware of these tactics and people who use them. These warnings are found everywhere: in theology, religion, spirituality, humanist studies, psychology, sociology, and just plain common sense. And yet, so many fall prey to its emotional moralistic triggers.

For my Christian friends, I think on Colossians 3: 12-17. The two ideas in these passages inform me to know that the wisdom contained in these writings are worthy of consideration; and second, that this source of wisdom recognizes and acknowledges that there is a longing in individuals to experience freedom from the moralistic regulations and religious systems that enslave them. Here is how to do so: “…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience….And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Live It: So I chose to write. I seek to draw to me, those individuals who seek enlightenment through my process of studying critical race theory and bias. The sharing, I believe, will elevate us all now. There is so much good information and communities of consciousness available to anyone who seeks a deeper and richer understating of reality (that is to say, humans on a planet spinning wildly through the cosmos).   This process includes creating a life well lived as an individual living in community with the world.

Love It: For me, life on this planet is a vastly interesting human experience that brings me more joy than angst. My intention is to share this experience and welcome you, in the spirit to love, to join me.

Take Aways:

Beware of all or nothing thinking.

As to Kaepernick: Remember that individuals have the cherished right to free speech. Each individual must bear responsibility for their own life’s journey. Protest and dissent is a precious American value. It may not be the choice you would make, but it’s their life choice and ought to be respected.

And lastly, Lotche and personal responsibility: the truth matters. Lies (including embellishments, exaggerations, half-truths, and boulder dash), especially when designed to shift the blame for one’s own bad judgments and decisions, onto others and in the process attack the core being of the other’s human dignity, is just plain wrong, period.

These events ought not to be causes for  individual or community moral panic. However, it is cause for seeing the reality of democracy at work (Kaepernick), and for seeing the reality of bad decisions made by an immature adult (Lotche).