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CynicalScouter

BSA's Commitment to Act Against Racial Injustice

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23 minutes ago, PACAN said:

rational decisions and thought processes are devoid in people today. 

Hear, hear. 

When you look at the empirical data and studies done, you cannot reasonably reach the conclusion there is "systemic" racism, nor is there a police bias.  It is perceived...

There are, however, far too many cases of excessive use of force...but race is not a statistically significant causal factor in these.

https://killedbypolice.net/

See the bottom of the splash page for "proven solutions"

None of those have anything to do with race...

When we disguise our feelings as thought, we make all nonsense possible.

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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2 hours ago, PACAN said:

The question  on the pamphlet vs a MB is making it Eagle required is where do you want the BSA to inject itself in this area?   My point is early.  This will overtime become another last minute MB done to check the block.  Also believe it or not we are not the primary influence on a boys life.   We see then an hour and a half a week and once a month on an outdoor event if we are lucky.  Just as in Family Life MB family meeting requirement there are sensitive topics that are discussed and we are not going to inject ourselves in these.

Two thoughts, First - MBs are only a check in the block is the scouts leadership lets it be.  If you teach scouts standards and the need to meet them early, you can instill in them the same outlook on standards throughout their lives.  You let them pencil whip it or ignore it, what is the lesson they learn.  And you can control this.  Second - if this is what you see in the value of scouting and the ability to impact a scouts life, why are you doing this?  For some, we are the primary influence.  For some, we may be the only opposing view of that they learn or hear at home.  And I firmly think we should be there for those "some" scouts.  Otherwise, why is Eagle Scout held in such regard?  Why do people spend their hard earned cash and time on scouts?

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2 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Hear, hear. 

When you look at the empirical data and studies done, you cannot reasonably reach the conclusion there is "systemic" racism, nor is there a police bias.  It is perceived...

There are, however, far too many cases of excessive use of force...but race is not a statistically significant causal factor in these.

https://killedbypolice.net/

See the bottom of the splash page for "proven solutions"

None of those have anything to do with race...

When we disguise our feelings as thought, we make all nonsense possible.

Two thoughts,

  First based on your website -  "Police killed 1004 people in 2019. Black people were 24% of those killed despite being only 13% of the population"

Second, and the most important in my mind - this is not about systematic racism or police bias.  That is what some of the protest are about, but it is really about stopping racism in the entire country.  This is not a new problem, it has been part of this nation since its start.  It did not end after the civil war, it did not end with civil rights legislation, it still exist.   That is what the MB and the scouts can help stop.  And if we can, why would we not do that?  I am not saying it has to be a MB, but is should be part of the program.   BSA has the ability to influence young minds in so many positive ways.  

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6 minutes ago, Navybone said:

MBs are only a check in the block is the scouts leadership lets it be. 

Let it be.  Let it be. Let it be. Let it be. Whisper words of wisdom. Let it be.

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there are some indications that unconscious bias are at work, but it is equal opportunity.  I'll not do the researchers justice but let me explain why this bears some scrutiny.  Statistics can matter.  Why?  It demonstrates recorded patters and when they are presented to the public, that becomes their impression. 

The press and internet bear a lot of the blame on this particular issue because they report the sensational and selectively based on what keeps their ratings up.  Humans go for the wild and sensational, always have.  But we get pounded and bombarded with the stories that are tailor made for consumption and ratings.  Humans, as a rule, also don't like complexity and are so hurried that details are compressed down to a simple short story that will basically evoke an emotional response.  How statistics are presented can be highly misleading as we all can appreciate and sometimes the publicly presented statistics do not include the disclaimers that go along with it.  I won't get into examples, too much, because I will seem too partisan but the Michigan study recently published is one such instance.  

But with unconscious bias, there are patterns, but I would argue they are quite normal patterns for humans.  If, for example, we acknowledge the fact that high crime areas require more police interaction, the statistics correctly show that there are disproportionate contacts among police and minorities. Surprise surprise that's where the crime is.  If anyone deals in circumstances where consistent types of behaviors, such as crime, are present with specific groups, its perfectly natural that the human mind begins to associate such groups with crime.  With regard to policing, this has been found to be true among black police officers as well.  The idea of profiling is the more recent infamous example.  Since middle eastern terrorism is reported showing olive skinned Muslim over and over, the human mind associates the two.  One of the problems with such reporting is that, predictably, anyone with olive skin or a funny sounding name from that part of the world raises a red flag in the human mind.  These can be conscious of course, but they are unconscious biases as well.  If the only news one gets is one type of person constantly committing the crime, its natural for human instinct to want to preserve itself by categorizing the potential threat, This is especially true given that humans are largely a sight oriented species and our unconscious recognition systems are constantly on the lookout for danger. 

In this description, I am demonstrating how the process can work on an unconscious level.  Certainly, there is conscious bias that one must recognize and work on.  That gets into mindfulness that cognitive therapy teaches (and no I'm no therapist or educator).  There is also confusion about culture, language and expressiveness that are so varied that it is easier to categorize in a general way than think one's way through it.  Again, people don't like to think, time is always short, instinct is always at work and we use the information we have to identify and go from there.  None of these processes are wrong, they are processes.  We may get the wrong information, inaccurate information, misleading information or disinformation, but that gets back, in part, to statistics and the sources of information we get and experience.  There are certainly more components to this and my understanding is about as simplistic as it comes.  But, I would agree that the idea of racism as a deliberate and conscious effort in police departments is less likely than its made out to be. 

The use of force is even more complex.  If the application of force were statistically and accurately charted across the board for all ethnicities (excluding shootings) and the circumstances involved, I wonder what they would be.  I don't know.  In terms of absolute numbers, one would never say there was bias, but absolute numbers are never really included.  In terms of ratio, I wonder how much of a difference (including shooting) would be attributed to the frequency of police interaction in crime filled areas as I mentioned above.  One thing is certain.  The statistical data across the breadth of the United States is not anywhere near comprehensive or complete at any level.  That is a separate problem. (one statistic that isn't tracked at all are the instances of security guards shooting intruders). 

So unconscious bias due to frequency of interaction, I suggest, is a key factor here rather than conscious and deliberate intentions to perpetuate some sort of apartheid, Jim Crow state.  Do I in any way suggest that there is nothing to be done?  Of course not.  But its sort of like police officers who are also in the guard and reserves who went over to Iraq.  They were subject to life and death situations every day and had the local population that couldn't be distinguished friend from enemy.  One wrong move or assumption could get you and others maimed or killed.  Then, when they return home, they are expected to psychologically flip a switch and turn off the instinct and training - conscious or not.  One might as well ask a doctor not to look at everyday events from a medical stand point or botanist from a biological view. 

I have yet to hear of that many productive solutions other than not pursuing certain types of crime, not enforcing regulatory violations of vehicles, refunding and disbanding police.  Its true that the recruiting and training in the last decade has emphasized a sort of warrior mentality that pits police against civilians in a sort of paramilitary manner.  That does attract a certain type of kill them all and god will know his own mentality.  But that is not the officers fault.  Its true that unemployment, chronic poverty, homelessness and mental illness (especially mental illness) are perpetual generators of criminal activity.  But its naive to think that such programs will remove unconscious bias or somehow eliminate crime.  Those topics go far beyond the racism question.

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1 minute ago, Navybone said:

Police killed 1004 people in 2019. Black people were 24% of those killed despite being only 13% of the population

Correlation is not cause.  If you do not understand the difference, I recommend you read up on it.

BSA is not an agent of cultural change.  By following their mission, they may affect it, but it is not the mission.

Racism, or sexism, or ageism, or "genderism", or any other discrimination-"ism" you can name (as well as religious discrimination) have always existed.  They are part of our human nature which we must eternally struggle against.  You will never end them.

There is a simple answer, 'Love God, and love your neighbor as you love yourself."

Scout Oath and Scout Law are simple codes that encapsulate those simple ideas.  No need for new laws, new programs, or new MB's.  In our circles, just follow the Scout Oath and Scout Law.  You will not find any better solution.

 

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I agree entirely.  Every culture in history has emphasized that statement "Love your neighbor as yourself" (they vary a bit on God)

If someone isn't willing to love their neighbor, no training, no pleading no cultural sensitivity , diversity training or even law will work.  In that instance, they have decided.  What seems to be occurring is a forced pill shoved down the throat with a bellows on a patient.  Its as if one group of people believe the others don't know or are just too stupid to what is going on among communities.  We have Citizenship in the Community, Nation and  merit badges which offer forums for exactly this sort of issue.  Those could be tweaked to include any additional concerns but the content of those badges are quite sufficient and always have been to introduce young scouts to issues of the day.  Indeed, I agree Scouting is not an agent of change - though they quickly included and recruited blacks in the early years of its inception here in the states.  Scouts do NOT need to be made an extension of politics. Diversity has been and continues to be a hallmark of scouts in religion (God and Country) and national and international forums.  If scouts is to be political about anything, its focus on Citizen knowledge of American institutions and civic responsibility are the keys.  The rest is up to parents and the community at large outside of the troop , otherwise, you will have to resort to installing political commissars in each troop to be sure the proper party line is being towed.  Extreme? yes, but no less than the dynamics ripping up the scouts and driving people out.

 

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11 minutes ago, Troop75Eagle said:

The rest is up to parents and the community at large outside of the troop , otherwise, you will have to resort to installing political commissars in each troop to be sure the proper party line is being towed. 

Spell check.  BSA spells it commissioners.

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22 hours ago, David CO said:

BSA doesn't own the councils or the units.  It is not their house.  

While I would agree, there are a whole bunch of lawyers that would beg to differ with that opinion.

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1 minute ago, Jameson76 said:

While I would agree, there are a whole bunch of lawyers that would beg to differ with that opinion.

I agree.  The lawyers end up owning the house.

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47 minutes ago, David CO said:

Spell check.  BSA spells it commissioners.

I was twisting the knife because that’s what the Soviet NKVD had to be sure all units were in line

46 minutes ago, David CO said:

I agree.  The lawyers end up owning the house.

Indeed!  But there are lawyers and judges in scouts.  That is where they step up to do what is needed.

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I will hasten to add this, if you go and search for Albuquerque man chased down, you will see protesters chasing a solitary man, laying hands on and threatening to kill.  As a last resort, the man pulls his own weapon and shoots.

in Portland, Oregon, a statue of Jefferson has been toppled as racist.  There is a lot that is going on that is assaulting Scouting traditions.  Each day it gets worse it seems.  Isolated incidents do not make for a new norm.  News is designed to be emotional and inflammatory and has become volatile to an extreme.  Scouts is being dragged into this mire more and more.  
 

I can think of a number of new avenues that, if one is not careful, the BSA will become a reactive institution scrambling to constantly appeal to every social blip on the radar.  That is not scouting.  

 

 

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I’m not a betting man on something like this. But at this point, it would be hard if not impossible to dispute the reason for the action.  Everyone must accept that no place or activity is immune from the effects of explosive politics forcibly injected into everything.  My statement isn’t a value judgement, just an acknowledgement of how the world has come to be in this country. 

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