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    The New York Times Company | MICHAEL POWELL | 2/24/21 | 15 min
    14 reads5 comments
    9.3
    The New York Times Company
    14 reads
    9.3
    You must read the article before you can post or reply.
    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      I'm thinking that this is Pulitzer material

      • monstertuck
        Scout
        1 month ago

        It's a great discussion at the intersection of reconciliation, race, privilege and more. For so long, minorities that were harmed in some capacity (mental, physical, etc.) sought justice through courts and proper channels where they often encountered backlash or additional discriminatory actions. I empathize with the thought that 'public justice' through social media and traditional media can help bring light to many wrong actions, institutions and individuals.

        However, there is also this downside of social media activists that hop onto what seems like an inflammatory story to push a broader agenda or get their own few minutes of fame. In this case, you see the lives of many low-wage, lower-middle class workers essentially 'cancelled' for doing their jobs - resulting in unemployment and long term psychological challenges. It's terrible how the victim felt, and who knows what actually transpired other than the officer involved and the student, but can there not be a better outcome for everyone?

        There is not really an answer, but we as a society need to do a better job of mediating our own actions, leading and engaging with empathy and reconciling social and legal systems that were downright biased against many minority groups.

        To summarize - and this is a bit off from what I've written above - I wish the article had actually talked a bit more about classism and wealth disparities. In expensive universities like Smith - there are massive amounts of wealth involved in every decision --- this occurs at public colleges as well. The working conditions for many employees is often below a living wage, they are treated poorly by admin and students alike, etc. I feel like the author could have focused a bit more on this while still highlighting what occurred at Smith.

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
          1 month ago

          Great reply! (Should be its own post! Right? 😛)

          I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I read it yesterday morning. Of course no article can come close to summing up ‘the race problem’ in the US in one piece, but this one takes a few big stabs - a truly valuable endeavor.

          The reporting here is great because it’s slow. This is precisely where the New York Times masthead has huge value. You can know that this was fact-checked like crazy. (Although, of course, I still follow my personal golden rule for these strange/surreal times: be critical of literally everything.)

          I know this is an unpopular position (and I sound like a broken record) but, again: Facebook is the problem. Period.

          The student had every right to post her thoughts and feelings online. As a Black person, she surely does experience discrimination daily, just for being Black. Facebook turned those thoughts into a giant political mess. Had the post not gone viral, there’s no story here. Just a few solvable-sized problems between a few good individuals.

          Let’s imagine some alternatives: The student, instead, posts a hand-written letter in the dorm lounge. Or brought up her feelings, in person, in a classroom setting with 15 other students and a competent teacher. This could have been a really meaningful and interesting conversation, instead of a huge fire, burning everyone involved.

          Facebook doesn’t want that. They want the fire. That’s why, in a horrible way, they’re the only “winners” of this tragic story. They make money on viral stuff like this. Stuff we can’t resist - the quick/ugly takes and weighing in, taking sides. We think we’re “participating” in a conversation, but that’s a farce. We’re feeding a machine that makes us hateful and confused. Facebook takes our precious, real feelings and turns them into a carnival of anger, hate, embarrassment, etc. because thats what we want to see.

          We need to develop, as a society, the power to look away. I think we will.

          The way that the BLM protests brought back the zombie-haters was particularly horrifying. The resurgence of BLM in 2020 gave everyone permission to be just plain angry. There has been so much fake (and very public) “reckoning” with race going on that it keeps getting harder and harder to get to the real stuff.

          It’s sometimes hard to know when it’s time to build and when it’s time to burn. But we need WAY more building (and less burning) if we’re going to escape our current chaos.

          • DellwoodBarker
            Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
            1 month ago

            ✨ 5 star comment ✨

            Let’s imagine some alternatives: The student, instead, posts a hand-written letter in the dorm lounge. Or brought up her feelings, in person, in a classroom setting with 15 other students and a competent teacher. This could have been a really meaningful and interesting conversation, instead of a huge fire, burning everyone involved.

            By getting literally Everyone Else (Facebook) in on your business - no matter what the issue - opens a Pandora’s box of manipulation and angles and misrepresentations that could potentially destroy those lives trying to help you and stand with you on your own issue. The possibility of creating more damage as a whole than actually effecting any true internal change - which is the key to social issues in a lot of ways.

            In a way this topic and article parallels well with the recent article of the man who discovered his family had been slandered online as pedophiles, despicable people etc by a one woman army - Ms. Atas - yet she claims she was not behind some of them.

            This article is much deeper and better written. The two marry well as reads though different issues at heart.

            1. Update (3/2/2021):

              P.s. this article brings to mind the excellent three season (I think) ABC series, American Crime written by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave). Each season would tackle a dynamic social issue (immigration, teen accusations in high school, etc) and dissect each character’s role, perspective, weakness/strength of integrity with balanced precision. The series was always compelling and way above the caliber of what network tv is known for offering. The season where Felicity Huffman plays the principal at a school where sexual harassment and race issues progress into an avalanche specifically comes to mind.

            • bill
              Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
              1 month ago

              👍