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View Diary: Notes from a "Post-Racial" America (46 comments)

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  •  An alternative (1+ / 0-)
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    It's hard to know what to do in the moment, of course. But if the ranting man did appear to be mentally ill, or possibly so, having a white person gently engage with him might have been a peaceful way to defuse the situation. MIGHT have been. I would have tried it -- not arguing with him, but asking him about his thoughts and attempting to get him to walk away from the black kid.

    Ten years spent in psychiatric hospital chaplaincy give me confidence to attempt such things. I know it isn't something most people would feel okay doing. I'd just have wanted to get between the ranter and the youngster. Thank goodness the ranter didn't escalate to physical violence. I am sorry that he became the victim of it, if indeed he is mentally ill, and it sounds likely that he is.

    Did anybody think of calling the police?

    My favorite character in the scene is the woman at the end. We all need to stop freezing in place when things like this happen, and act.

    •  I thought of doing something like this (0+ / 0-)

      Ranging from peaceful intervention to something more aggressive but with the purpose of directing the man away from his targets and on down the street.

      It all happened really quickly to think of calling the police. And to be honest, he seemed just nuts, not a true threat, and not something to waste the LAPD's time with, although if something a lot worse went down, I'd beat myself up for thinking that.

      I agree about freezing in place. That lingered with me for awhile that I just pretty much stood there doing nothing, feeling some pride that I didn't run away in fear/social denial, but embarrassed that I didn't do squat to make the situation better in any way.  

      Life looks aflame from afar; but close up it's just fireflies in a jar. Visit me daily at artofstarving

      by artofstarving on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:10:52 PM PST

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