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Monday, April 14, 2014

Doug Glanville: I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway

Its unthinkable that we still find instances of discrimination against former Phillies.

A police officer from West Hartford had pulled up across the street, exited his vehicle, and begun walking in my direction. I noted the strangeness of his being in Hartford—an entirely separate town with its own police force—so I thought he needed help. He approached me with purpose, and then, without any introduction or explanation he asked, “So, you trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people’s driveways around here?”

All of my homeowner confidence suddenly seemed like an illusion.

It would have been all too easy to play the “Do you know who I am?” game. My late father was an immigrant from Trinidad who enrolled at Howard University at age 31 and went on to become a psychiatrist. My mother was an important education reformer from the South. I graduated from an Ivy League school with an engineering degree, only to get selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft. I went on to play professionally for nearly 15 years, retiring into business then going on to write a book and a column for The New York Times. Today, I work at ESPN in another American dream job that lets me file my taxes under the description “baseball analyst.”

But I didn’t mention any of this to the officer. I tried to take his question at face value, explaining that the Old Tudor house behind me was my own. The more I talked, the more senseless it seemed that I was even answering the question. But I knew I wouldn’t be smiling anymore that day.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 08:08 PM | 576 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: connecticut, doug glanville, espn, phillies, racial profiling, racism

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   301. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4688746)
Cops shouldn't be "wise-ass" to anyone, of any race. So if you want to concede that, I'll concede that we can drop the race issue. But the fact that he singled out the black guy is a squeamish thing.


If the person making the complaint described the uninvited shoveler as a black man, would Glanville really have been "singled out"?
   302. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 18, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4688752)
Ok, the fact that he approached the black guy and was rude makes you wonder if the guy would have treated, say, you in the same way. Don't you think?
   303. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 18, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4688760)

To me, the most amazing thing about this whole incident is that the police in Glanville's area apparently respond relatively quickly to calls about door-to-door solicitation. Either the police departments in that area are incredibly well-funded and well-staffed, or Glanville's neighborhood gets preferential treatment from the police. Here in New York, a scofflaw snow shoveler would likely collapse from exhaustion before the police showed up.
   304. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4688768)
To me, the most amazing thing about this whole incident is that the police in Glanville's area apparently respond relatively quickly to calls about door-to-door solicitation. Either the police departments in that area are incredibly well-funded and well-staffed, or Glanville's neighborhood gets preferential treatment from the police.


Of course they get preferential treatment. They're a very well off, posh suburb. Doug Glanville is not poor. It was the fact that he was a black man in a not-poor neighborhood, the kind of neighborhood that gets preferential treatment from the cops, that got him profiled in the first place.
   305. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4688772)
Of course they get preferential treatment. They're a very well off, posh suburb. Doug Glanville is not poor. It was the fact that he was a black man in a not-poor neighborhood, the kind of neighborhood that gets preferential treatment from the cops, that got him profiled in the first place.

He wasn't "profiled" at all, just like he wasn't "detained." The police didn't ride into the neighborhood and round up 30 random blacks guys. The police received a complaint about a black guy shoveling snow in a very specific neighborhood, and then questioned the only black guy seen to be shoveling snow in that specific neighborhood.
   306. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4688774)
I concur with David's general treatise on how tv shows deal with cops. And I watch a lot of the old Hawaii Five-0 re-runs so I can tell you that this portrayal of cops is constant going back decades. (Was NYPD Blue any different?)
   307. spike Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4688776)
Of course they get preferential treatment

Oh hell yes. It's actually the basis of the whole story. It would only amazing if a tony neighborhood DIDN'T get preferential treatment.
   308. rr Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4688780)
I watched NYPD Blue some back in the day. The central character on NYPD Blue (Andy Sipowicz played by Dennis Franz, an actor whom I have always liked) was multi-dimensional for a TV cop, but was always a "good guy" in the end, and the Jimmy Smits character was more or less a saint, as was the guy who ran the precinct, who was played by a black actor named James McDaniel. There were bad cops that drifted in and out of the storylines, and Sipowicz's animus towards blacks, and how he dealt with it and learned from it, was a key sub-theme. But the main cops, even Sipowicz, were basically heroes, usually at violent odds with any truly bad/crooked cops, at least the times that I saw the show. I didn't see the ones with David Caruso.
   309. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4688781)
Oh hell yes. It's actually the basis of the whole story.

I didn't get that sense at all. Glanville didn't seem to be complaining that his neighborhood was better policed than other neighborhoods; he just didn't seem to like being on the receiving end of some of that extra policing.

Also, I agree with the assessment of NYPD Blue in #308.
   310. Morty Causa Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4688782)
I concur with David's general treatise on how tv shows deal with cops. And I watch a lot of the old Hawaii Five-0 re-runs so I can tell you that this portrayal of cops is constant going back decades. (Was NYPD Blue any different?)

Well, so it is with the most highly regarded professions, those regarded as most necessary, whether that's Andy Griffth as Sheriff Taylor, or doctors and lawyers and teachers. How many of the members of any of these professions live up to the ideal as represented in popular culture. It was shocking, insulting so to many, that the glorious military was presented as it was in Catch 22--not as less than uniformly good and heroic, but as stupid, hypocritical, dishonest poltroons.

Actually, when these high-profile professions aren't represented as, despite everything, stellar sorts, we just might be in midst of a societal collapsing consensus.
   311. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4688788)
To me the most amazing thing about this "incident" (aside from the fact that it was a non-incident) is that the Glanvilles are so well connected and are recipients of such preferential treatment that they were able to immediately involve a senator, the chief of local police, local attorneys, and security officers from the neighborhood civic association, and within just a couple of hours Glanville was outlining his version of events to the Hartford police department’s internal affairs department.

I daresay 99.X% of white people never see such preferential treatment.
   312. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:36 PM (#4688790)
What % of white people in that neighborhood are treated rudely by the police?

I daresay it's 100%-99.x%
   313. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:39 PM (#4688792)
What % of white people in that neighborhood are treated rudely by the police?


We can't tell, because it's impossible to define "race."
   314. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:39 PM (#4688793)
Glanville is the farthest thing from a rabblerouser, but a cumulation of incidents like this can turn even the most mild-mannered person into someone you wouldn't want to be around.

You're assuming facts not in evidence. It's hard to believe Glanville has been subjected to a "cumulation of incidents like this" but failed to make mention of them in his article.


My wording on that wasn't clear. My apologies.

I don't mean to say that Glanville himself has been subject to a cumulation of incidents like this, though he did recount one other incident from his earlier years. But what he was attempting to do here by following his wife's goading and "making an issue" of the insult, was to give voice to the countless number of black people who have been subject to many "incidents like this", but didn't have the means or the networking contacts to be able to make themselves heard.

What Glanville (and his wife) did seems to me to be a perfectly exemplary case of citizen action in reaction to police arrogance. The simplest way to avoid incidents like this in the future would be for the West Hartford police to treat black citizens---all citizens---with more respect. If they'd done that in this case, we wouldn't be having this discussion. And if they do improve their future deportment, I don't think it'll be entirely a coincidence.

And BTW does this concluding paragraph of Glanville's sound like the Angry Black Man to you?

That upbringing is what enabled me to deal with this incident in a slow, communicative, and methodical way. And it now allows me to see the potential in the officer who approached me. He’s still young, and one day he could become a leading advocate for unbiased policing practices. But I wish he would sit down with my kids and answer their questions. That might help him understand how hard it is to be a father—let alone a father in a black family. And I’d like him to know how much my children—and all children—expect from the officers trained to protect them. At the end of all my conversations with my kids, there were many things they still didn’t understand. But my 5-year-old son reassured me: “That’s okay, Dad. I still want to be a police officer.”
   315. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:45 PM (#4688796)
We can't tell, because it's impossible to define "race."


Oy vey.

edit...when you say "we", you mean the overlords your race obey, correct?
   316. Rob_Wood Posted: April 18, 2014 at 06:57 PM (#4688806)

It's the nature of things that the two sides will have different "tolerances" for potentially race-involving police behavior. Blacks are understandably hyper-vigilant when it comes to their sensitivity to being racially profiled and the like. Police are understandably focused on trying to do their job of protect and serve. I honestly don't think the cop in this case did anything wrong (sure he could have asked a different initial question and maybe he will do so in the future given this case).

The salient thing to me is that Glanville and his wife did have connections to the police chief, civil rights attorneys, neighborhood associations, etc. These are all extremely good and serve to shed light on such incidents (real or imagined). Without getting all kumbaya, open dialog can help speed improvements in this area. And it is clear to anyone that there is still room for improvement.
   317. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4688812)
And BTW does this concluding paragraph of Glanville's sound like the Angry Black Man to you?


It seems like his wife was the one who was angry about it. She immediately sent a "furious" email to a senator, telling the senator that she was "outraged" and "wanted to vent." Glanville, on the other hand, comes off as unsure of what happened but feeling that something wasn't quite right about it.

Also, not sure how his wife knew that "none of" these several other shovelers "were stopped for questioning." How did she or Glanville know who was "stopped"? (And "several" shovelers at the same time? Really? Could Glanville even *see* several other driveways from his own, let alone that of the driveways he could see, "several" neighbors were out there shoveling all at once? He also says it was mid-afternoon. Was this in the middle of a work day?)

   318. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4688814)
Counselor, sit down.
   319. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4688846)
As Ray (and I think Sam) noted, this isn't a story of "racial profiling," it's a story of class privilege.(*) The average white schmo doesn't get the chief of police, state senators, and other local plenipotentiaries on the phone and in person just because a cop was a little rude to them.

Glanville's race cost him exactly none of his class prerogatives -- demonstrating yet again the degree to which class trumps race.

(*) Which modern liberals in their relentless cluelessness have reduced to "white privilege."
   320. Rob_Wood Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:54 PM (#4688859)

Yes, on occasion people of "privilege" use their access and influence to speak for others who do not have said access/influence. As said above, and in the article, this is a good thing, right?
   321. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:01 PM (#4688906)
Yes, on occasion people of "privilege" use their access and influence to speak for others who do not have said access/influence.

What good is privilege and influence if you can't (or don't) use it on the behalf of people who don't have it? This radical concept seems to offend certain people around here.

But I get it. Koch Brothers throwing millions into advertising on behalf of their own economic interests: Good. Private citizen speaking out on behalf of the voiceless: Bad.

As said above, and in the article, this is a good thing, right?

Of course not. People should just STFU and let things continue as before.
   322. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:12 PM (#4688916)
What good is privilege and influence if you can't (or don't) use it on the behalf of people who don't have it? This radical concept seems to offend certain people around here.

On behalf of which group of people is Glanville supposedly fighting here? Is there an epidemic of bored police officers going out and harassing homeowners found to be shoveling their driveways?

One of Glanville's neighbors called in a complaint about a black guy going door-to-door shoveling snow, the police responded, and they questioned the only black guy they found in that specific neighborhood who was engaged in the behavior central to the complaint. There's no larger story here, except in the race-obsessed minds of some liberals.
   323. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:15 PM (#4688921)
and what should the cop have done instead?

I've already suggested a far less inflammatory line of questioning in #288:

"Sir, there've been reports of solicitors going around asking for shoveling work. Has anyone approached you about that?"
How would that question have made any sense? Glanville says, "No," and then what does the cop do?
   324. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:04 PM (#4688964)
As if Andy would care if, say, an IRS agent asked a white guy a "rude" question.
   325. base ball chick Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4688980)
first of all, one more time - the cop from jurisdiction A had no business going into jurisdiction B

second
you are asking - so how does a cop manage to not treat every human like a - what was that word andy sipowitzx used - skell/shrell

asking glanville if he is the homeowner FIRST is the most appropriate. THEN asking him about guys asking to shovel.

cmon
youse guys know this. it is a - so buddy, when did you finally stop beating your wife - question.

and on tv, cops break the law ALL THE FREAKING TIME, beat suspects, shove them "in the cage", not let them get an attorney, threaten to have them sent to guantanamo, break into houses without a warrant - on and on. not to mention illegal wiretaps, hacking peoples bank accounts, computer records, etc. oh yeah - and they always manage to shoot at least one person/cop/episode




   326. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:48 PM (#4688984)
first of all, one more time - the cop from jurisdiction A had no business going into jurisdiction B


While you'll have to get a better answer from one of the lawyers and need the Connecticut laws, this isn't always strictly true. There are lots of exceptions - a number of states allow police officers of a municipality to make arrests anywhere in the county their municipality is in and some, the entire state. And it's also very common for local areas to have jurisdictional agreements with each other.
   327. Select Storage Device Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4688987)
How would that question have made any sense? Glanville says, "No," and then what does the cop do?


Moves the eff on. Ask someone else.
   328. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:11 PM (#4688989)
Moves the eff on. Ask someone else.
That doesn't really seem like the best investigatory tactic.
   329. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:20 PM (#4688995)
What good is privilege and influence if you can't (or don't) use it on the behalf of people who don't have it? This radical concept seems to offend certain people around here.

On behalf of which group of people is Glanville supposedly fighting here?


If you've actually read the article, it clearly passed through one of your brain cells and out the other one. But you can probably get a third one at Wal-Mart when your agent's commission comes in.

-------------------------------------------------------

and what should the cop have done instead?


I've already suggested a far less inflammatory line of questioning in #288:

"Sir, there've been reports of solicitors going around asking for shoveling work. Has anyone approached you about that?"


How would that question have made any sense? Glanville says, "No," and then what does the cop do?


One would like to think that with all the money that goes into training policemen, they might figure out a way of questioning that doesn't involve accusation as the first step of interrogation. But I guess that's too much to ask.

-------------------------------------------------------

As if Andy would care if, say, an IRS agent asked a white guy a "rude" question.

You mean like "Can you please demonstrate that you're a legitimate non-profit organization?"

-------------------------------------------------------

second
you are asking - so how does a cop manage to not treat every human like a - what was that word andy sipowitzx used - skell/shrell

asking glanville if he is the homeowner FIRST is the most appropriate. THEN asking him about guys asking to shovel.


Wrong, Lisa. That's only what a normal human being would do.

Ray's first question would probably be "How can you afford a fancy shovel like that when you're obviously on food stamps?"

Kehoskie would probably say, "Hey, boy, let me see your papers" and ask him how he can justify stealing jobs from real Americans.

Sugar Blank would ask him if he's a modern liberal and then call him a reverse racist, just to get it out of his system. He'd then demand to know his position on illegal immigration and the Smoot-Hawley Act.

Nieporent would probably treat him respectfully but then pretend he hadn't, just so the other four wouldn't call him a sissy and ask him when he became a liberal.

Morty's first question would be "What would Chief Wiggum do in this situation?" before googling the appropriate episode for further instructions.
   330. Select Storage Device Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:28 PM (#4688997)
That doesn't really seem like the best investigatory tactic.


If your interpretation of investigation is to take the most surface thing, key on it, and then give up.
   331. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 19, 2014 at 08:50 AM (#4689035)
class trumps race.


Sure, but when class is equal, the tiebreaker is race.

edit...It's possible that the cop in question is an equal opportunity offender, but if that were so, it's likely that he wouldn't last long on the job, after all the complaints that would be filed against him.
   332. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: April 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4689054)
class trumps race.


Does the war on drugs support this claim? A sincere question.
   333. NattyBoh Posted: April 19, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4689067)
I thought that his alleged crime was that he took ball four.
   334. Morty Causa Posted: April 19, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4689079)
Morty's first question would be "What would Chief Wiggum do in this situation?" before googling the appropriate episode for further instructions.

Son-of-a-diddly, you really got me there.

Really, is this what we’ve come down to wrt race relations and invidious racism? (Cue Peggy Lee for background: “Is This All There Is?) We’re down to, oh, God, he’s not talking nice—where are the precious courier-like linguistic protocols of yesteryear?

I explained my views on this a number of times, clearly and in detail. Most everyone did what they usually do--fumed and harrumphed and quibbled, then came around with essentially the exact same views--even you in the last analysis admit the offense, to the extent there is one, is rather an attenuated one.

If this is where we draw the line, then interactions between groups and between authority and members of groups will be just impossible. Listen carefully: there are always, and have been always been, at least a tincture of ill-feeling between ethnic/racial groups (see Africa at this moment for more than a soupcon of racial/trivial rivalry) that comes through in language. Jesus, even here, especially here, no one can go two posts without reverting to smart-assisms and veiled accusations. It’s always all adversarial all the time to a lesser or greater extent (and to the accusation is justified with the topic case, it’s definitely lesser), but you want a handicap for some special groups that is just ridiculously unrealistic in a social setting.

Do you realize how you have trivialized liberalism with this sort of weak ####? Is this what progressivism has come to--he didn't talk to me nice enough? Mother, may I? Maybe he should go to some rehabilitative gulag to learn better.

I think of myself as a liberal, but when I contemplate this sort of lame whitewash of one side's eternal justification in jumping to wild and intemperate conclusions, I can only hang my head in sadness. Man, we got a railroad to run, don’t we?
   335. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 19, 2014 at 01:29 PM (#4689099)
Morty's first question would be "What would Chief Wiggum do in this situation?" before googling the appropriate episode for further instructions.

Son-of-a-diddly, you really got me there.


Sorry, but when you racked up your tenth citation of a movie or TV show to provide instruction to the police, you were asking for it.

If this is where we draw the line, then interactions between groups and between authority and members of groups will be just impossible. Listen carefully: there are always, and have been always been, at least a tincture of ill-feeling between ethnic/racial groups (see Africa at this moment for more than a soupcon of racial/trivial rivalry) that comes through in language. Jesus, even here, especially here, no one can go two posts without reverting to smart-assisms and veiled accusations. It’s always all adversarial all the time to a lesser or greater extent (and to the accusation is justified with the topic case, it’s definitely lesser), but you want a handicap for some special groups that is just ridiculously unrealistic in a social setting.

I'd be a lot more impressed with your stoicism if you were a black parent explaining life to his 5 year old child, with or without Doug Glanville's other advantages as a buffer.

Do you realize how you have trivialized liberalism with this sort of weak ####? Is this what progressivism has come to--he didn't talk to me nice enough? Mother, may I? Maybe he should go to some rehabilitative gulag to learn better.

Yes, Morty, telling public servants to treat citizens with respect = sending him to the "gulag", and a rude West Hartford policeman = Alexsandr Solzhenitszn. Talk about hysteria.

I think of myself as a liberal, but when I contemplate this sort of lame whitewash of one side's eternal justification in jumping to wild and intemperate conclusions, I can only hang my head in sadness. Man, we got a railroad to run, don’t we?

If a non-fictional reference isn't beyond your realm of references, Morty, you sound exactly like Norman Podhoretz, circa 1968, seeing every act of black self-assertion as a hostile act. It's not a pretty sight to witness. Contrary to what your instincts may be telling you, Doug Glanville is not H. Rap Brown.

   336. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 19, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4689120)
edit...It's possible that the cop in question is an equal opportunity offender, but if that were so, it's likely that he wouldn't last long on the job, after all the complaints that would be filed against him.
It's so cute that you think that citizen complaints against police count for anything.
   337. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 19, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4689132)
Yes, Morty, telling public servants to treat citizens with respect = sending him to the "gulag", and a rude West Hartford policeman = Alexsandr Solzhenitszn. Talk about hysteria.
Uh, Andy, you were the one who analogized the question the cop asked to "Are you stealing patents from your clients?" I think you've lost the right to complain about perspective.


Incidentally, Glanville appears to be mistaken when he writes: "I soon learned that West Hartford had an ordinance that prohibits door-to-door solicitation." Based on my review of the town ordinances,¹ West Hartford has a law similar to many towns², requiring that one get a permit before engaging in door-to-door solicitation. (These laws are generally designed for one of two purposes: (1) like do-not-call laws, simply to avoid annoyance, and (2) to prevent fraud by door-to-door salesmen.)



¹ It's always risky to rely upon quick legal research, especially related to a jurisdiction with which one isn't familiar, but since I'm speaking as a commenter rather than giving legal advice, I'll chance it. (If you follow my advice and get arrested, ha ha.)
² But I can't find one for Hartford.
   338. Morty Causa Posted: April 19, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4689136)
This is probably implicit in what 337 says, but it bears emphasizing: whether it is expressed law or not, it's always a good idea to check in with the authorities before you invade a neighborhood and start going door-to-door, for you will be reported. I once did some city/town seismic permitting a long time ago and learned the hard way. Nothing that went on my permanent record, but the young me was severely reprimanded, and I must admit I did feel stupid, for that should have been a no-brainer.
   339. Morty Causa Posted: April 19, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4689145)
335:

I guess we're just doomed to engage in hyperbolic ships-that-pass-in-the-night type rhetoric that can't possibly go anywhere.

I thought I only started not taking you seriously when you assume your dumb blond stance with a seeming inability to understand how popular culture could influence people's views, as well as reflect them. At that point, I knew it was hopeless.

I'll just say: If you draw the socio-political racial divide where you seem to want to draw it, it's hopeless and pointless.
   340. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 19, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4689173)
Yes, Morty, telling public servants to treat citizens with respect = sending him to the "gulag", and a rude West Hartford policeman = Alexsandr Solzhenitszn. Talk about hysteria.

Uh, Andy, you were the one who analogized the question the cop asked to "Are you stealing patents from your clients?" I think you've lost the right to complain about perspective.


In both cases, David, the point was the inappropriateness of accusing an innocent citizen of a crime, rather than the crime's severity. And in any case, in direct response to an earlier comment you made in #274 about my comparison, I suggested a much milder analogy to you in #281 about unauthorized internet surfing on company time. Naturally you didn't respond to that, perhaps because at that point you were on company time.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

335:

I guess we're just doomed to engage in hyperbolic ships-that-pass-in-the-night type rhetoric that can't possibly go anywhere.

I thought I only started not taking you seriously when you assume your dumb blond stance with a seeming inability to understand how popular culture could influence people's views, as well as reflect them. At that point, I knew it was hopeless.


Morty, at this point you're so carried away with your own rhetoric that you don't even deign to acknowledge the simplest distinctions that not only I've repeated several times, but so has David.

To wit: There's a difference between saying that TV shows and movies do influence people's views, and do reflect them---who denies that?---and using them as some sort of a template for how people should act.

Jack Webb's Sgt. Friday seldom if ever treated suspects in trivial cases with the sort of rudeness and presumptiveness that the policeman treated Glanville, but I'm sure that being a walking encyclopedia of TV and movies, you can come up with scores or hundreds of nasty fictional cops who accuse first and never apologize for their errors.

But so what? What does that have to do with how policemen should treat innocent citizens? Is this how you would've approached Glanville, with the accusatory initial question and tone? Maybe so, if your idea of how policemen should act is derived from certain TV shows. But if that's the case, it's probably a good thing that whatever you did for a living before you retired, it didn't involve law enforcement.

   341. Morty Causa Posted: April 19, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4689186)
It did involve law enforcement, and relatives and friends have been, and are, involved in it.

To wit: There's a difference between saying that TV shows and movies do influence people's views, and do reflect them---who denies that?---and using them as some sort of a template for how people should act.

Yes, after I pushed your nose in the dirt, you finally admitted the first part.

But who's doing the second part of your statement. If you didn't always argue in the merely accusatory mode, you might actually find out what someone thinks. But, go, Freedom Rider, go. Ride that pony until it drops. Unfortunately by that time you will have inflicted irreparable injury on a very precious, very hard-earned, overriding political principle which you New Leftist Radical Chic types have been bent on subverting and bastardizing since the liberal victory of the 50's and 60's left you with the feeling that it wasn't enough that rules of the game be fair in principle--no, it was necessary that the game be rigged. The riders on that horse of racism just needed to change who rode the saddle and everything would be fine. Except that's not a change in principle. That's a reversion.
   342. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 19, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4689202)
It's so cute that you think that citizen complaints against police count for anything.


I think rich people's complaints count. I think rich connected people's complaints count.

Would you like to pinch my cute shaina punim?
   343. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: April 19, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4689207)
I thought of citing The Shield as a counterexample -- I never watched it, regrettably, but I knew of it. But it is, really, the one exception.

I also thought of a handful of L&O episodes which addressed the issue. But they really were anomalies in the show's run.

The new British series Line of Duty* (the second series is incredible, btw) loves playing in these ambiguities as well**, but that's the only other counterexample I can think of.

*created by Jed Mercurio, whose "Bodies" is one of the great hospital dramas ever made.
**overzealous cops, corrupt cops, cops who seem really talented but really close cases by screwing around with the stats, cops who lie/bully private citizens. There isn't really a "good guy," because at best, every character is massively flawed in some way, and the commonly-accepted "good" cops more than anyone else.
   344. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 19, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4689217)
I'd be a lot more impressed with your stoicism if you were a black parent explaining life to his 5 year old child, with or without Doug Glanville's other advantages as a buffer.

Given the overreaction bordering on hysteria the parents showed here -- "DETAINED!!!", "LET'S CALL A LAWYER!!!," "GET THE CHIEF OF POLICE ON THE PHONE!!!" -- there's little reason for confidence that "life" is being accurately "explained" to the 5 year old child.

Again, more the fault of modern liberalism than the Glanvilles themselves. It's highly unfortunate that such nonsense is being passed on to a new generation of Americans.


   345. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 19, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4689250)
In both cases, David, the point was the inappropriateness of accusing an innocent citizen of a crime, rather than the crime's severity.
He didn't accuse him of a crime; he 'accused' -- if that's the word you want to use -- him of "trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people’s driveways around here."
   346. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 19, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4689255)
If that isn't a crime in that town, why was it any of his business?
   347. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 19, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4689273)
It did involve law enforcement, and relatives and friends have been, and are, involved in it.

So is that the way you acted toward citizens like Glanville?

To wit: There's a difference between saying that TV shows and movies do influence people's views, and do reflect them---who denies that?---and using them as some sort of a template for how people should act.

Yes, after I pushed your nose in the dirt, you finally admitted the first part.


To the contrary, my point has always been about the "should". I don't give a damn about what TV cops do.

But who's doing the second part of your statement.

So after all this bluster, you're saying you weren't defending the policeman's actions?

But maybe I've been misreading you, and we can stop right here if you'll agree with these two simple points:

1. This sort of "law enforcement" does happen. Duh.

2. But it shouldn't happen, and citizens have a perfect right to speak out against it, in order to stop it.

Capiche?

But, go, Freedom Rider, go. Ride that pony until it drops. Unfortunately by that time you will have inflicted irreparable injury on a very precious, very hard-earned, overriding political principle which you New Leftist Radical Chic types have been bent on subverting and bastardizing since the liberal victory of the 50's and 60's left you with the feeling that it wasn't enough that rules of the game be fair in principle--no, it was necessary that the game be rigged. The riders on that horse of racism just needed to change who rode the saddle and everything would be fine. Except that's not a change in principle. That's a reversion.

You really do believe that bullshit, don't you, Mr. Podhoretz?

--------------------------------------------------

I'd be a lot more impressed with your stoicism if you were a black parent explaining life to his 5 year old child, with or without Doug Glanville's other advantages as a buffer.

Given the overreaction bordering on hysteria the parents showed here -- "DETAINED!!!", "LET'S CALL A LAWYER!!!," "GET THE CHIEF OF POLICE ON THE PHONE!!!" -- there's little reason for confidence that "life" is being accurately "explained" to the 5 year old child.

Again, more the fault of modern liberalism than the Glanvilles themselves. It's highly unfortunate that such nonsense is being passed on to a new generation of Americans.


Talk about two people needing to get a room. You and Morty should shack up in the Honeymoon Suite at the Waldorf and trade cigarettes a la Henreid and Davis after each romantic encounter.

--------------------------------------------------

In both cases, David, the point was the inappropriateness of accusing an innocent citizen of a crime, rather than the crime's severity.

He didn't accuse him of a crime; he 'accused' -- if that's the word you want to use -- him of "trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people’s driveways around here."


Well, either that's against the law, in which case it's a crime; or it's not against the law, in which case why was the cop even posing the "question"?

And again, if some private policeman employed by your law firm approached you at your work desk and "asked" you if you were stealing your bosses' money by surfing the internet on his time, what would be the difference between that and what the policeman did? Please don't stretch your nose out to Pinocchio length by trying to pretend you'd accept such an insult with equanimity.
   348. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 19, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4689297)
Well, either that's against the law, in which case it's a crime; or it's not against the law, in which case why was the cop even posing the "question"?
Huh? You think police only ask people "Are you breaking the law?" If he had said, "Excuse me, is this your house?" would you say, "Either this being his house is a crime, or why is the cop posing the question?"

And again, if some private policeman employed by your law firm approached you at your work desk and "asked" you if you were stealing your bosses' money by surfing the internet on his time, what would be the difference between that and what the policeman did?
'Accusing' someone of stealing is not the same as 'accusing' someone of "trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people's driveways." Not sure how many times I have to explain that to you.


You are completely misunderstanding the situation. Glanville didn't think he was being accused of the crime of shoveling; we know that because he writes, "I soon learned that West Hartford had an ordinance that prohibits door-to-door solicitation." (Emphasis added.) That is, after the fact -- after the whole brouhaha, in fact. Rather, he thought the cop was basically saying, "What is a black guy doing in this neighborhood"?

So the analogous situation would be a cop wandering by my desk and saying, "So, do you work here?"
   349. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: April 19, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4689301)
Actually, the more analogous situation would be a cop wandering by your desk and saying, "So, you don't work here, do you?"
   350. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 19, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4689311)
Actually, the more analogous situation would be a cop wandering by your desk and saying, "So, you don't work here, do you?"
Right, I meant saying it skeptically, so we're saying the same thing.
   351. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 19, 2014 at 06:53 PM (#4689332)
Well, either that's against the law, in which case it's a crime; or it's not against the law, in which case why was the cop even posing the "question"?

Huh? You think police only ask people "Are you breaking the law?" If he had said, "Excuse me, is this your house?" would you say, "Either this being his house is a crime, or why is the cop posing the question?"


If asked "Is this your house?", I'd say "yes". Why didn't the policeman simply say that in the first place? If Glanville had responded "Why?" instead of "yes", the policeman then could have explained that there'd been a report of soliciting, and then asked him if he'd seen any evidence of it. It really isn't that complicated if you think about it for a few seconds.

But instead, he phrased his "question" in form of direct accusation. There aren't any two ways about it, no matter how much you try to evade it.

And again, if some private policeman employed by your law firm approached you at your work desk and "asked" you if you were stealing your bosses' money by surfing the internet on his time, what would be the difference between that and what the policeman did?

'Accusing' someone of stealing is not the same as 'accusing' someone of "trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people's driveways." Not sure how many times I have to explain that to you.


They're both---soliciting yardwork and surfing the internet on company time---trivial cases of rulebreaking.

You are completely misunderstanding the situation. Glanville didn't think he was being accused of the crime of shoveling; we know that because he writes, "I soon learned that West Hartford had an ordinance that prohibits door-to-door solicitation." (Emphasis added.) That is, after the fact -- after the whole brouhaha, in fact. Rather, he thought the cop was basically saying, "What is a black guy doing in this neighborhood"?

Which, given the tone and wording of the policeman's question, and given the history with which policemen often interact with random black people, was a perfectly reasonable inference on Glanville's part. To use one of Morty's allusions, this wasn't any Andy Griffith cop, even if he was obviously way shy of Bull Connor.

So the analogous situation would be a cop wandering by my desk and saying, "So, do you work here?"

Actually, the more analogous situation would be a cop wandering by your desk and saying, "So, you don't work here, do you?"


Right, I meant saying it skeptically, so we're saying the same thing.


And a normal person who'd been working in the same office for as long as you have might well react to such a question, asked by a stranger in such a tone and without any explanation, with a "Who the #### are you?" Instead, Glanville bit his tongue, and didn't even receive an apology.

Seriously, the whole tone of the five of you is quite clear: Policemen can act like pricks just because they can, and have. And citizens have no right to expect anything better, and are guilty of hysteria if they make a stink about it, however peacefully and however strictly they adhere to protocol. This from a pack of alleged government-loathing "libertarians".

Of course if we'd been talking about the IRS questioning the Koch Brothers, instead of a West Hartford patrolman "questioning" an ordinary citizen, then we'd be hearing about Gulags and other forms of State Terror, and all of you (with the possible exception of Morty) would be posing as brave little Russian dissidents. It's not hard to see this as yet another case of "If liberals** are against it, I'm for it."

**Modern or 'communist', take your pick
   352. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 19, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4689348)
No it's a case of you making something political and racial of the kind of less than cheerful interactions that occur in this country literally millions of times per day.
   353. Morty Causa Posted: April 19, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4689351)
Seriously, the whole tone of the five of you is quite clear: Policemen can act like pricks just because they can, and have. And citizens have no right to expect anything better, and are guilty of hysteria if they make a stink about it, however peacefully and however strictly they adhere to protocol. This from a pack of alleged government-loathing "libertarians".

Not just a policeman. Teachers, lawyers, doctors, ministers, husbands, businessmen, wives, lovers, and children. And there's a good reason for that. It has to do with our not always ("not always" meaning "usually") acting rationally. Acting like a prick quickly sets a boundary. And even those who don't act like pricks (like the lady teachers my high school) depend on cohorts that do (the men teachers who wielded a paddle). Policemen generally find themselves in situations where it can be conducive to good order to act like pricks--or suggest that prickery is not far removed.

   354. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 19, 2014 at 10:22 PM (#4689425)
No it's a case of you making something political and racial of the kind of less than cheerful interactions that occur in this country literally millions of times per day.

Doug Glanville, Hysterical and Race-Obsessed Modern Liberal.

SugarBear Blanks: Calm, Rational, Racially Objective Observer of Human Interaction.

Just wanted that noted for the record.

-----------------------------------------------------

Seriously, the whole tone of the five of you is quite clear: Policemen can act like pricks just because they can, and have. And citizens have no right to expect anything better, and are guilty of hysteria if they make a stink about it, however peacefully and however strictly they adhere to protocol. This from a pack of alleged government-loathing "libertarians".

Not just a policeman. Teachers, lawyers, doctors, ministers, husbands, businessmen, wives, lovers, and children. And there's a good reason for that. It has to do with our not always ("not always" meaning "usually") acting rationally. Acting like a prick quickly sets a boundary. And even those who don't act like pricks (like the lady teachers my high school) depend on cohorts that do (the men teachers who wielded a paddle). Policemen generally find themselves in situations where it can be conducive to good order to act like pricks--or suggest that prickery is not far removed.


So acting like a prick is nothing but an efficient way for Natural Born Authority to establish a "boundary", eh?

Well, Glanville and his wife certainly must have acted like pricks in your mind, right? After all, they slandered this poor innocent policeman, brought unseemly publicity to the neighboring town's police force, and generally used their class-derived privilege to foment internet-wide racial hysteria.

Guess that the two of them pretty much established their authority here, didn't they? Guess that they showed that policeman who was the real boss.

I'd say that's pretty impressive for a guy with a measly lifetime WAR of only 10.9.

So what do Sergeant Friday and Dirty Harry have to say about that? If it's all about nothing but power, then why not just cheer the folks who simply asserted their greater authority by putting the weaker man in his natural place at the bottom of the barrel?

Or is it that you only encourage assertions of authority when it asserts itself in ways you approve?


   355. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 19, 2014 at 10:55 PM (#4689438)
Doug Glanville, Hysterical and Race-Obsessed Modern Liberal.

SugarBear Blanks: Calm, Rational, Racially Objective Observer of Human Interaction.

Just wanted that noted for the record.


Pretty close with me -- though I'd add "rather like Bill James's description of Don Mattingly in the Historical Abstract, calls BS on all races without favor or disfavor."

Not exactly with Doug Glanville. With him, it's more like "deluded and given a phony template of analysis by modern liberals that allows him to exalt his feelings and impressions because of his race and, since he's human, adopts it."
   356. Morty Causa Posted: April 19, 2014 at 11:21 PM (#4689449)
So acting like a prick is nothing but an efficient way for Natural Born Authority to establish a "boundary", eh?

You seem to believe that if you can cast something in an unsavory light, that in itself disproves it.

It's not that calculating. It's more of an instinct to ward off fear. And I think we all want to be the NBA. It's done wherever there are gatherings of males. It's here all over this place, in whatever is discussed. We all do it--like you are doing right now. It's a way of frightening the boogeyman (or, I don't want to alarm you, boogeymen) away. What's this boogeyman? Having to take your opponent seriously, having to deal with what he actually puts forth, when you feel what he is saying to be threatening. However, in more formal frameworks of exchanges of views and ideas, you'd have to or you'd forfeit. (Like the legal/Judicial process, peer review in Science, real written or live debate, etc.) Dismissing views by designating them as something Norman Podhoretz would hold wouldn't cut it in legal argument. There's substance being put forward here that makes desperately skirt with animadversion. Your tribe's cohesion is breaking down. You sense it, and you fear it.

   357. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 19, 2014 at 11:43 PM (#4689455)
Doug Glanville, Hysterical and Race-Obsessed Modern Liberal.

SugarBear Blanks: Calm, Rational, Racially Objective Observer of Human Interaction.

Just wanted that noted for the record.


It's pretty close to accurate, at least as far as I've seen SBB's comments since I joined this thread. Except that I wouldn't really call Glanville a "hysterical and race-obsessed modern liberal." That seems to fit his wife more, what with her furious "shoveling while black" email, sent before she even bothered to get the basic facts as to what the cop was doing there. Glanville, for his part, has likely been spoon fed the party line, and he's swallowed it whole.

This is a case of privilege. The Glanvilles are so privileged that they have connections that only a tiny percentage of the population has. They have a senator on speed dial. They are so connected that they were able to set a political and social machine in motion -- a "diverse swatch of Hartford influentials," as Glanville called it -- immediately after sending their senator friend an email.

But note the tremendous progress that has been made in this country, Andy. While at Duke many moons ago you witnessed the sort of vile crap black people had to deal with in this country on a continual basis. Now, in stark contrast, you're reduced to arguing about a cop who phrased his question indelicately. We have come a long way, even if liberals desperately try to deny it. Why liberals bitterly cling to the "racism everywhere" fiction is left as an exercise for the reader.
   358. Select Storage Device Posted: April 19, 2014 at 11:55 PM (#4689460)
Foiled. Screw it. Thread sucks.
   359. Morty Causa Posted: April 20, 2014 at 12:14 AM (#4689465)
And not very long ago we also saw what happened at Duke in the case of believing a black person over some white males. How ready were tons of people willing to believe some pretty rank allegations? We saw some pretty powerful social engines go into overdrive. How could that be, given that only white racists believe blacks have voice and influence?
   360. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 20, 2014 at 12:21 AM (#4689467)
So acting like a prick is nothing but an efficient way for Natural Born Authority to establish a "boundary", eh?

You seem to believe that if you can cast something in an unsavory light, that in itself disproves it.


Jesus, as if you've been casting Glanville and his wife as anything but, and sounding more apocalyptic with each passing comment.

It's not that calculating. It's more of an instinct to ward off fear. And I think we all want to be the NBA. It's done wherever there are gatherings of males. It's here all over this place, in whatever is discussed. We all do it--like you are doing right now. It's a way of frightening the boogeyman (or, I don't want to alarm you, boogeymen) away. What's this boogeyman? Having to take your opponent seriously, having to deal with what he actually puts forth, when you feel what he is saying to be threatening. However, in more formal frameworks of exchanges of views and ideas, you'd have to or you'd forfeit. (Like the legal/Judicial process, peer review in Science, real written or live debate, etc.) Dismissing views by designating them as something Norman Podhoretz would hold wouldn't cut it in legal argument. There's substance being put forward here that makes desperately skirt with animadversion. Your tribe's cohesion is breaking down. You sense it, and you fear it.

Morty, your role in this "discussion" has been little more than a sophist's dismissal of the realities of the facts on hand. The policeman can do no wrong because AUTHORITY, and reacting against that authority is somehow bad by definition. You show absolutely no evidence that you have any understanding or sympathy for Glanville's position---certainly far less than he's shown towards the policeman, if you bothered to read the entire article.

And this has nothing to do with "Freedom Riders" or anything else about the "60's". It has to do with 2014.

------------------------------------------------------------

Doug Glanville, Hysterical and Race-Obsessed Modern Liberal.

SugarBear Blanks: Calm, Rational, Racially Objective Observer of Human Interaction.

Just wanted that noted for the record.


It's pretty close to accurate, at least as far as I've seen SBB's comments since I joined this thread. Except that I wouldn't really call Glanville a "hysterical and race-obsessed modern liberal." That seems to fit his wife more, what with her furious "shoveling while black" email, sent before she even bothered to get the basic facts as to what the cop was doing there. Glanville has likely been spoon fed the party line, and he's swallowed it whole.


Yeah, he's just another pointy-headed Ivy League intellectual who's controlled by evil forces.

This is a case of privilege. The Glanvilles are so privileged that they have connections that only a tiny percentage of the population has. They have a senator on speed dial. They are so connected that they were able to set a political and social machine in motion -- a "diverse swatch of Hartford influentials," as Glanville called it -- immediately after sending their senator friend an email.

I realize that it discomforts you when a privileged person actually uses his privilege on behalf of others less privileged than himself, which is exactly what the Glanvilles were doing here. I believe the term you're searching for is "traitor to his class".

But note the tremendous progress that has been made in this country, Andy. While at Duke many moons ago you witnessed the sort of vile crap black people had to deal with in this country on a regular basis. Now, in stark contrast, you're reduced to arguing about a cop who phrased his question indelicately. We have come a long way, even if liberals desperately try to deny it. Why liberals bitterly cling to the "racism everywhere" fiction is left as an exercise for the reader.

What a complete pile of straw. Of course there's been enormous racial progress since my Duke days, though most of it was accomplished over the howls and protests of the "conservatives" of their time. There's been so much progress, in fact, that it seems in many ways like an entirely different (and in most ways a much better) country.

But the fact that Glanville wasn't cattle prodded a la Chapel Hill, or driven out of his house by a mob a la Cicero, doesn't mean that he shouldn't react to what you euphemistically call "indelicate" accusatory "questioning" on the part of the policeman.

What's been gained by this whole affair? The police are much more likely to watch themselves the next time.

What's been lost? Nothing but a bit of wounded pride on the part of someone who was responsible for the incident in the first place. He should have known better, and hopefully in the future he will.

Oh, and a few of the usual suspects like you and your four buddies are having your usual fits and writing your usual rants about "hysteria", when all that really happened was an exemplary case of nonviolent citizen action. You all really just need to get a grip, because the only "hysteria" here is coming from your direction.

   361. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 20, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4689471)
And not very long ago we also saw what happened at Duke in the case of believing a black person over some white males. How ready were tons of people willing to believe some pretty rank allegations? We saw some pretty powerful social engines go into overdrive. How could that be, given that only white racists believe blacks have voice and influence?

Yes, so because one black stripper with a past lied and was believed by too many people for too long**, we can infer from that that Glanville may have been lying about this incident. Although funny, nobody has contradicted his recounting. And of course Glanville has such a history of fabrication and racial rabblerousing, this would fit right into a pattern.

**Unlike the non-existent cases of whites who've falsely accused blacks of crimes and were given credibility by the media.
   362. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 20, 2014 at 12:34 AM (#4689473)

I realize that it discomforts you when a privileged person actually uses his privilege on behalf of others less privileged than himself, which is exactly what the Glanvilles were doing here.


Perhaps partially. It's also pretty clear that they were using their privilege on behalf of themselves also, what with Glanville seeking advice from lawyers as to whether he had grounds to pursue legal action.


   363. Morty Causa Posted: April 20, 2014 at 01:48 AM (#4689490)
361:

Don't dodge my point. You know very well it went to the claim always being made that blacks have no power, no leverage, can only be victims. Her past meant nothing until her claims were exploded as the canard they were. My point concerned how so many people were willing to take that woman's allegations at face value, and were all too willing to believe that of course privileged white males had taken advantage of a black person once again. There are other examples of similar jumps to conclusions. Do you deny that?

Why contradict his version at this point? What would it serve? How did it serve the Duke boys? How dispassionate did the media and all of you view that case initially? An afternoon of chat and beers with the President on behalf of racial reconciliation?
   364. Rob_Wood Posted: April 20, 2014 at 02:31 AM (#4689495)

There is an important distinction between one citizen accusing another citizen of a crime (or some sort of misbehavior) and a policeman accusing a citizen of a crime (or some sort of misbehavior).

High school civics assignment: Compare and contrast the situation in which a neighbor drives up to Glanville's home, gets out of the car and asks him the same question to the situation in which a cop does the same thing.

   365. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 20, 2014 at 07:50 AM (#4689511)
I realize that it discomforts you when a privileged person actually uses his privilege on behalf of others less privileged than himself, which is exactly what the Glanvilles were doing here.

Perhaps partially. It's also pretty clear that they were using their privilege on behalf of themselves also, what with Glanville seeking advice from lawyers as to whether he had grounds to pursue legal action.


The fact that he sought legal advice proves nothing as to his motivations for seeking it. It's only common sense that someone in Glanville's position wanted to know what the law actually had mandated.

As for his real motivation, these two paragraphs speak directly to the point, as well as to the reason for his anger. The idea the Glanville was some sort of walking powder keg ready to lash out for no reason is absurd.

Many people I spoke with brought up Henry Louis Gates, the noted Harvard scholar who was arrested for breaking into his own home. If I hadn’t been careful and deferential—if I’d expressed any kind of justifiable outrage—I couldn’t have been sure of the officer’s next question, or his next move. But the problem went even deeper than that. I found myself thinking of the many times I had hired a man who looked like me to shovel my driveway. Would the officer have been any more justified in questioning that man without offering an explanation? I also couldn’t help projecting into the future and imagining my son as a teenager, shoveling our driveway in my place. How could I be sure he would have responded to the officer in the same conciliatory way?

As offended as I’d been, the worst part was trying to explain the incident to my kids. When I called my wife to tell her what had happened, she was on her way home from the Black History Month event, and my son heard her end of the conversation. Right away, he wanted to know whether I’d been arrested. My 4-year-old daughter couldn’t understand why a police officer would “hurt Daddy’s feelings.” I didn’t want to make my children fear the police. I also wasn’t ready to talk to them about stop-and-frisk policies, or the value judgments people put on race.


--------------------------------------------------------

361:

Don't dodge my point. You know very well it went to the claim always being made that blacks have no power, no leverage, can only be victims. Her past meant nothing until her claims were exploded as the canard they were. My point concerned how so many people were willing to take that woman's allegations at face value, and were all too willing to believe that of course privileged white males had taken advantage of a black person once again. There are other examples of similar jumps to conclusions. Do you deny that?


I not only didn't "deny that", I acknowledged it right up front in my first sentence. I can also show you far more cases in not-too-recent history where whites falsely accused blacks of crimes in order to throw the law off their tracks, and the media served up "hysteria" every bit as damaging as in the Duke lacrosse case. Remember Charles Stuart? Or to take a variant of that, remember the Central Park jogger and those "wilding" black savages?

But in the end, none of those citations would prove anything, since in this case the essential facts haven't been disputed by anyone. It's only the interpretation of the facts that's at issue.

Why contradict his version at this point? What would it serve? How did it serve the Duke boys? How dispassionate did the media and all of you view that case initially? An afternoon of chat and beers with the President on behalf of racial reconciliation?

Morty, the police department itself has confirmed Glanville's account of the incident, in the context of defending the officer:

Police said the West Hartford officer properly moved in that direction and observed a man matching the description shoveling a driveway in the area of Fern Street and North Beacon Street in Hartford — Connecticut's capital city.

The officer exited his vehicle and asked the man, who was later found to be Glanville, if he had been seeking work shoveling driveways.


West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka had this to say.

"It's unacceptable and it never should have happened," Slifka told the Hartford Courant. "It's not who we are as a town. It greatly pains me that we'd be painted in this light, but unfortunately it happened, it's true."


You're not arguing the facts, Morty. You're just trying to deny them, no matter what they point to.

If you want to scream "hysteria", fine, because interpretations can be subjective. But at least base your rants on the actual facts of the case, without trying to drag in past cases (and TV shows) that are completely irrelevant to anything.
   366. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 20, 2014 at 07:54 AM (#4689512)
There is an important distinction between one citizen accusing another citizen of a crime (or some sort of misbehavior) and a policeman accusing a citizen of a crime (or some sort of misbehavior).

High school civics assignment: Compare and contrast the situation in which a neighbor drives up to Glanville's home, gets out of the car and asks him the same question to the situation in which a cop does the same thing.


Glanville played it straight with the policeman, knowing what his uniform represented.

If it'd been a neighbor, you'd have to know whether Glanville (a) recognized him, (b) knew him personally; and (c) was addressed by the neighbor in the same rude manner as the policeman did. A friend who was teasing him might get one response, whereas a hostile stranger would likely get a very different one, with good reason.
   367. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:21 AM (#4689523)
if I’d expressed any kind of justifiable outrage

The incident didn't come close to justifying any "outrage."

As offended as I’d been, the worst part was trying to explain the incident to my kids.

The incident also didn't justify any "offense" (*) and there was nothing really to "explain." Glanville was asked one question by a policeman, gave one answer, and the policeman left.

(*) Anymore that the incident a few Sundays back wherein a non-white Best Buy security officer acted like a jagoff to me in front of my 9 year old son when the stupid alarm mis-triggered on our way out the door. Was that racial? Maybe, but I (and we) had better ways to spend my time than to worry about it.
   368. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:23 AM (#4689526)
... and Andy is treating the Glanvilles unequally by not calling them to account for the substance of their nonsense the way he would if they were white....
   369. CrosbyBird Posted: April 20, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4689565)
It's actually worse. If you're a well-off black guy and you live in a neighborhood with few or no other black guys, anytime a cop asks you a question of any kind you will have grounds, under modern liberal logic, to say you were "racially profiled."

I think it's more along the line of "a black guy was doing something, you're a black guy, so immediately you're a suspect unless I recognize you as a celebrity." If the police officer went to question the white people shoveling snow on that block, he would have almost certainly taken a different tone because he knew the suspect wasn't white. But the mere fact of Glanville's shared skin color changed the cop's behavior. I don't know if it's profiling, but it's lazy policing, and certainly I'd be offended if I encountered aggressive police every time some random white guy did something wrong.

Not to mention that there's a fair chance that there's a racial element to the "crime" itself. Do the people in the white neighborhood next door call the police if it's a white guy asking people if they want their walk shoveled? Do they even notice?
   370. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 20, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4689668)
Not to mention that there's a fair chance that there's a racial element to the "crime" itself. Do the people in the white neighborhood next door call the police if it's a white guy asking people if they want their walk shoveled? Do they even notice?
Do they notice if a white guy rings their bell and asks if they want their driveway shoveled? How white do you think we're talking about; do you think they blend in with the snow?
   371. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 20, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4689696)
From Andy's link:

According to police, the complainant reported that a black male in his 40’s, wearing a brown jacket and carrying a snow shovel, had knocked on her neighbor’s door. The caller told police that the neighbors had issues in the recent past with a black male who had solicited money for shoveling snow.


And:

Meanwhile, West Hartford Police said another man matching the description of the solicitor was located at the intersection of South Highland Street and Farmington Avenue in West Hartford on that February day. He was found to be the male in question, police said, and was given a verbal warning for soliciting.

"While the officer’s actions in searching for the suspicious party were completely appropriate, we wish he had taken the extra time to introduce himself to Mr. Glanville and to explain the purpose of the question," the press release from West Hartford Police Department states. "We have discussed this with the officer and will work to remind all of our officers of the importance of good interpersonal skills and taking time, when practical, to explain their actions."

   372. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 20, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4689698)
Is the suggestion that white people don't call the police when they see a white guy committing a crime?
   373. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 20, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4689748)
"While the officer’s actions in searching for the suspicious party were completely appropriate, we wish he had taken the extra time to introduce himself to Mr. Glanville and to explain the purpose of the question," the press release from West Hartford Police Department states. "We have discussed this with the officer and will work to remind all of our officers of the importance of good interpersonal skills and taking time, when practical, to explain their actions."


Obviously this directive is the result of Glanville's making an issue of the policeman's conduct. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

So what's the problem? Do you think that this would have happened without the complaint? Or do you just think that Glanville should have kept quiet about it and let the police go on insulting people?
   374. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 20, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4689762)
So what's the problem?

That you and the Glanvilles turned an incident of mediocre interpersonal skills and explanation of action into something political and racial -- and uttered public mistruths.

You still really don't understand this? It's been explained several times.
   375. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 20, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4689795)
That you and the Glanvilles turned an incident of mediocre interpersonal skills and explanation of action into something political and racial -- and uttered public mistruths.

In fact your problem seems to be that the policeman was called to account, and will think twice about applying his "mediocre interpersonal skills" the next time. This apparently bothers you for reasons only you can explain, though it doesn't seem to bother Glanville's white neighbors or the Mayor of West Hartford, who's taken steps to remind the police of how they should treat people they confront. You might learn a few things from the Mayor of West Hartford.

You still really don't understand this? It's been explained several times.

Oh, I understand you and your type all too well, just as Glanville understands your counterparts where he lives. The culture is changing in ways that obviously upset you, and in your impotent frustration you lash out at every symptom of it you see. It's a sad sight to see a fellow Primate's world apparently crumbling around him, but it's something you're going to have to deal with.
   376. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 20, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4689802)
In fact your problem seems to be that the policeman was called to account, and will think twice about applying his "mediocre interpersonal skills" the next time. This apparently bothers you for reasons only you can explain, though it doesn't seem to bother Glanville's white neighbors or the Mayor of West Hartford, who's taken steps to remind the police of how they should treat people they confront. You might learn a few things from the Mayor of West Hartford.


Nope, no problem with it at all. "Problem" remains you and the Glanvilles making the incident political and racial and uttering untruths about it and generally making it far bigger than it was.

Oh, I understand you and your type all too well, just as Glanville understands your counterparts where he lives. The culture is changing in ways that obviously upset you, and in your impotent frustration you lash out at every symptom of it you see. It's a sad sight to see a fellow Primate's world apparently crumbling around him, but it's something you're going to have to deal with.

Nice try.
   377. Morty Causa Posted: April 20, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4689821)
375:

As a political and legal principle, I’ll go on record stating that I’m for equality before the law and in the law. Even if you think me insincere and a sophist about that, my saying that allows you and everyone else to hold me to an objective standard. It gives us language and theory and philosophy with which to contest issues arising under sets of facts.

Now, exactly what is your standard, the one that you are willing to be held to? Plant your flag.
   378. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 20, 2014 at 06:45 PM (#4689837)
Now, exactly what is your standard, the one that you are willing to be held to?

Calling people racists.
   379. BDC Posted: April 20, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4689845)
I finally RTFA and noticed that the incident is an example of life imitating a joke that has reached the status of urban legend. You know the punchline: "I don't get paid for shoveling this driveway. The woman who lives here sleeps with me."

One wishes that Glanville had whipped out the joke, but I can see his reluctance to spring it on a cop, and also that it's not very funny when it becomes reality.
   380. Morty Causa Posted: April 20, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4689847)
That's the first thing about this case that strikes me, too: how timid Glanville and his wife were about asserting their rights and airing their grievances.
   381. Morty Causa Posted: April 20, 2014 at 07:06 PM (#4689850)
Calling people racists.

Well, yes, there's that. Apparently, that's the burden people assume when they are white--spray gun charges of racism are their just lot in life. It's something they need to be especially sensitive to looking at it-- from the perspective of the accuser.

It may be hard for us to understand, but even a white policeman probably considers himself a human being with feelings that can be hurt. How do you think he feels about a bunch of amateurs who know very little about the specifics of this case and the requirements of his job passing judgment based on a version of events from one point of view only that (surprise!) judges him to be a racist who is derelict in his duty? It's a version of I'm not a lawyer but I play one on the internet.
   382. CrosbyBird Posted: April 20, 2014 at 07:27 PM (#4689862)
Do they notice if a white guy rings their bell and asks if they want their driveway shoveled? How white do you think we're talking about; do you think they blend in with the snow?

Is the suggestion that white people don't call the police when they see a white guy committing a crime?

Seriously? I didn't think it was so thinly-veiled. I mean that the rich white people of this neighborhood just might be slightly less bothered by a white person offering unsolicited shoveling than they would be by a black person.

It's not like Hartford has such a great reputation for racial tolerance either. A little bit of extra sensitivity goes a long way when your town has two fairly racially-charged incidents within the past year (Dave Chappelle concert, police officer referring to "gorillas" on the radio).
   383. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 20, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4689875)
I mean that the rich white people of this neighborhood just might be slightly less bothered by a white person offering unsolicited shoveling than they would be by a black person.


Or they might not be. The fact of the matter is that you have no clue or indication whether they are or they aren't. If that's sufficient evidence for you to go with it, have at it -- but a lot of us have far higher standards.
   384. CrosbyBird Posted: April 20, 2014 at 07:56 PM (#4689885)
Sufficient evidence for what? To firebomb the police stadium? Or to simply take Glanville at his word?

I think you're seeing Glanville's reaction as much more extreme than it was. Nobody is calling for the officer to be fired, or demanding racial sensitivity training.

Here's what we know happened: Glanville was guilty of nothing, and a police officer was guilty of some aggressive policing that Glanville felt was slightly racist. So his wife brought this to the attention of her politician, and since the Glanville's are rich, they got more of a hearing than most people would get. And the authorities certainly didn't dismiss the idea that it could have been handled more appropriately (which is all that Glanville would have wanted!).

So maybe Glanville, and his wife, and the Hartford police department, and the people arguing with you about why this is worthy of discussion are all out of their minds. Or maybe you lack just a tiny bit of awareness of what it means to possess white privilege, and what life is like for people who don't.
   385. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 20, 2014 at 07:57 PM (#4689886)
Seriously? I didn't think it was so thinly-veiled. I mean that the rich white people of this neighborhood just might be slightly less bothered by a white person offering unsolicited shoveling than they would be by a black person.


You're projecting.
   386. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:03 PM (#4689895)
Here's what we know happened: Glanville was guilty of nothing, and a police officer was guilty of some aggressive policing that Glanville felt was slightly racist. So his wife brought this to the attention of her politician, and since the Glanville's are rich, they got more of a hearing than most people would get. And the authorities certainly didn't dismiss the idea that it could have been handled more appropriately (which is all that Glanville would have wanted!).

It isn't all Glanville wanted and wasn't (close to) everything he (or his wife) expressed. Andy's said the same thing, and it's a complete invention.

Nor was it really "aggressive policing." It was a policeman asking a question in a relatively rude way.(*) Can't you guys ever play it straight, without the loaded language?

(*) Without a single shred of evidence that the rudeness was racially-based or motivated. Glanville and his wife didn't want us just to make sure the cop wasn't rude anymore -- they wanted us to conclude that the policeman was rude (and worse) because the cop was racist and the Glanvilles are black. It's impossible to conclude otherwise from their words and actions. You're wishcasting all that away with the comical claim that all they wanted to do was draw attention to police rudeness.

   387. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:15 PM (#4689903)
It isn't all Glanville wanted and wasn't (close to) everything he (or his wife) expressed. Andy's said the same thing, and it's a complete invention.


Yes. They wanted a conclusion that the cop was racist. And that the police procedures were. This is clear from, well, everything, including Glanville's wife's furious email sent to their friend the senator under the heading "shoveling while black."

   388. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:19 PM (#4689905)
Nope, no problem with it at all. "Problem" remains you and the Glanvilles making the incident political and racial and uttering untruths about it and generally making it far bigger than it was.

IOW you've got no problem with the outcome, just with the actions that caused the outcome. I guess that virgin births are always nice to dream about on Easter Sunday.

--------------------------------------

375:

As a political and legal principle, I’ll go on record stating that I’m for equality before the law and in the law. Even if you think me insincere and a sophist about that,


Morty, your responses wander off into the ether with such regularity that to many of us you're a mystery stuffed into one of Homer Simpson's Lard Lad donuts. Whether you're sincere is almost beside the point.

my saying that allows you and everyone else to hold me to an objective standard. It gives us language and theory and philosophy with which to contest issues arising under sets of facts.

I'd be satisfied if you'd simply stick to writing in plain English, or at least bone up on your Strunk and White. I realize that in writing this I don't always stick to my own suggestion. (smile)

Now, exactly what is your standard, the one that you are willing to be held to? Plant your flag.

The Rabbi Hillel, in any one of several translations of his most famous words:

If I am not for myself, who will be?

But if I am for myself alone, what am I?


The sentiment applies both to individuals and to groups. The first time I heard the words was when James Farmer used them in a failed attempt to ward off a black nationalist takeover of CORE. They've resonated with me ever since.


   389. CrosbyBird Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:20 PM (#4689907)
You're projecting.

You caught me. I'm terrified of black people.

It was a policeman asking a question in a relatively rude way.

I would call that aggressive policing. Not police brutality or abuse of power, just an aggressive approach.

You're framing this as a "thing the police officer is" argument when it's really a "thing the police officer did" argument. I'm not accusing the police officer of being a racist. I'm saying he behaved in a way that might have been racist, and as a person in a position of authority, he could have handled things a bit better than he did.

   390. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4689910)
Here's what we know happened: Glanville was guilty of nothing, and a police officer was guilty of some aggressive policing that Glanville felt was slightly racist.
My problem with this is the line "aggressive policing." (My only point in this thread, in spite of Andy's attempts to conglomerate a bunch of people arguing him into one position.) The cop asked a question. Maybe the question was phrased insultingly; Glanville certainly took it that way. Glanville seems to worry that if he had not been deferential enough, the cop would have taken it out on him (a la Henry Louis Gates). But that didn't happen, so we can't treat it as if it did. So I wouldn't say that there's sufficient basis to call it "aggressive" at all.

Although we know that the cop was responding to a report of a black shoveler, Glanville didn't, at the time of the event, have any basis for assuming it was racial -- that the cop wouldn't have said the same thing if a white guy fit the description¹ of an alleged felonious shoveler.


¹ Glanville never says whether he was dressed like the person they were looking for.
   391. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:25 PM (#4689912)
Nor was it really "aggressive policing." It was a policeman asking a question in a relatively rude way

Yes, a "relatively rude way" that was in the form of a direct accusation of guilt. Pretending that it was anything else says more about you than it does about the wording of the question.

------------------------------------------

It isn't all Glanville wanted and wasn't (close to) everything he (or his wife) expressed. Andy's said the same thing, and it's a complete invention.


Yes. They wanted a conclusion that the cop was racist. And that the police procedures were. This is clear from, well, everything, including Glanville's wife's furious email sent to their friend the senator under the heading "shoveling while black."

And yet when the police department defended their officer's actions, and the Mayor simply asserted that in the future the police would act differently, the Glanvilles didn't object.
   392. Morty Causa Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:27 PM (#4689914)
388:

That is a complete evasion. But, probably, an evasion completely thought out.
   393. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:28 PM (#4689915)
You're framing this as a "thing the police officer is" argument when it's really a "thing the police officer did" argument. I'm not accusing the police officer of being a racist. I'm saying he behaved in a way that might have been racist, and as a person in a position of authority, he could have handled things a bit better than he did.

Bingo. And the Glanvilles' actions made it more likely that he'll handle things better in the future.
   394. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:30 PM (#4689916)
388:

That is a complete evasion. But, probably, an evasion completely thought out.


You're welcome to quote Hillel back to me and hold me to his standard any time you wish.
   395. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:35 PM (#4689918)
You're projecting.

You caught me. I'm terrified of black people.


You're moving the goalposts. The issue was whether "the rich white people of this neighborhood just might be slightly less bothered by a white person offering unsolicited shoveling than they would be by a black person." (Not that they were "terrified of black people.") And I suggested that since you have no problem concluding that white people think that way, perhaps it describes you as well.

   396. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4689919)
IOW you've got no problem with the outcome, just with the actions that caused the outcome.

No, I have no problem with the Glanvilles helping the officer not act as rudely in the future. But their excessive and untrue statements remain part of the "outcome," which is highly problematic -- at least to those of us who respect them as truly equal citizens, as opposed to helpless objects of condescension.

Yes, a "relatively rude way" that was in the form of a direct accusation of guilt.

Of a nothing "crime." It's like "directly accusing" you of being "guilty" of being a Yankee fan.

And yet when the police department defended their officer's actions, and the Mayor simply asserted that in the future the police would act differently, the Glanvilles didn't object.

The police department didn't defend the officer's actions; they said he handled the situation poorly.

Nor did the Glanvilles retract their untrue and excessive statements.
   397. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4689920)
Bingo. And the Glanvilles' actions made it more likely that he'll handle things better in the future.
If you say so.
   398. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:38 PM (#4689921)
Of a nothing "crime." It's like "directly accusing" you of being "guilty" of being a Yankee fan.
Uh, isn't that like accusing someone of being a terrorist and child molester, or worse?
   399. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:39 PM (#4689923)
I'm saying he behaved in a way that might have been racist

There's no evidence whatsoever of this.
   400. Morty Causa Posted: April 20, 2014 at 08:44 PM (#4689925)
If I am not for myself, who will be?

But if I am for myself alone, what am I?


How does that work in a legal and political frame of reference?

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