Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Zero tolerance

 St. Patrick’s Day Weekend: And being a White in Philly…

As j.n. salters walked down 15th Street in Center City this past Saturday night, amidst drunken white girls in green mini skirts and green heels with green bows in their hair, and belligerent white boys wearing green beaded necklaces and funny-shaped glasses yelling and chasing after the girls…

She I could not help but think, this is what it actually means to be white in Philadelphia.

j.n. salters,  black feminist writer and PhD candidate, posted this March 18, 2014 on The Blog:

Being White in Philly St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

In February 2013, Philadelphia Magazine published the now-infamous article “Being White in Philly: Whites, race, class, and the things that never get said,” in which author Robert Huber asked select, anonymous white from Philadelphia to share their “race story” (in other words, their individual feelings about black people).

According to Huber:

[E]veryone might have a race story, but few whites risk the third-rail danger of speaking publicly about race, given the long, troubled history of race relations in this country and even more so in this city. Race is only talked about in a sanitized form, when it’s talked about at all, with actual thoughts and feelings buried, which only ups the ante. Race remains the elephant in the room, even on the absurd level of who holds the door to enter a convenience store.

In keeping with Huber’s purported aim to get rid of the elephant in the room, I offer some of the thoughts that crossed my mind Saturday night as I passed a young blond girl in a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” T-shirt peeing on the sidewalk while a redheaded boy with freckles pinched her.

You cannot be fucking serious. But, of course you’re serious.

You’re white in Center City.

As I continued to make my way down the shit show covered in shamrocks, I asked myself, what if all these people outside were black?

If we are to go by recent Philadelphia policies and legislation — many of which disproportionately target people of color (e.g., stop and frisk, “zero tolerance” policies, curfew ordinances, voter ID laws) — I am almost certain that had these been masses of drunken black teenagers and young adults decked in matching colors, they would have been deemed gang members, looters, flash mobsters, and subsequently stopped and frisked, beaten, and/or arrested.

I am thinking about the Philadelphia “flash mobs” that garnered much media attention in the summers of 2010 and 2011, during which the media created a moral panic around black youth, violence and crime organized via social media sites after hundreds of black kids spontaneously appeared on South Street in downtown Philadelphia.

Newspaper headlines read “Black-mob violence flooding Philadelphia” and “Another Flash Mob Rocks South Street: In the ‘Tsunami,’ chants of ‘Burn the City!‘” — the menacing language reminiscent of the alleged “wilding” that, most infamously, was purportedly behind the 1989 vicious rape-beating of the “Central Park jogger” in Manhattan.

Though some Philadelphia teens did engage in acts of vandalism, the majority were nonviolent kids just hanging out, some watching break-dancing performances.

Nevertheless, Philadelphia mayor, Michael Nutter, imposed a stiffer curfew for people under 18 and delivered a Bill Cosby Pound-Cake-esque lecture from a pulpit at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in which he told black youth: “You have damaged your own race,” and instructed them to “Pull your pants up and buy a belt.”

In addition, social-media networks were monitored with assistance from the FBI, news crews and Philadelphia police flooded the streets, and dozens of people were arrested.

Thus, as I watched the white mobs in green on Saturday night, I was struck by the lack of law enforcement. I can personally recall several family cookouts, block parties, birthday parties and informal gatherings of black and brown family members and friends in which multiple men and women in uniform and police cars and even police dogs showed up.

How over 100 drunk people could be loitering on a major street and not one police officer be noticeably present was astonishing. It was also a reminder of the kind of society that we live in.

To most of America, more than one Black/Latino standing next to each other wearing the same color equals gang, threat, flash mob. Not drink specials, themed parties, and excused belligerence.

You call it St. Patrick’s Day

I call it white privilege — or being white in Philadelphia and America.

Nothing to do with Leadership Qualities: How to sustain learning, perseverance and action?

What Dan Rockwell says and what I say.

I read a short post on Leadership qualities by Dan Rockwell. In essence it says (with slight editing):

1. You can’t lead when you know too much. Why?

Education system establishes barriers to thinking. Everything that comes your way is instantly judged by what you know. In some cases the less you know the more open you are. People with knowledge say things like, “We can’t do that because…”

2. You can’t lead when you have too much experience.

You’ve been doing your job for years. You say things like, “We have always done it this way.” People with experience resist change. Knowledge and experience hold leaders back when they result in closed minds.

Rockwell goes on…The four qualities that count for a leader are:

1. Character: is acting in harmony with who we are and in alignment with noble virtues.

2. Curiosity: is the ability to withhold judgment long enough to consider alternatives. In a changing world the ability to ask questions is more powerful than making statements.

3. Courage: is willingness to act boldly and decisively while taking responsibility.

4. Action driven: in a world full of “can’t do’s” successful leaders ask  What can we do? And following this question with any small action is far better than a bleak future run on inaction…

New worlds displace old worlds. Turbulence, new regulations, cultural shifts, and technological advancements make old knowledge and past experience less relevant. During changing times leaders must possess these four qualities.

We are at our best remembering all the “good” reasons for doing nothing. As we grow wiser and in age, we discover how foolish and pathetic we refrained from taking any small action in the proper direction…” End of post

I say:

If these are the necessary qualities for leadership, the world must be packed with leaders: Most people are mediocre in background knowledge, in necessary sustained knowledge, in varieties of experience, are engaged in (mindless) action-packed life-style

Don’t you think that the kinds of George Bush Jr. satisfy Rockwell’s qualities for leadership?

How can you be curious if you lacked the stamina to keep learning and acquiring experience?

How can you be courageous if you lacked the basic drive to maintaining the necessary catalyst to keeping up with this changing world?

Displaying patience is one of the main characteristics of a leader. Patience is a gift of trust, humility, and confidence to those who aren’t there yet.

Rockwell resumes in another post:

“Patient leaders intentionally and courageously give space – exercise restraint – for development and growth of people.

Growth implies potential but potential is a “not yet” term.

Development suggests inadequacy or lack. Developing others (what others?) demands patience.

Impatience with people weakens the team.

Patient leaders possess trust, humility, and confidence.

  1. Patience is trusting, believing in the potential of others.
  2. Patience is humbly holding back “your knowing” in order to facilitate the knowing of others and then celebrating their growth. It never says, “I knew that.”
  3. Patience confidently says, “You have more in you.”


Patient leaders put themselves on the line by investing their leadership collateral in potential. Your efforts may not turn out well.

Projects may take longer. Invest in those with character, aptitude, and positive attitudes.

Assure success by going with:

  1. Openness to learning. Those who already know have performance potential but don’t have growth-potential. People who acknowledge they don’t know, have taken the first step toward learning.
  2. Dedication.
  3. Energy.
  4. Intelligence.
  5. Initiative.
  6. Respect. You influence those who respect you.


Go with proven experience on high-profile, high risk ventures.

Don’t assign someone who’s in the process of development to projects that could crush them or destroy you.

How patient should a leader be with:

  1. Unethical or immoral behavior.
  2. Lack of effort or laziness.
  3. Low aptitude – reassign.
  4. Repeated failure.
  5. Rebellion.
  6. Destructive attitudes.
  7. Disloyalty.

Rockwell wrote that leaders should not exhibit any patience with the previous 7 limitations in any individual.

And I wonder: Should the leader be patient only with the normal and “adequate citizens”?

Aren’t all our deficiencies a result of community lack of proper nurturing for its members?

From whom the leader of any community gets feedback for the need to reform?

From the traditional and conservative members? Or from these individuals who are in a state of rebellion by exhibiting attitudes that do not conform to the norms and customs?

Is Rockwell taking a convenient stance so that his “Me-Self” pleases the current common wisdom of the community of “Zero tolerance” ejaculations?




June 2023

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