005 – Unrecognizable World Views | Edina Police | St. Cloud Police

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What do we do when we can’t recognize perspectives that are different from our own?

a. Conversation between co-hosts Andre Koen and Brian Jost recorded 10/24/2016.
b. Edina, MN police incident with Larnie Thomas 10/12/2016 (including  bystander cell phone partial recording).
c. Law Enforcement – Why don’t we see the positive side in the media?
d. Partial archived interview with Wm. Blair Anderson, Chief of Police, City of St. Cloud, MN from 02/22/2015.
e. Open invite to law enforcement to record with Andre and Brian.

Related links:

-YouTube interview with Wm. Blair Anderson, Chief of Police, City of St. Cloud, MN (by Andre Koen) Published 02/22/2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlYuWL1qINM

-Edina, MN Police Incident with Larnie Thomas 10/12/16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djyysjn6vCg

-Star Tribune article “Video of Edina police officer confronting a black man goes viral” http://www.startribune.com/video-of-edina-police-officer-confronting-a-black-man-goes-viral/397145941/

Podcast Website: http://www.armchairactivistpodcast.com/

Co-hosted by:
-ANDRE KOEN, http://www.andrekoen.com/
-BRIAN JOST, https://brianjost.com/
Produced by: Brian Jost

Are you frustrated, angered, confused, or just plain exhausted by the polarizing conversations around race and social justice? Find your community. Find your voice. Get it right. Stand with us…the “Armchair Activist.”

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7 thoughts on “005 – Unrecognizable World Views | Edina Police | St. Cloud Police”

  1. You guys are absolutely and totally off base. Brian’s view of the police officer “controlling you like you’re an animal” comment is so absurd it’s maddening. Does Brian even know what he is talking about? Is he trying to fit in with Andre? Has he ever ridden along with a police officer to see what they see every day they are on the job?

    There is no way anyone can say with any certainty what would have happened if it wasn’t video taped. To say anything about what could have happened is slanderous and propagating a narrative that makes police out to the be the criminal. Andre’s comment of “I don’t understand how people can’t see the importance of where we are” is just as laughable as Brian’s comment discussed above.

    This is what is so frustrating with these conversations. This is why your title is so appropriate. I know Andre tries to work with people to develop new paradigms of viewing others, but I don’t know if Brian does anything like that. I do think Andre’s approach is one that can lead to the “if you don’t see it my way then you must be wrong” view of others. I know he is trying to open up discussions between white people and people of color, but a statement like he made above shows that he is not as far along as he might think he is in that endeavor. If he truly wanted to bridge the gap he would then try to put himself into a white man’s skin for a little while and stop trying to coerce all white people into see things from a black person’s view.

    1. Erik – Thanks for the 1st comment. I’m just working on the site a bit and making sure comments and replies are visible. I certainly welcome all perspectives and want to promote conversations. I’ve set up separate blog and episode feeds, and trying to make sense of it all. If you continue to visit, let me know if you see tech issues. Thanks for listening. – Brian Jost

    2. Erik – Can you please let me know if you received an email notification that I posted this reply? I’m trying to make sense of the blog settings. If you haven’t, I suggest you listen to episodes 1 & 2 to get a better idea of who I am and to realize that I’m not claiming to be an expert. Also, I’m guessing based on your comments that you didn’t even listen to all of episode 5. I’m hoping Andre and I can record a conversation with you soon to capture more of your perspective. Maybe you already let Andre know your schedule for that. ??? These conversations are important, more important than quick reactions to limited information. That’s what we all seem to be doing, reacting too quickly to everything we see in the media, me included. And there’s too much info to follow and really dig into. It seems like just when one conversation is developing, some new distraction has everyone reacting in a different direction and no progress is made. I don’t have all the answers. I just want to promote conversations and help people get to know each other. Thanks again for listening. – Brian

      1. Erik Vakula, I appreciate your perspective, but when I listened to Andre and Brian, I heard a tough conversation. But, what I also heard was balance. They both very carefully balanced the conversation so that the listener understood that they do not believe that all cops are bad. No one does. But, it is a system that needs work.

        As a middle aged white woman, I too, saw an officer who was trying to show dominance over a black man. I too, saw a situation (even beginning a few minutes in) that could have easily been different. There was no need for humiliation. I can only assume that the middle aged white woman who stopped and got out of her car to film it, also saw these things.

        Also as a middle aged white woman, I want to try explain why your comment about Andre, “If he truly wanted to bridge the gap he would then try to put himself into a white man’s skin for a little while and stop trying to coerce all white people into see things from a black person’s view” is so, incredibly, offensive.

        Let’s just break that down… First, bridging the gap. This is the gap that was created by a white colonized society when African peoples were brought over by boats, sold, abused, raped and enslaved for generations. This is also the gap that had government and institutionalized systems working against them, heavily, up until recent history, some systems even today. Second, white man’s skin. Walking in white man’s skin is the easiest position on the planet. Period. There is absolutely no debating that. Third, Stop trying to coerce all white people. White people have been coercing black people for hundreds of years. I do not believe shedding light on injustices within our system looks at all like coercion. It looks like freedom.

        What you have done by posing your question is redirect the narrative. And, by redirecting the narrative, you have painted the white man as the victim. This is not just a gross inaccuracy, but an offensive stance to take.

        Your sentence, Erik, which, in my opinion, is loaded with why it’s difficult to enlighten people to these injustices, screams of white fragility. This is not a movement that wants to be angry at groups of people (ie: white), this is a movement that is begging for all people to be equal. Currently, because of systems in place within our government and institutions, that is not feasible until there has been true reform of these systems. And, for reform to happen, we first, as a people, must acknowledge that these injustices, biases and discriminations are real. And, they are real my friend. Sadly, so very real.

  2. Great discussion. Certainly St Cloud Chief, as well as the Columbia Heights Chief have demonstrated what effective leadership entails. I would encourage Erik to go to the City of Edina website and watch the video of the council meeting immediately following the Larnie Thomas incident. It is one of the most powerful events I’ve witnessed with 3 hours of speakers touching on a wide range of historical, as well as current day problems that need addressing.

  3. My question is simple, Erik vakula how can you ask a black man to put himself in a white man’s skin, when all the chips are not stacked against you , there us no such thing as black privilege, and as a black man I feel like all white people should see things from a black man’s point of view for a change, and if you want to help bridge the gap you should first remove your blindfold and just for one hour put in a black man’s shoes, for you to say simply because you absolutely have no idea what it’s like to be a black man in a system that treats dogs way better than you because of your skin color, I’m open to talk to you face to face just because brother you are missing a to stop being blinded by your white privilege, furthermore police officers who commit these kind of acts are criminals, you of course you won’t agree with that because you are blinded with white privilege!! Also Erik Vakula, until one of your close friends is a victim of police harassment, or better yet, murdered by a cop you won’t ever agree with what a black man goes thru everyday in your community!!!

  4. Erik Vakula, if you are a member of SAVCA, you may know that we are an organization committed to advocacy for equity, unity, human rights, and social justice. We also provide a source of communication, tools, and resources as well as opportunities for discussion, knowledge sharing, and collaboration. We will be holding a group meeting soon – watch for posts – so you should join us for some face to face conversations. Also, I would like to invite you to read A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota. Reading personal narratives provides an opportunity for us, as human beings, to step into the experiences of others, to self-scrutinize in quiet ways. It also provides space and time to prepare for more informed, public conversations around race and equity. I will be holding Brave, Safe, Courageous Conversations on Race (with this anthology as a source for opening discussions) in our community beginning in November. Look for updates.

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