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Dorothy Bland

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Gator, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    I saw that this was touched upon in the S.C. thread, but I found it interesting and felt it needed its own thread. Obviously there is a meme going around about Dorothy Bland, the dean of journalism at North Texas.

    She's a black woman living in an affluent neighborhood, and she was stopped by two white police officers for walking on the street with headphones in. She was impeding traffic, which is the reason why she was stopped. She perceived the incident in a certain way, and the Dallas Morning News allowed her to write an op-ed piece on her take. The police (and subsequently, the dashcam video from the cruiser) shows a far different take.

    Now people are calling for her firing, while the school, Bland and the DMN are still defending the piece, which is linked below. Read both accounts (from Bland and the response from the PD), then watch the video. I'll admit, what she wrote isn't what I saw. Things seemed pretty cordial.

    Of course there are incidents where police profile people based on race, but instances like this hurt the cause.

    Dorothy Bland: I was caught ‘walking while black.’ Police chief: No, officers were doing their jobs.
  2. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    You're touching on (possibly) two pools of idiots here. The first consists of anyone other than Bland who's "defending" the piece. She's absolutely entitled to interpret what happened to her in any way she sees fit, but the rest of the "has-a-clue" world shouldn't. To the degree that UNT and the DMN are defending her take, rather than her freedom to share that take ... they're being idiots.

    The second pool of idiots consists of the people calling for her firing as a result of this column ... how the hell does this column speak to her performance on the job?
    cranberry likes this.
  3. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    From what I've read, the people calling for her firing are questioning her credibility as dean of journalism at a major university. Such a position should come with a certain level of credibility, which is probably why the DMN allowed her to write such an accusatory piece without vetting it properly.
  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Well, you would think that the dean of journalism would be a little better at representing the facts of a situation.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    It's stupid to walk in the street with a hood on and earphones in in the dark or dusk. You are limiting your vision and hearing.

    Her letter had a tone that was a tad off-putting.
  6. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    I thought her column was terribly flawed, but it was an "affect" piece ... this happened to me and I felt this way and I can see how others would feel this way yada yada yada. It was all emotion, and one is allowed one's emotions.
  7. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    She objectively mischaracterized the interaction.

    But you are correct,. ... that ran on the op-ed page. If the paper gives her the space to write an opinion piece, she is entitled to say whatever she wants.

    Similarly, the police chief was entitled to respond, when given the chance. And the actual video of the interaction makes it clear that she mischaracterized what happened. So it was pretty easy to do.
  8. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I'd be curious if she's since watched the video and if she maybe sees it any differently than she remembered.
  9. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    Of course she is entitled to her opinion, but don't you think that this particular incident hurts the overall cause of shedding a brighter light on racial profiling? The next time there is an incident without video, how many people will say, 'Oh, it's probably just another Dorothy Bland situation.'?
    Mr. Sunshine likes this.
  10. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    The funniest part of the video, to me, was when she asked to take the photo of the cops. Here are these two okie-dokie white guys posing for the photo, not having a clue that she was about to accuse them on her Facebook page of racial profiling.
    Mr. Sunshine likes this.
  11. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I'd think most people who aren't already prejudiced understand that racial profiling actually happens. ... and also understand that every time white cops stop a black person it isn't necessarily an instance of racial profiling.
    SnarkShark, Ace, JC and 1 other person like this.
  12. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    You guys ever see the movie "Once Around," with Holly Hunter and Richard Dreyfuss? There's a scene in there where her parents, very staid types, are getting irritated by the Hunter and Dreyfuss characters' late-night shenanigans. The father, played by Danny Aiello, starts off with a "It's one in the morning" kind of thing, and by the end of the scene (which lasts about 30 seconds) he's taken it to "It's four in the morning!" As he gets angrier and angrier, his distortion of the facts becomes more pronounced.

    I don't think Bland purposefully mischaracterized the interaction. I think her memories and her emotions swirled around there for awhile and led her to remember differently from how it occurred. And stuff like this is why more and more I share DW's skepticism re: eyewitness testimony.

    Now, if Bland had a shred of intellectual honesty, she'd own up to the fact that she mis-remembered the interaction while crafting her column. But her second-best play might be to just STFU and focus on being a dean.
    Donny in his element likes this.
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