THE BASIS OF BIAS AND ATTITUDES 

18 May THE BASIS OF BIAS AND ATTITUDES 

Until the community of police and the communities of color are willing and able to get to the bottom of the biases and attitudes that control behavior, any change will be prolonged and painful.  Each person in these communities and others must understand that their behaviors, whether verbal or physical, come from a place in each of us, filled with the attitudes and beliefs that we carry everywhere we go.  There are no human exceptions to this fact.   It’s as simple as  A B C.  Attitudes Become Communication.  We all have them.  We all talk and act the way we do because of them.   Sometimes we are readily aware that what we are doing or saying comes from something we believe in.  Sometimes we are not overtly aware of why we say or do the things we do.   Until each of us can understand what attitudes we carry with us and where they come from, there will be no peace or understanding.  A detente will exist and will only erupt again and again.

I believe that no one is born evil or hateful.  Those things have to be learned.  How does that happen?   There are five ways that attitudes are learned, developed, and nurtured to the point that they become the words and actions that we use

  1. Observation   –   If you see someone brush by a hot stove and get burned,  you quickly decide not to touch that stove.  You develop an attitude about hot stoves.
  2. Experience   -   If you actually touch a hot stove, you learn even faster.  You develop an attitude about hot stoves.  
  3. Teaching   –   You have people in your life who love and care for you, especially as a child.    In return, you love and accept what they tell (teach) you.  You don’t question it. You accept it.   You develop an attitude about what you’ve been taught
  4. Peers   –   At almost every age, you are influenced by your peers.  This is particularly strong in your childhood and youth.   On the one hand, you want to fit in and be accepted.  On the other hand, you want to stand out and be special.   As you find things that make you feel good, you develop an attitude about those things.
  5. Personality   –   At some point in life, you must accept that the things you learn and decide to keep as part of your personality are your choice.   You can no longer blame your parents or family or neighborhood or friends or teacher for what you believe.   You develop and accept your attitudes because your value system likes them.

 

The attitudes you have about everything are responsible for your behaviors and your words.  In order to change the way we treat each other, we must carefully examine where those attitudes come from.  Then, you must decide if the resulting behaviors and words produce joy or anguish for you.  That very decision will be filtered through attitudes you have about joy and anguish.  You cannot escape the attitudes you have that become the way you communicate with the world  (ABC).

Most of who you are and how you behave has been put into you by observation –experience –teachers and peers.  Now is the time for you to take charge of your thoughts,  words, behaviors, and attitudes.  Now is the time for you to set the standards for your contribution to humanity and self joy.  Now is the time for you to take charge of your life by investigating all those attitudes that have been put into you.  Now is the time for you to make your own decisions about the police, the communities of color, and everything that you say and do.  Now is the time for you to create and control attitudes, which will, in turn, control your words and behaviors.   It’s a simple as A B C…….. Attitudes Become Communication.

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Dennis Becker

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