by Yvette Carnell
With the number of slayings of black men beginning to unnerve even the most ferocious right wingers, such as Glenn Beck, a few pundits are back to calling for a dialogue or conversation on race and police brutality. But, as a Facebook friend observed here, those sorts of conversations are mostly useless in this country:
One can’t have a dialogue with another person who is only interested in having what R.D. Laing labeled a “duologue.” Duologues occur when two parties are talking past each other or one of the parties refuses to acknowledge what the other person is saying. The exchange between Eric Garner and the police officers who killed him was a duologue. The cops were more focused on subduing and subjugating a person who was not physically resisting them than in carrying out appropriate police procedures. The police were more focused on demonstrating to Mr. Garner they were in charge than trying to ascertain if he was breaking the law. At no point did one of the officers claim to have seen Mr. Garner selling single cigarettes nor did they produce a witness who claimed to have seen him peddling cigarettes. They were not interested in establishing any lawful basis for approaching him. They simply wanted him to comply with their demands. The fact Mr. Garner said he was doing nothing wrong was meaningless to the cops because they refused to accept his humanity. The cops even refused to hear him when he said, “I can’t breathe.” There is no possibility of having a dialogue with people who refuse to hear you.