It is very difficult to build trust when there is a history of perceived injustice. Any attempt by the police to show a good gesture to people in the black community is commendable. But it requires cultural competence. One white American’s offer to a black American woman a good example of poor Cultural IQ. It was caught on video.
The young man narrating the video points out the officer’s cultural competency gap. Because he was being good hearted and the gesture would make him feel good, the officer thought it was a good idea. He failed to consider the recipient’s initial reaction to being stopped by the police. Notice in the video that the driver adjusted her initial answer to the officer’s question to add “sir”? She was very nervous and it lingered even after she realized that it was an act of kindness. It was at once a surprise, a relief, and unsettling. Had it been someone with poor health, it could have led to a heart attack.
What is Cultural IQ?
Cultural Intelligence, or Cultural IQ, is the ability to successfully navigate cultural differences with superior social problem solving skills. We train participants in the Diversity Executive Leadership Academy program to develop their Cultural IQ with focus on achieving high mindfulness, empathy, curiosity, and people skills (see http://dtui.com/diversity-certification/dela). Some of us come into the world with the ability, but too many of us suffer from low Cultural IQ. The good news is that it can be learned.
Community Policing Skills
This is a valuable lesson about what is needed to improve community policing competence. What do you think the officer could have done differently to get his point across while reducing the initial stress of the people he approached?
Diversity And Inclusion: Creating cultural competence in a diverse world. Michelle Maldonado interviews Dr. Billy Vaughn, PhD CDP.