In Arch Puddington`s May 1999 Commentary
article The War on the War on Crime
, Puddington wrote
"One such remedy, advanced by Congressman Jos?© Serrano of the Bronx, is mandatory ethnic sensitivity training for all members of the police force. This idea, perhaps harmless in itself, is also nonsensical. New York is home to over 100 ethnic and immigrant groups. Amadou Dialloâ€™s native Guinea has its own cultural traditions, distinct from those of other West African societies, let alone from those of American blacks. Just as no course in sensitivity training could hope to acquaint police officers with the wildly disparate styles they are likely to encounter in the course of a weekâ€™s patrol, there is little chance that sensitivity training would be of any use whatsoever in crisis situations requiring a split-second decision to shoot or not to shoot"
The alternative is teaching immigrants to be ethnically sensitive to the needs of Americans. Especially armed Americans.
After Japanese exchange student Yoshihiro Hattori
was shot by mistake in New Orleans one Halloween, when he burst into the wrong house by mistake,
wearing a mask, there was a brief vogue in Japan for courses to teach Japanese tourists what English phrases like "Freeze", "Don`t move",
and "Hands up!"
The Hattori case is sad, since he meant no harm. Because of his minimal English skills, he didn`t know what "Freeze"
meant, he didn`t know he was in the wrong house, and he apparently had no conception, because Japan is not a free country
, that what the homeowner was pointing at him was a real gun. And it was Halloween.
The real villain in both the Hattori case and the Diallo case
is not the deceased, who meant no harm, or the men who shot them, who madeÂ honest mistakes
. It`s the criminals
who for years terrorized New York
and New Orleans,
making survival frequently a matter of split-seconds, and setting the stage for those mistakes.
But my point is that the Japanese responded to this educating themselves,
instead of waiting Americans to become more sensitive.