Signs of the Times - June 2016 - (Page 14)

Te c h no lo gy U p date By Darek Johnson Darek Johnson is ST's Senior Technology Editor/ Analyst. Email him at darek.johnson@ A Moment at Bar Louie's A seemingly harmless statement. Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying. - Arthur C. Clark O akley Station, Cincinnati's new urban-cosmopolitan shopping mall, features various enterprises: a Cinemark theater, Kroger, retail stores, office sites, Pottery-Barntype apartments and the Bar Louie restaurant - an urban-professional, bar and grill that serves designer brews and fashion foods - Tilapia Veracruzana, for example. A week ago, I found myself seated alongside 20 or so inner-city schoolteachers at Bar Louie's patio, which, on that day, was crowded with noisy happy-hour socializers. Cincinnati was experiencing an early-spring afternoon, one that granted Floridalike sunshine and electric-blue skies, so everyone wanted to be outside. The teachers, my wife's peers, are always an animated group and in this hyperactive environment, they had become an energetic fusion of colors, ages and nationalities. All around, they energetically conversed in Spanish and English. Across the table, with a glass of Bell's Amber Ale in his hands, my friend Marcus was skillfully voicing one-line zingers up and down the table. Marcus is popular in this group; he once lived in Europe, can speak in five languages and is writing a book on his teaching experiences. I have read his drafts and believe it's one educational policymakers should read because it tells a vivid story of inner-city children's' fated lives, the seldom-appreciated attributes of teachers, and the frustrations they experience when their kids don't do well. Bar Louie's server paced from person to person and soon carried a 14 SIGNS OF THE TIMES June 2016 food-stacked plate to Marcus, who saw that it belonged to another teacher. He redirected the server and beamed a remark upstream. The mood was high and contagious, so the server joined in, saying cheerfully to Marcus, "It's not my fault - all those white people look alike." What? A micro-inequity A word bomb had just exploded. Really. Try to see it with me, but first let me define the crime: Civil-rights lawyers describe the server's seemingly harmless statement as a "micro-inequity," which in a general American Bar Assoc. definition refers to ways individuals are "singled out, overlooked, ignored or otherwise discounted, based on an unchangeable characteristic, such as race, gender or age." Essentially, a micro-inequity is a subtle and often unconscious message that directly devalues or discourages another person. Simply people In a mixed group of people - blacks, Latinos and whites, i.e., people - the white server's micro-inequity remark had specifically identified Marcus as a minority person - not as an evenhanded and equal person, which Marcus had been just moments before. Although trivial and unpremeditated, the "look alike" remark carried all the historic baggage that accompanies such biases. Prior to the server's comment, no skin colors populated the table. No minorities. No outsiders. No accents - simply people who were enjoying one another's friendship. Nevertheless, the server's remark, an archaic jibe from some 1970's comedy show, had isolated and classified Marcus. Oh, he handled it - Marcus laughed with the server, but in a following moment, his countenance briefly wavered. He frowned, looked down at his hands and then lifted his eyes to gaze beyond the wroughtiron patio fence and into the distance, but only for an instant. He quickly rocketed over his emotions and got back with the group by tossing more witticisms to his friends. Most significant in this story is Marcus's swift reload. It clearly spoke of how quickly intelligent people, when stung with insularity, can get past useless reactions and instead move on with their lives. Subconscious messaging Dr. Bruce J. Stewart, writing on website, describes micro-inequities as small and often subconscious messages of prejudice - verbal or non-verbal - that are usually generated by our unconscious mind and subtle in nature. Stewart, a retired US Air Force commander, is deputy director of training, compliance and strategic initiatives for the US Office of Diversity and Inclusion. He says such bias in the workplace can affect productivity, management decisions, hiring, promotions, employee interactions and termination decisions. Stewart quoted a National Urban League survey (2004) that said effective diversity programs are associated with higher productivity (+18%) and that a Gallup poll found that at any time, only 25% of US workers were actively engaged. One notable cause of disengagement, Gallup said, relates to incidents of disrespect. Blame your brain Stewart said prejudices and discrimination occur because our brains

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - June 2016

Signs of the Times - June 2016
Columns & Departments
ST Update
Technology Update
Tips for Effectively Marketing Your Signs to Millenials
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Electric
LED Update
Software Update
Technology Review - The Summa F Series F2630 Flatbed Cutter/Router
Technology Review - The Durst Rhotex 180 TR
Shop Opps
Sign Museum News
New Products
Second Generation
Undertaking Monumental Tasks
The Light of Our Lives
Cool Digital Printers
Enter ST’s Vehicle Graphics Contest
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - June 2016