Cognitive Blindness

S.Y. Bowland

Director of The Practitioners Research and Scholarship Institute (PRASI) and mediator, based in Atlanta, Georgia

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

There's a piece that I'm working on called "Teaching, Telling, and Getting Told," and what that's about is when you have the initial interaction, you kind of call it teaching, but then when someone feels that they have told you something and you didn't pick it up, and there's no reason that shows why you didn't get it, but you still don't apply the information that they gave you, then it sort of moves to telling. 

Then there's the next point of teaching, which is when people of color get viewed as being angry or upset, well they're at that point because they taught you, they told you by teaching, telling, so now there's a point of what's called getting told. It's sort of like a cultural piece, from my perspective, that once I've been with you long enough you should pick it up. You should be able to know what is around you. You should be around me long enough to not only get the oral knowledge, but to get the visual knowledge so you can put it all together. You can't just come to me and say, just tell me what to do. You have to experience what it is.