Can you recall any examples of when you served as a scapegoat or in some other way helped a party save face?


Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
My first beginning is to bring the extremists there and try to find the leverage point. But if I can't find the leverage point, then they're not going to participate.

Question:
Do they leave on their own?

Answer:
Some. Some of them, you have to say to the group that they represent, "This person obviously is not willing to become a part of the team or part of the solution. They're not prepared to build a response or a resolution. Are you prepared as a group? You all have to decide that. If you are, we will continue. If you're not, then we need to move on to something else." If you could bring them to the table, many of them, you can give the individual a way of seeing themselves as still having honor. You can use them as a decision maker. "We need you here, you're a very influential part of this community. You can make a difference." So you give them honor in this new role and many of them will again rise to that and see their identity shift while still having honor. They may not, and they may have to be left behind. But if you can bring them with you, it's all the better for everybody. Remember that they're still out here agitating the cause. Some people cannot visualize themselves as having any influence or honor outside the role they have. You're not going to get them to negotiate off of that. An example of that is someone who's been an authoritarian in the family. A mother or father. They can't learn that a different way still brings honor. They're too frightened of it and they're too intimidated by the possibility of losing influence and power. You're not going to negotiate honor away from them without replacing it with something that has honor. I think that's something we miss. I think we miss the reality that everyone needs to be honored, and if we don't provide that, then they're going to stay where they are.






Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you, in either that situation or a recent one, get people to the table when there's so much hostility?

Answer:
You have to become the target. Let them blame you, let them blame Bob Ensley. I let myself be the target.

Question:
How do you do that?

Answer:
By telling them that I'm the one that's asking them to do this. I said, "It may not work. If it does work, it's going to be to your advantage. If it doesn't work, blame it on me because I'm the one asking you and I'm going to be right here with you." "Now, the one thing I will say is that I'm going to chair. It's going to be my meeting and I'm going to be in control. When I feel as though it's getting too complicated, we're going to adjourn the meeting and go home. But I want you all to know this is my meeting and everybody's going to have the opportunity to talk. I don't want any side remarks. I don't want any profanity. I don't want any reference made to a person's color or anything else. This is my meeting. I will adjourn it unless you come prepared to hear what people are going to say, no matter how they say it." I keep emphasizing that because they always talk about ignorant and uneducated people. "It's going to be my meeting and we're going to sit and listen."




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

On the other hand, it's a situation where if they can find somebody else to blame, a scapegoat, they welcome you to come on in. So light bulbs go on in their heads, and they start saying, "Scapegoat! Come on up!" You get to meet all these people. What's also key in a case like this, in a situation like this, is that you must not only identify administration leadership or white leadership, but you must also identify Indian leadership, and that's very hard. You go into the Indian community and you might hear a lot of talk that so-and-so is the leader or the boss. You hear all of this stuff, you write that name down, you call, you get him or her lined up, and then you learn that this person isn't the leader after all. In some communities, you won't know who the leader may be, especially in minority communities. It's a culture thing; you have to learn something about the culture. You don't barge in there, not having taken those things into consideration.

Question:
Did you know that prior to going in, or did you learn by experience?

Answer:
No, I knew that prior to going in because of my cultural awareness training. We had some of the best trainers. What happened was we learned that a certain individual appearing to be the leader was just a buffoon. You tried to dig deep under the surface before you put your feet on the ground in any town. You learn to correctly identify the leadership. So you call places like the library and the historical society. You can be talking to somebody who's giving you the information you want, and before you know it, you get another thing that ties in. You want to know about organizations, if there are important organizations in the community. Never mind about the majority community's organizations; you want to know about the minority community's organizations. The majority community's organizations are an open book with the exception of those organizations that are operating clandestinely (e.g., KKK); you already know what the power structure is. All you have to do is identify the founders of the town and some of the important people -- University officials, industrialists, and people that are leaders and historical enthusiasts. You identify the power structure, and that's not hard to do, but you also want to dig deep into the community. Now, why do you do that? You do that because you want to know if you're getting credible information from the people who are in the community. You want to be able to do that.

Question:
So how do you identify the minority leadership?

Answer:
What you want to do in this type of situation, you want to identify leadership. Key players are the same as leadership. You want to make sure you know key minority community leadership. It's not too hard to identify majority community leadership because, heck, you go to the police chief or the mayor. Who else speaks for the city? Sometimes, though, there are movers and shakers that run everything, and of course we won't talk about them right now. Now this person I told you about that everybody said was the "head leader" in town -- that person wasn't "the leader". But the person that ran the town for the Indian community, and called most of the shots, was a little old lady who worked at one of the community action centers. If she knew you and trusted you, then you would get a lot. She had a lot of things going. She even had control over the American Indian Movement, as to whether or not they came into town.

Question:
So how did you build trust with her?

Answer:
Well, initially, during the course of our discussions and conversations, she would ask me about various individuals that I might have known around the country -- around the United States. Eventually, I realized that she had contacted some of these individuals to find out whether or not their perception of me was consistent with what I was telling her. In other words, she wanted to determine whether I was lying to her about certain people that we both happened to know throughout the country. It appears that for the most part, I came out okay, because she later perceived me as being a "straight shooter," an honest individual. And as a result, she slowly began to think that I was a creditable person. After she felt that I was of some credibility, she began to share certain agendas with me, hoping that she could trust me with her desires for the Indian community in the present and in the future. So I went home from our initial meeting, and about two weeks later I returned. I got off the plane, I drove to the hotel and after being there for about a half-hour, I received a phone call and learned that Alice had planned, for that evening, a meeting at the local Indian center. About four hundred people had gathered in a gym that was part of a poverty program called Opportunities, Inc. The Indians' major social life and business life and everything else was run right out of that building, and I didn't know that. Everything that they did as urban Indians, they worked it out of there and this woman was behind it. At any rate, I had not agreed to any meeting, but I went and spoke to everyone there. And I've learned since then that most good leaders will allow input from their followers. That's a trait of an excellent leader -- of someone who has earned the respect of most of his or her followers.

Question:
So then she had already set this up for you when you got into town?

Answer:
Yes exactly. She knew when I was coming into town, and she told all of them, "There's a guy from the government coming out here, and we're gonna really do a job on his butt when we get him in here. We're gonna expose this bird."




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Was there ever a time where you were used as a scapegoat for one of the parties?

Answer:
Very seldom. I wouldn't allow it. Now there were times when I was willing to be the scapegoat. There were times, not just me, but there were times within CRS, when we had allowed ourselves to be the scapegoats for certain things that happened. It wasn't just my situation, but us mediators all over the country, sometimes we foresaw that it was best to have people put the blame on us about a certain thing. And so regional directors like Salem, Bob Lamb, Ozell Sutton, and Ed O'Connell, wrote that into the scenario. After we discussed strategy with the regional director, they might say, "Let them blame us for that." And that's the way that went. You listened to your director, and your director would make sound determination that, "Hey, we're going to be used like this. We're going to allow this to happen." It all depended on the situation. Like in Wounded Knee, there were certain things that happened that we were blamed for. We were blamed for babysitting the Indians. We were blamed by the law enforcement and stuff like that for being babysitters and things like that. Meaning that you wanted to try to keep people from coming in and kicking their butts.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Were there any situations when you were used as a scapegoat, or were you ever used to help the other party save face?

Answer:
I think a lot of times that was part of the role, giving people an out. I have had many law enforcement people; chiefs, or sheriffs, say to their rank and file that Wallman from the justice department is making us do this. When in fact, the chief was interested in it, he wanted me to help implement, train, or do whatever, but he couldn't say that to his officers. At least he didn't think he could and I didn't care if he wanted to use me as a scapegoat. It's okay with me, he could save face. It wasn't the best way to do it, but it was a beginning, and I know that happened a lot.

Question:
How does that affect you long-term though? What if you try to go back into their community and all those police officers think, "Oh, this is the woman who made us...."

Answer:
A few people will never buy into my ideas, but the majority of people realize it's good for them. It's a safer community for the police officer once they get the community involved with them. Police officers were ten times safer going into those housing projects once the community became partners with them. Their life was in terrible danger every time they went in there. They went in a group of four or five squad cars. But after they began doing some of this community involvement stuff, they didn't mind going by themselves, because the community was there to help protect them. Just like any community, there are police officers who are there for the wrong reasons and they are going to resist any of that. But the ones who are there for the right reasons are going to realize that it was a good thing. And if it got started because "that woman told us we had to,” that's okay with me. The chief knows that I can't tell him he's got to do anything, but if that's where he wants to go with it, that's okay with me.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Have there been occasions where you've helped parties save face either by becoming a scapegoat yourself or in some other way?

Answer:
Well, I think we are always saving face out there. The whole process is a face saving process in a sense because we're allowing people to speak and empower themselves, to get their points across and not to be dismissed. I think that's face saving in its own right. I will take the heat for something. I've admitted that I may have misunderstood or that maybe, "I pulled you together too soon." I have to accept that the timing, the organizing, the convening, the statements that I make or even, the way I said could be offensive. I'm sure I've gotten into situations where I've embarrassed somebody. I remember we had a Head Start mediation and there was just too much heat going on in this session. I think I attempted to move it with some humor and there was some objection to my humor. I sensed it and said that maybe that was inappropriate at the time and I want to apologize for that, but that doesn't dismiss my intentions to help resolve your problems. If somebody said something that they felt they'd lost their honor in some way, and I picked up on that person's reticence, I could easily, and I'm trying to think of a situation where I've done this, I think we would need to be able to graciously say that's okay and we know you didn't intend to embarrass any one or yeah, I do that myself. I don't have any problems trying to help somebody get through the process by equalizing the playing field and maintain.






Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Can you recall any examples where you served as the scapegoat for one particular party? Or helped one party save face?

Answer:
Hmm. I'm sure there are times. Probably most cases. That is part of the process. Let's say that we had met with three people, one of them almost certainly will say, "We'll let you." They'll use those words. "We'll let you meet with the school superintendent, but if it doesn't work, remember that I told you this, this, and that." And so they will use us and we become their scapegoat.

Question:
Was that okay with you? Did you figure that was just a part of the process?

Answer:
It's part of the process that we sometimes initiate. We want them to begin to feel that we're an extension of their dispute and that there is going to be an end to this dispute that would be satisfactory. When we begin, very early on, we'll begin to talk about the win-win situation. It won't mean much to them initially, but we'll talk about it anyway. And we'll plant a seed about that. That's our own scope also. "Remember that when we were here, we were talking about a win-win situation?" We wouldn't define it, but we were talking about the fact that the only way we could be of any help was if it was a win-win situation.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Eventually, this school board, in essence, had painted itself into a corner through the election of these people. "How can we all discover some way that the school board can change its position on this middle school and reinstate the status of that middle school without being seen to simply give in to the demands from the community? What face saving device can we come up with?" A lot of times, I can have a sense of what mediation is going to take place, what the answer is going to be, but this was one I could not see how on earth we were going to come out of this. I was trying to be positive and upbeat, but I was personally beside myself. By the end of these evenings, I would feel so discouraged. "I don't know what we can do that would be agreeable to both sides." Finally, somebody hit on an idea. It may have been the superintendent. "Let's hold community hearings in each of these feeder school communities. There were about four feeder schools. Let's hold hearings with the parents of each of these and let the parents that are directly involved have their input by voting on pieces of paper and by statements at the microphone reading the pros and cons of the reinstatement of the school. All the participants in the mediation will be in attendance at all four of these." Of course I said, "Who's going to convene these meetings? The school administration for that school? The PTA president? Who?" They said, "You are." So I had to arrange all this. All the publicity and promotion of these meetings. Anyway, we held these. A lot of feeling was vented in these meetings, but we got the data. I asked the Portland State University Mathematics Professor to collate and weigh the various responses to the various options. He stayed up to midnight doing this for me. After the four sessions were over, and I announced the results and gave them his report at the next mediation session, clearly the four school communities were in support of redesignating the school for this purpose in the coming year. We'd gotten some ideas in the inputs, too. This became the backbone of the agreement that was worked out and accepted by the parties. Black United Front had a meeting and they accepted this, and the Minister of Association and NAACP went along with them. The school board had to have its session to agree to this action, so they did two things. First, they had all of us convene with the school board in public session, and it was not disrupted. They proceeded to support and accept the mediation agreement, which included the reopening of this school. Then they adjourned to turn the meeting over to me and I witnessed, as we always did, the signing of the agreement by the chair of the Board of Education and the representatives from the community organizations. At that point, the press was invited to ask them questions, or anybody could ask them questions. As I recall, that was the completion of that evening. The next meeting was when they got together to pass the bond issue. That was a tough, high profile case.



Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Can you recall any examples of when you were used as a scapegoat by one of the parties?

Answer:
No, I don't recall being used in that way.




Ernest Jones


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Now once the facts were actually given and provided did the other side accept those as facts?

Answer:
Well let's just take the one we were just talking about. As I recall the response was something to the effect of well, yeah we forgot about that, but that was 30 years ago. We're talking about today. And that happened with those kinds of issues. People reluctantly understand that the historical data is there because it's on paper and people can prove it. But because they've made that an issue and they've stated their position, somehow there's got to be some face saving taking place here and so we change the focus to today. That's what we're talking about. And that way everybody has saved face all the way around the table. And that happens a lot and it happened a lot in this case.

Question:
So they didn't lose any of their validity?

Answer:
Their perspective, was "well we showed you." It's incredible to me how childish adults can be. I don't know why because I see it repeatedly day after day but it has a whole "one-upsmanship." Well we showed you that you were wrong. Yeah you did but you had to go back thirty years to do it. It has that whole attitude. So everybody feels that they've made their point and now we just have to figure out how to get it down on paper. That's the trick. <




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The police chief and the city manager and all of these people, were beginning to focus in on the idea that somebody might be knowing what the hell they're doing here. They took the position that I might be able to do something for them. I knew they were going to try to use me, and that was fine, I wanted them to do it, because when they try and use me, I'm going to sit them down to the table as a part of my strategy. You give me this deal, I'll give you that deal. But we didn't say it in that way. We said it by setting up the meetings.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Can you recall any examples when you served as a scapegoat, or when you helped another party save face?

Answer:
Yes. There’s one story which comes out of Wounded Knee. At Wounded Knee the American Indian Movement had taken over the historic village of Wounded Knee, within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and the feds had set up headquarters in the town of Pine Ridge. There was basically a sort of battle ground and there was a truce period before talks started and there was a DMZ. The demilitarized zone was agreed to, where no one would go and there would be a cease fire. It was agreed the talks would start and CRS was moving in and out between the parties, even though we were feds and nobody fully trusted us. We were trying to serve as intermediaries and help get talks started, among our many roles there. It was agreed that at noon on a certain date, the American Indian Movement leaders would set up a teepee in the demilitarized zone, in that no man’s land near the federal road block, and that the feds would come in and we would begin to have negotiations in this big teepee. It was very ceremonial and very public. The press wouldn’t be in there, but they’d be outside. Indian time was typically late. The AIM leaders would be up late at night. They would have a spiritual ceremony. They would be late starting the next day’s activities by any clock that was set outside their own needs. I’d told this to Kent Frizzell, who was Solicitor General for the Department of Interior, who was the head US official. I told him to wait until I radioed him before his team came through the road block to negotiate. I spent the night in Wounded Knee and planned to come out with the leaders who were carrying and setting up the teepee. I would radio his office and let him know when to come in so that we’d all come together. That morning, we were late, as usual. There had been a shooting incident during the night; nobody was hurt, but it had people up late. At about 1150 in the morning, the AIM leaders were walking up the road with the teepee to the DMZ. All of a sudden this helicopter lands at the road block, and there is Kent Frizzell and his assistant. There were about 50 reporters at the road block. Also at the road block were other federal police types, who were keeping people apart and keeping people from passing through. So I’m walking with AIM up the road with about 150 yards to go and Stan Holder, one of the AIM leaders turns to me and angrily asks, "What are they doing here?” I said, "Wait a second, let me see.” I went running up to the roadblock and there was Kent Frizzell and I said, "I thought you were going to wait until I radioed you that we were ready.” He said, "We’re going to do this one on white man’s time, not Indian time.” He was setting a hard line to start the negotiations. So I said, "Look, there were real problems. I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but last night there was a violation of the cease fire and it was because some of your BIA people, early at sunup, they decided to have breakfast. So they drove over the hill, set up a blanket, took out their rations, and had breakfast on the wrong side of the line. That was a violation and caused a lot of consternation. People were up running around. I had to send a man up who was with me, Bert Greenspan, to see what was going on and report back.” I said, "That’s one reason everyone’s late.” Well, no one had told Kent about this incident. They were covering themselves. He said, "Alright, we’ll go back, but you tell them we’re going to back in a half hour and we’re going to meet on time or there’s not going to be any talks.” So I ran back down the hill to Holder, and I told him it was a mistake. "I must have screwed up,” I said. "I gave them the wrong time. They thought they were supposed to be here at noon.” He said, "Alright, but you tell them not to do it again because if they do it again, we’re going back. There’s not going to be any talks.” I ran back up the hill to Kent I went. I said, "Well, he says okay, a half hour’s fine.” They left and came back 45 minutes later, after I radioed them, and we had our talks and everything was okay. So that was serving as the scapegoat.




Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Have you ever found yourself serving as a scapegoat or doing things to help the parties save face?

Answer:
We talk about that, about being able to go in there and, I'm trying to think of specific incidents where the authorities will basically say, "The Department of Justice has asked us to do this, they came in, and in effect, they suggested or told us to do this." So yeah, it comes out. We tell them "There is no problem with that. You can say, the Justice Department thinks you should do this." I think sometimes it comes about, especially when you're talking about the Sunshine laws where you can't sit down with the deliberating body without all the people being there. But we get around it one way or the other.






Ernest Jones


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Can you recall any examples in this particular case where you served as a scapegoat or in some other way that helped a party save face?

Answer:
Nothing specific jumps to mind. Then again I'm sure a lot of these things happened. Let me think about it for a second.




Ozell Sutton


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
Oh yes, you have to allow folks to save face.

Question:
Talk some more about that.

Answer:
I will remind her that change is what she wants, so let's not spend all our time talking about the injustices of the past. Although we know that, that can resolve nothing. So let the party save face because that is the only way you can get something done because when you don't, you can forget it. It's about to be a standoff.







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