Diversity & inclusion helps?

Diversity among crews is a good thing. In a different way perhaps on this subject. Ever sailed with a crew heavily focused on hunting and tried to make a timely crew change in the fall/winter? HR nightmare. They all were sick or had “Family emergencies”

No, far from it Diversity may be easiest “measured” by citizenship but, as I mentioned, it can also be other things that makes for diversity. like difference within a country as divers as Norway. (Or USA)

Not much “research” needed, since that has been mentioned many times on this forum. (Incl. by you?)

I know that is hard to accept that a “foreigner” can have an opinion on anything US (maritime or otherwise)
Just remember that who is “foreigner” depends on where you are and what is the subject of discussion.

BTW; It appears that there are little inhibition about voicing opinion about other countries and people on this forum.

Yes, this is very true. For the past 70 years of US dominance we US citizens have gotten a little full of ourselves and a bit hypocritical. Love to insist on human rights for China but turn a blind eye towards Saudi Arabia, Israel and other “friends”. But from a mariners perpective perhaps the best example is one you raised about FOC ships which US mariners do not have much good to say about but many are owned by US banks, hedge funds and other US entities headquartered in tax havens. Hell they [JP Morgan] get caught financing a ship bringing in one billion dollars worth of drugs and go right back to work. It was really strange how that ship was released so easily. All this is with the aquiesence of the people we elect to represent us.


I’m extremely disappointed that you fell into the #BLM pandering trap. Because, imho it’s total BS. You should know, that BLM is not superior, or inferior to any other life. The fact is ALL LIVES MATTER. And that’s why the whole BLM movement is TOTAL BS.

Go to their web page and see what they support; Defunding the police? Really? Who will you call when the anarchy begins?

Frankly, your post cause me to do some research. I’d read the alt-right & alt-left garbage, and found it too biased. So here’s what I found.

According to US Census APRIL 2020 Data - https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2019/demo/race/ppl-ba19.html

42,842,000 blacks
195,060,000 white

According to www.mapingpoliceviolenc.org

  • · 2019, 259 Blacks [armed/unarmed] killed by police – all causes
    • o That was .000605% of National black population
    • o .000109% of the TOTAL black & white population
    • o 201 Blacks [Armed] killed by police
  • · 2019, 406 whites [armed/unarmed] killed by police – all causes
    • o [.000208% of white population]
    • o .000171% of the TOTAL black & white population
    • o 291 Whites [Armed] killed by police

So, in RAW DATA, blacks appear to be killed at a higher rate then whites [.006% to .002%]. However, when the data is compared using the NATIONAL population of Black & white [237,902,000] as the basis, whites are killed more often.

Who is committing the crimes? Let’s use Chicago as a test bed.

Depending upon the source, Chicago has a population of 2,719,151[FBI] or 2,693,976 [US Census].

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports [UCR] in 2019, Chicago had a population of 2,719,151 with 239 murders.


According to US Census: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/chicagocityillinois

Chicago Population 2019 [est]: 2,693,976 [the census only provides percentage-not actual population numbers – I calculated the population below using Census data.]

Black: 30.1% [calculated: 810,887]

White: 49.4% [calculated: 1,330,824]

Hispanic: 29% [calculated: 781,253]

According to Chicago Police Department 2018 Annual Report – PAGE 64:

2018 Data shows the following arrest data for that year.

Arrests – Black: 62,901 [73.4% of total]
Arrests – White: 7060 [8.2% of total]
Arrests – Hispanic: 14,965 [17.5% of total]
Arrests – Unknown: 137 [.2% of total]
Arrests – TOTAL: 85,663

It was interesting to discover that out of 85,663 arrests, who committed the most crime??? Who was “runner-up”?

Going back to FBI data now, from the UCR for 2017, This is NATION-WIDE!!

According to FBI Uniform Crime Report – 2017 [most recent year complete data]


Murder victims – Black: 7,407 [.9% of black population/ .27% of TOTAL population]
Murder offenders – Black: 6,318 [.8% of black population/.23% of TOTAL population]

Murder victims – White: 6,088 [.5% of white population/.23% of TOTAL population]
Murder offenders – White: 4,884 [.4% of white population/.18% of TOTAL population]

Murder victims – Hispanic: 2,173 [.3% of Hispanic population/.08% of TOTAL Population]
Murder offenders - Hispanic: 1,576 [.2% of Hispanic population/.06% of TOTAL population]

Murder victims – Non Hispanic: 9,066 [.3% of TOTAL population]
Murder offenders – Non-Hispanic: 6,021 [.22% of TOTAL population]

Murder victims – Unknown 1,840 [.07% of TOTAL population]
Murder offenders – Unknown 8,375 [.31% of TOTAL population]

So at the end of the day - BLM is a farce. . . And you fell into the pandering trap.

I’m of a different religion: "It’s a THIN-BLUE-LINE, between civility & anarchy. Make no mistake about it - what transpired in Minneapolis was a crime - and justice needs to run its course. There are bad cops. Just as there are bad citizens. They come in all colors.

In your post about “diversity”, you mentioned the two guys who were spectacular - but in your time as Master, didn’t you all so see the guys of color who were shitheads? Of course you did. Were they shitheads because they were of color? No, of course not. Shitheads come in all colors, all sizes, all genders. Just like the rest of humanity.

If your two stars were white germans, instead of ghetto black, wouldn’t you have still had diversity because they were Germans? Really, all crews have diversity. It’s inherent in humanity. Some come from cities, some from farms. Some have book knowledge, some have street-smarts. It’s a diverse planet.

The point I was trying to make in my original post - is not that I’m opposed to diversity -its because it is not an attribute of a person, and hence it is now PC propaganda for “making us feel good”.

It is the attribute of a person that makes that person good or bad for shipping (or life for that matter).


From my experience the positive/negative effects of a mixed crew totally depended on the ship type.

When working on cargo ships that spend a lot of time sailing between ports having a mixed crew didn’t make much difference, but working on AHTS it had a pretty negative effect at times.

There were many occasions where non-English speaking crew would slip back into their native tongue when working with people who didn’t know their language which caused communication breakdowns.

Aside from the operational aspect working with a mixed crew can get lonely, I worked on vessels that had big groups of Croatians or Polish people who would permanently occupy the mess rooms around meal times and speak loudly in their own languages excluding the non-English speaking crew, sometimes I would go days without actually having a proper conversion with anyone except at watch changeover time. So for the social aspect it was so much better to be working with more English speaking crew as you could actually have conversations with people.

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A Harvard study recently found that under-policing actually costs many more black lives than a few high profile cases of police brutality.

I would look VERY closely at any report “Just the News”" interprets.

Agree with Spork.

If you have too large groups of same nationality in the crew you don’t have enough mix for true diversity.

On the drillship I referred to earlier we found that there were too many of one nationality. They tended to form their own “group” in the mess and day room.

In our monthly on board “management meeting” we decided to transfer a few to other rigs to even out the numbers. (Fully supported by the shore based management)

PS> English was the common language on board, so that wasn’t the problem, but they started to show sign of looking down on other nationalities.

You’re right, didn’t expect that.

But on the other hand he is correct that just looking at passports has got to be the simplest measure.

By that measure a ship with European officers and a Filipino crew is going to be about twice as diverse as a U.S. flag ship with a crew that has the union rep and the DPA on speed dial so it’s too much of an over-simplification to mean anything.

I’ve worked with scores of all American male crews that had 1 black guy, 1 female or 1 gay guy & probably 100% of the time the lone minority did just fine. No complaints & the minority blended in with the rest of the gang. I’ve also worked with dozens of crew where I was only 1 of 2 or 3 Americans on board & the rest of the crew were mostly Mexican, Nigerian, Indonesian, Italian, Brasilian, Philippino, Peruvian etc. etc. I would like to say all the Americans blended in just fine but sadly that would be very far from the truth. I worked with one guy who ate nothing but cereal 3 times a day for over a month because he only wanted American type foods. Another guy would only eat white rice because he he didn’t like anything with any spice whatsoever & we were in Mexico. One guy lost about 20 lbs in 1 month because he didn’t like curry or spice & we worked in Trinadad. I worked with 1 American tug captain for nearly 2 months with a mixed Asian crew & he thought all of his crew shared the same language besides English. He thought the Indonesians, Philippinos & Koreans all spoke the same native language?!

And American language skills, I always use the same insult on my fellow Americans when I feel comfortable enough. “I can put a caged pea-brained parrot in the galley for a month & he could learn more of the native language than you learned in the last ___ months/years.”

Not in all cases but too often it is my opinion white American males don’t handle being the minority a lot of the time.

All officers of one nationality and all the crew of another is NOT really diversity. (Indian officers and Filipino crew is/was quite common)

That doesn’t mean that it is impossible, or improbable, that you can have a good crew and an efficient and happy ship even if everybody are of the same nationality, (Yet diverse in other ways, as has been pointed out)

It is my experience that a multi-national crew better. The more nationalities the better. A common language is important, however. (That is usually English, even if that is not the first language of any crew member)

As to “having the Union Rep and DPA on speed dial” I don’t know.

European ships would have a Union Rep and Safety Delegate elected from among the crew. For other ships it may vary.

Contact details for the DPA is supposed to be posted and available to all on board according to SMS.

When we started trading Australia - PNG and other islands in the South Pacific with the Slidre, we changed from a mixed Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian crew to PNG crew.

We were advised by the old hands at the Lea Club to make sure to mix the tribes to avoid trouble.
Being stubborn Norwegians we figured that by taking ALL from the same tribe there should be rivalry and tribal trouble. (Logic right?)

When we returned to PNG after the first trip to Australia, we had to anchor for the night close to the coast in the China Chanel. (No functioning radar)

When we got up in the morning to continue to Lae we found that all our Kanaka crew had disappeared during the night.
We were close to their home village. They had all decided to “go walkabout” at the same time,
Luckily we had our Singaporean Quartermasters and Engine Drivers still. Enough to make the short trip to Lea,

Rest assured, we mixed the tribes in the next crew. (No more than two “Onetalks”)

Moral of the story?; Listen to “old hands” and don’t think you know better, even if you are Norwegian. (Or American)

Ex Bomma. Fred Olsen, Blt. at Aker Shipyard, Oslo 1938.

My experience from working with Norwegians. They aren’t any better than working with Americans when it comes to diversity & inclusion. What I notice is Norwegians have a habit of wanting to do what they think is right & not what has always worked. This often times alienates the locals & the Nords are cast aside & stay the uppity outsider. I worked in Mexico & other places for a few years straight & I always told the new Americans coming on, “No American has ever came to Mexico & changed a damn thing. Just go with the flow & get the job done.” Many Norwegians should heed the same advice.

Good advice. Mexico unfortunately will remain Mexican,small bribes have helped on a small scale, but the big picture remains the same. While the customs guy demanded to look at my “store” which did not exist, his cadre was raiding my pantry. I was given a case of hats and smokes, which I said was for him and his friends to expedite paperwork… His response"I have no friends" . His older companion ,also in khakis was trying to stifle a smile as we tugged on the case of Marlboros. In my “Store/Stateroom”. Reminded me of the fat guy on “Zorro”. Coatzacoalcos, nicknamed "River of Snakes’. All American crew, flabbergasted by the treatment of the “Officials”. British assist tugs, go figure.

A study in the prestigious Lancet, a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal. It is among the world’s oldest and best-known general medical journals, has disavowed its “study” released a couple of weeks ago which stated hydroxychloroquine was not effective against COVID-19.

The CDC studies said face-masks were ineffective. Then it was reversed. It seems there is a study to substantiate “the flavor of the week”, only to be found in error the following week/month.

Peculiarly, I could not found in the “just news” study, the time period for the “thousand lives”. Was it over a year; 10 years; What???

I no longer consider “studies” worth my time. Hell, coffee at one time was bad, now its good!!!

There is so much in this comment that frustrates, saddens, and angers me. Some suggest I just delete it, others say to “chip away” line by line. I just don’t know.

This is hard. I don’t want to share my story. I’m not black. I have never been a black man stopped by police. This isn’t my story to tell and I don’t enjoy reliving these memories. They hurt. And I know I can’t write this without crying… but… I just don’t know what else to say. I don’t know how to write about this objectively. So here goes:

The problem is this isn’t a statistic for me. I grew up in the Bronx, I watched it burn as a child in the early eighties. You want “RAW DATA” go find the most dangerous building in the most dangerous ghetto in the United States over the past 100 years. It’s a housing project in the Bronx. That’s where my mom worked. She was a visiting nurse and that building was so dangerous the cops pulled out. Told her she’d be shot if she continued to help patients without police protection. She refused to leave. She worked continued to visit that building and many others for years. She found a community in distress, she found support, she found respect and a whole lot of thanks.

Dad was there too, as a fireman. Once a police raided a crack house and it ignited in flames along with the apartments that surrounded it. The police inspector barred them from entry, they were told to let it burn and when they refused the firemen were cuffed. Was that police inspector racists? Was he just following orders? Was living a false narrative? Did he cry that night as my dad did? Was he happy to arrest firemen who were just there to help? What was going through his head? What were the police following his orders thinking? I don’t know. What I do know is that people died angry and confused wondering why fireman were in handcuffs. Those firemen were angry and confused too. VERY angry. And sad.

You want “RAW DATA” go look at ALL the crime statistics. Go look at positive statistics of the black and latino neighbored that was cleared to build Lincoln Center then look at the strikingly negative crime statistics of the same people after being pushed into housing projects (when they still had a community of shop keepers, pastors, librarians, street cops, etc) and after. Look at the HARD spike. Go look at the housing authority police corruption statistics compared to the nypd. Go look at the media and police commissioner reports blaming black people for plague of arson that engulfed the bronx a few decades ago, then look at the RAW DATA from the insurance records (uncovered years later) and tell me who actually burned those buildings.

Don’t think this is anti-cop. My dad died from cancer sucking in the flames as an FDNY firefighter of an average of 3 large fires a night in the early eighties. My father-in-law died from a stroke he sustained on the job, wearing an nypd uniform. My uncle was once military police and many classmates and friend from SUNY Maritime are nypd today. The problem runs deeper than a few bad cops, it runs deeper than the police themselves. It runs deep into New York policies right back to a man called The Power Broker. And, yes, it runs back to civil rights and slavery.

I was there man. I was in the seat of the fire truck on days my parents couldn’t afford a babysitter. I watched people burn. I heard my dad yell and scream and throw shit across the kitchen when the city refused to investigate arson. I was there when mom came home crying after a group of “bad black men” saved her from a mentally ill patient threatening her life.

This isn’t a statistic man, this is my childhood. These are my ptsd induced dreams that cause me to wake in a cold sweat. Dream set in years past of my parents, both white, discussing their frustration and sickened after watching children die. Talking with each in whispered voices thinking there small boy was asleep and couldn’t hear.

And the narrative they were told “These are bad people. Go look in the projects, go see the crime statistics, go watch them burn each other’s houses. Savages.” haunts me to this day. It’s the reason that I drove west after getting my liscense and didn’t stop till I hit the pacific and then got on a ship and kept going. It’s the WHOLE reason I’m here. It’s the legacy of those dreams that pushed me to start gCaptain. It’s the reason this site exists.

It’s the frustrations of my family and friends, many of which are police and many who are black, over decades of a faulty narrative and flawed policy. It’s frustration going back through decades of new york’s injustice towards blacks and hispanics and Ellis Island immigrants and many more.

If you want HARD FACTS then you need to take more than a snapshot of today, you need a movie of yesterday AND today.

But I didn’t want to share that either. This isn’t about me. It’s not about statistics. It’s not about if Floyd George was good or bad. It’s not about what the talking heads on TV tell you it is. It’s certainly not about the left vs right. It’s about stopping to listen to eachothers stories and concerns. It’s about empathy. It’s about being willing to say BLACK LIVES MATTER.

It’s about personal stories. It’s about looking at live through the eyes of our fellow sailors.

You want truth? Go read.

Read The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Read Report from Engine Co. 82

Read The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

Read WEB Dubois, read James Baldwin, watch 13th, listen to rap music, go watch the 1977 world series (the year I was born) video of the fire consuming the bronx. Listen to Howard Costelle’s words that day. Listen to Martin Luther King. Go talk to your black shipmates. Ask them for their stories. Ask them what it’s like being black. Listen. Learn.

Do statistics matter? Is RAW DATA important? Absolutely. But statistics serve the story, they serve the narrative… not the other way around.

But enough about me and the story of a white kid who watched the bronx burn from within the safe bubble of a firetruck. My story doesn’t matter. It’s the frustration and trauma of the boy, my age, I watched my dad’s fdny brother pull from that building man.

So I don’t care about your long diatribe or Spork’s Harvard report or the talking heads of CNN or half the other BS I’ve seen posted here and on the gCaptain facebook and twitter feed. I care about people. I care about Captain Roy Love. I care to hear his story and better understand his struggle.

This isn’t about us vs them or what the politicians or media tells us to think… that’s the shit that led to that police inspector telling dad’s brothers to “let them burn” that day of my childhood when I watched my dad cry. It’s :100: about empathy and understands, listening to the corners of our fellow shipmates.

You said. “It is the attribute of a person that makes that person good or bad for shipping (or life for that matter).” Bullshit. It’s the family story, it’s the conditions you grew up in, it’s the policies you were subject to, it’s the freedoms you had, it’s the education you were given access to, it’s the history of your people, it’s how a cop looks at you, it’s your mom’s influence and fathers if you were lucky enough to have them around. It’s where you grew up and the color of your skin. It’s the perspective you get during the tumbles of life.

Don’t give me statistics. Instead “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I LIFT MY LAMP. Do you know that lamp? Have you seen it. You probably have, it’s the lamp that lights New York Harbor. It is that lamp that every sailor ever to visit my childhood home, New York City, has looked upon with awe, hope, and love.

It is the LAMP we need to lift for the black shipmates who are asking for our help.

You still want to argue? Fine. PM me and I’ll give you mom’s number. Go tell her that her son is full of shit. Tell her that you are “extremely disappointed in me”. Go tell her I “fell into the #BLM pandering trap”, go tell her the countless black lives she risked her life to save in the Bronx don’t matter.

I’m happy to make that connection but I warn you she is tough, tougher than me, tougher than my dad who fought in two wars… she has family who are police and she has friends tougher than all of us. Friends she met as a nurse in the worst ghettos of Da Bronx. She’s the toughest person I’ve ever met and she cares deeply for those people behind your statistics.



You want mom’s number too? How about you come meet us both in the Bronx?

We’ll have to meet outside of course because you’re no longer welcome in my home or on my website. We don’t tolerate bigotry here. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.


John, they can come to the Bronx anytime and I’d stand with you. Thank you for the words you shared, they were moving. I didn’t grow up here in the Bronx, but I’ve now spent my past 10 years here. My wife works in a Bronx Hospital. My experience with race, with being an upper middle class white man in a county full of impoverished people of color. Being the manager of a mostly immigrant crew as a white born American, all these and many more over my life have lead me to believe that we must work harder to try to end prejudice and work together, not as whites, or blacks, or Latinos, or Asians, or anything else, but as humans. You can dislike certain aspects of someone’s culture, but their worth as a human or as a coworker even, is not dependent on their skin color. I’ve seen people of all colors be shity workers and I’ve seen people of all colors be good humans.


Thank you and please thank your wife for her service. I can’t imagine what it’s like for these past few months. My parents wanted me to be a doctor or PA but, after mom got me an internship at Jacobi Hospital, I said nope, I’m not brave enough for that.

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I agree with this. A big portion of my crew gets the job from job call at the union hall and most unlicensed are minorities. With a few exceptions if everyone treats other crew with respect there’s no problem.

This is obviously an over-simplification of the actual situation. What other people are assuming, being brainwashed, using talking points, that just a crude caricature that obscures more than it revels. The real world, peoples actual experiences and views are far more nuanced and complicated.