Nowadays, the majority of racial prejudice cases in the USA is quite subtle. Together with that, they tend to reappear in stealthier ways that they did one or two decades ago. The researches have shown that the issue of racial prejudice can be traced in how teachers tend to punish misbehaving students, how employers see their potential hires or how the sales experts make their choices when it comes to assisting clients at high-end stores. As a rule, it happens somewhere on the subconscious level, where race-based evaluations take place.
The latest research on the subject has revealed that almost every individuals tends to carry the so-called racial prejudice, also known as the ‘implicit bias.’ When talking about policemen, the implicit bias appears to be a great concern mainly due to the devastating effects it brings.
There are representatives of the law enforcement area, who realize how tragic the implicit bias effects can be. But the reality is that no one seems to understand it more than the individuals, who actually live in the areas, where racial conflicts are mainly caused by the police. When it comes to the reaction to police killings since the tragedy with Michael Brown in Ferguson it becomes clear that the whole system makes such shootings disproportionately common.
A University of South Florida expert Lorie Fridell exerts every effort to help cops stay away from subconscious biases, especially when it comes to black men. Fridell insists on her viewpoint that policemen have a range of stereotypes and prejudice that together come with outward hostility. In their everyday work, cops have the right to use force depending on their personal perception of what threat is. More often than not, their viewpoints are far from rational. Of course, they do not always use force, but the level of unreasonable injuries remains high.
The experts of the University of Colorado Boulder and California State University Northridge have thoroughly investigated the decade of empirical evidence regarding the police officers and implicit bias. They have found that if some cops tend to automatically consider Afro-Americans more dangerous, they are more likely to make use of deadly force against black men that is not illegal, however, unnecessary.
The researchers found cops seem to possess the so-called implicit bias. The latter is reported to make them more likely to kill black men than people with white skin. But the authorities can change the situation through professional training that will help cops perform better and, as a result, show less implicit bias.
The other investigation found that not only police officers, but the public as well, tend to view individuals with black skin less innocent regardless the situation. According to the study published in 2014 by the specialists of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 176 individuals were tested. The group of people included mostly white, male cops. Each of them was tested to find out whether they had the so-called unconscious dehumanization bias against Afro-Americans. The results of the research should make us stop for a while and think about our attitude toward the world around. More often than not, black people were dehumanized and considered to commit the worst kind of crimes.
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