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Fear of the Big Black Man: Study Says Findings Could Help Explain Why Black Men More Likely To Be Shot By Police

Racial Bias Exist BUT Elected Officials & Police Management Are Afraid To Talk About It!

The recent report by the American Psychological Association documents the racial perception of black men as larger and more threatening than similar sized white men.


With the many questionable shootings of black men by police, the issue of racial bias has always been the pink elephant or in our case, the big black man in the room.

There have been different studies that have a pointed to racial bias, but over and over our Criminal Justice Scholars have yet to address the issue and find ways to change these perceptions.

There have even been elected officials and Law Enforcement Executives that even lied saying racism doesn’t exist within our local police departments.

How can racial bias or racism not exist? If the police department is a reflection of society and racial bias conscious or unconscious, racism and white privilege exist in the greater society; we insult our community intelligence to think that does not exist in our law enforcement departments.

All you have to do is review the many reports on how they describe the black victim in reports. The use of words like Hulking, Overpowering, and perceivable threat has been utilized in the past to justify the use of physical force and deadly physical force on even young black children.

Wilson and his colleagues conducted a series of experiments involving more than 950 online participants (all from the United States) in which people were shown a series of color photographs of white and black male faces of individuals who were all of equal height and weight. The participants were then asked to estimate the height, weight, strength and overall muscularity of the men pictured.

“We found that these estimates were consistently biased. Participants judged the black men to be larger, stronger and more muscular than the white men, even though they were actually the same size,” said Wilson. “Participants also believed that the black men were more capable of causing harm in a hypothetical altercation and, troublingly, that police would be more justified in using force to subdue them, even if the men were unarmed.”

Even black participants displayed this bias, according to Wilson, but while they judged young black men to be more muscular than the young white men, they did not judge them to be more harmful or deserving of force.

As a Black Law Enforcement Officer, I know first hand of these perceptions. I see it every day. At any given day we can be one of these statistics, we can be the one shot, shot at or killed.

Black Law Enforcement is four degrees separated from the many victims of Police Criminality in our birth communities. We know the victim, the victim is a family member, we know somebody that knows the victim, or we are the victims.

In our community, black law enforcement is shot, shot at and killed by our White counterparts while off duty or working in plain clothes and incidents like these never happen in reverse. Why? Perception!

We will never solve the problem until we talk about it. Many elected officials and police management are still scared even to acknowledge these issues exist. Until we recognize the issue more black men, woman and children will be killed. It’s just that simple

 

Racial Bias in Judgments of Physical Size and Formidability: From Size to Threat by Damon K Jones on Scribd

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Damon K. Jones

Publisher at Urban Soul Media Group
Damon K. Jones is the Publisher and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company of BlackWestchester.com. Damon K. Jones is also the New York Representative of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America

Damon has been a guest commentator on New York radio stations WBLS (107.5 FM), WLIB (1190 am) WRKS (98.7 FM), WBAI (99.5 FM) and Westchester's WVOX (1460 am). Mr. Jones has appeared on local television broadcasts including Westchester News 12 “News Makers” and Public Television “Winbrook Pride. You can now hear Damon every Wednesday at 830 AM on WFAS 1230 AM, Morning with Bob Marone Show
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About Damon K. Jones (136 Articles)
Damon K. Jones is the Publisher and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company of BlackWestchester.com. Damon K. Jones is also the New York Representative of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America Damon has been a guest commentator on New York radio stations WBLS (107.5 FM), WLIB (1190 am) WRKS (98.7 FM), WBAI (99.5 FM) and Westchester's WVOX (1460 am). Mr. Jones has appeared on local television broadcasts including Westchester News 12 “News Makers” and Public Television “Winbrook Pride. You can now hear Damon every Wednesday at 830 AM on WFAS 1230 AM, Morning with Bob Marone Show

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