Book Excerpt: Suspicion Nation

 

White People Commit the Most Heinous Crimes, So Why Is America Terrified of Black Men?

Image: Amazon

Underlying much of that subconscious racial bias is the most enduring, corrosive racial stereotype in America: the black-as-criminal mindset.  Historian David Levering summarizes it:  “Whites commit crimes but blacks are criminals.” While whites can and do commit a great deal of minor and major crimes, the race as a whole is never tainted by those acts.  But when blacks violate the law, all members of the race are considered suspect.  I used to anchor a show on Court TV, and when we heard about a new arrest for some horrific crime, my African American co-host would whisper, “Please don’t let him be black.”  It would never enter my mind to wish that a bad guy not be white, because no matter how sick the crime, other members of the white race are not impugned.

Remember Zimmerman’s false syllogism?  A few blacks committed burglary, Trayvon was black, therefore Trayvon was a criminal.  Similar logic is used daily in the assumptions police and citizens make about African Americans, especially young males.

The black-man-as-criminal stereotype runs deep.  The archetype is so prevalent that the majority of whites and African Americansagreed with the statement “blacks are aggressive or violent” in a national survey.  In support of these findings, other research indicates that the public generally associates violent street crime with African Americans. Other nationwide research has shown that the public perceives that blacks are involved in a greater percentage of violent crime than official statistics indicate they actually are.

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Posted by The NON-Conformist

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