According to a newly published study by the University of Iowa, the stigma of being a feared black male starts at a very young age.
We’re talking about kindergarten black boys, not grown black men. What’s disturbing about the data in this research is that the same amount of scrutiny is not placed on little white boys who are in the same age category. The demonization of the black male in America makes it very difficult for positive, less threatening images of them to be created.
With the reckless and unjustified police killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in the U.S. state of Ohio, one could quickly surmise that black males are unfairly profiled as violent, hostile, and threatening even when they are still young boys. When they do innocent things that young males do, such as play with toy guns, they can be instantly slaughtered legally by anyone with a gun and a badge.
Tom Jacobs, a journalist writing for the Pacific Standard magazine had his rendition of this recent study published and he simply told it like it was.
“If the current election cycle hasn’t convinced you that racism has yet to be eradicated, consider this: The mere image of a black man is enough to stimulate an automatic threat response in whites. Research has found faces of African-American males are more likely to be perceived as angry and can trigger neutral activity associated with rapid detection of danger,” Jacobs wrote.
The study on this alarming issue by the University of Iowa was conducted to find out reasons why this unfair travesty keeps happening. The research team here was led by Andrew Todd. Todd’s group found the perceived stigma to be true as they sought to find out why black boys in America are demonized as monsters so soon in their life. They agreed to the following:
In fact, the faces—all of the five-year-old boys with neutral facial expressions—were a key component of the experiment. Six of them featured black children, and six white. Researchers wanted to know whether the race of the child would affect the speed and accuracy of the white participants’ responses.
Participants identified guns more quickly after black-child primes than after white-child primes, whereas they identified toys more quickly after the white child primes than after black-child primes.
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