Salon today presented a very interesting assessment of the Harvard research published that is being used in the media to counter the claims of civil rights proponents relating to BLM claims.
When taken and evaluated in view of the other recent research which has come forward – contrary to how it is being presented it actually supports and deepens the understanding of systemic bias.
“If Freyer’s conclusions are correct, then while police may be less willing to use lethal force against a black person in a given encounter, there are so many encounters because of racial profiling or other causes that the country’s police are still killing black people at much higher rates than whites.
These disparities in use of force cannot be explained away by the argument that blacks disproportionately live in high crime areas or supposedly commit crimes at a higher rate than whites, thus the likelihood of negative police encounters are substantially increased.”
It is important to recognize that there is not a silver bullet argument that will unilaterally disprove all claims of bias in society. We need to look at all the work and see how each fits into the larger whole – even if we have no experience in our individual lives that gives us direct insight into understanding. Sometimes we do need to put ourselves into the proverbial shoes of the other, and intentionally lay down our agenda and wonder if possibly they just might be right. I make this effort regularly to understand how those on the other side see things – for often it is only with a bridged understanding we can communicate effectively. And through this communication work to bring change.
Greater understanding of these issues allows us as citizens to more accurately interact with our law enforcement organizations, and work towards a much better future. Ignoring realities, and insisting that things are fine limit our ability to make America the safest country possible for our entire citizenry.