“Stanford research suggests support for incarceration mirrors whites’ perception of black prison populations”

“The New York residents read about black inmates either in terms of the national incarceration rate (40 percent of prisoners are black) or the New York City rate (60 percent.) Next, they were asked about their support for the stop-and-frisk policy.

About 33 percent of the participants who saw the lower national statistic were willing to sign a petition to end the policy. But only 12 percent of those who saw the higher city rate of black incarceration were willing to sign the petition.”

Horribly depressing but at least it explains why some education campaigns don’t work, and moves closer to some sort of campaign that might. I think this is a basic failure of “awareness” campaigns because if they aren’t “education” campaigns and so people can walk away with whatever impression they would like. Stats about the higher rates of incarcaration of Black people, when presented without any education about wider systemic prejudices and to people who believe that the meritocracy exists and that racism ended in the 60s that one time, can easily reinforce preconceived notions of violent black culture and induce lots of tutting about rap lyrics they have heard about. I mean, growing up in the area where this study was done and having zero education about prejudice, I never knew what to do with those kinds of statistics except try to sort of ignore them because they all sucked away little pieces of my self-confidence.


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