‘The Daily Show’ sent a white and a black correspondent to learn about implicit bias. It was great.
“Are all cops racist?”
there’s an icebreaker.
Lately, it seems like an impossible task to find any common ground in the Black Lives Matter versus All Lives Matter debate.
Well … yes, Americans do feel passionately about their cookies.
But what brand new “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah was
trying to get at was how seemingly simple most of our answers can be to a question that should be answered in shades of gray.
So “The Daily Show” sent two correspondents out to get to the bottom of how racist (or not racist) America’s cops tend to be.
One, Jordan Klepper, was white, and the other, Roy Wood Jr., was black. And, for the sake of the segment, they both wore their racial identities … on their sleeve, so to speak.
The duo interviewed three people with opinions on the matter, but it was Phillip Goff of the Center for Policing Equity who really told the correspondents like it is.
Apparently, they learned, there’s this thing called implicit bias. And we all have it.
According to Goff, it’s not so black and white, after all. Implicit bias or the attitudes and stereotypes that affect how we see others on a subconscious level is certainly A Thing We All Have including police officers.
“[Implicit bias is] the automatic association between people and stereotypes that we have about those people,” he said. “And we’ve done that with black [people] and crime a whole heck of a lot.”
“Police, like everybody else,” Goff noted, “hold implicit biases.”
That doesn’t mean all cops are terrible, Goff explained. But it does mean their judgement can be flawed when they’re enforcing the law. After all, if all people have implicit bias and all cops are people (except for K-9s, who are trained by people), all cops have implicit bias.
The good news is, several police departments across the country have realized implicit bias is, in fact, A Thing and have implemented anti-bias programs to combat it. As the two correspondents learned, programs include a deadly force simulator which tests an officer’s ability to not act with force simply based on someone’s race to combat bias.
Still, much more is needed.
Bottom line: Race does play a factor in our criminal justice system.
Take Ferguson, Missouri, for example. After protests ensued in response to unarmed black teenager Michael Brown being shot and killed by a white cop, it was revealed that Ferguson cops arrest black individuals at a rate
nearly three times higher than other races, USA Today reported.
What’s more, that’s basically
the norm in America.
So … are all cops racist? No. But all cops
are human. And if all lives do matter (and they do) we need to get better at breaking down racial stereotypes. Black lives depend on it.
Check out the full “Daily Show” segment below: