New research finds faces of five-year-old black boys put whites in a more threat-conscious state of mind.
by TOM JACOBS
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 neural activity associated with rapid detection of danger.
While even pre-teens can stimulate this reaction (which helps explain the tragic shooting of a 12 year old holding a pellet gun in Cleveland two years ago), it presumably doesn’t apply to very young black boys. It’s hard to believe they are perceived as dangerous as they emerge from the womb.
So when do they start coming across as threatening? Newly published researchprovides a depressing answer: by the time they enter kindergarten.
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