Monday, August 17, 2015

Who is the white Michael Brown, the white Sandra Bland, the white Freddie Gray?

Just saw Sarah Zhang's Police Training Is Seriously Lacking in Actual Science | WIRED. It begins,
MICHAEL BROWN WAS, at best, stopped by police for stealing cigarillos. Sandra Bland for failing to signal a lane change. Freddie Gray for carrying a switchblade.
I completely agree with the article's broader topic, but it assumes police killings are primarily a problem for black folks. I just checked my A handy list of white victims of police abuse, or Why #BlackLivesMatter should be #AllLivesMatter for white people who could as easily have been used in that sentence.

For Michael Brown: James Whitehead, shot in the head by a police officer of a different race than his, or Derek Cruice, shot in the face while wearing nothing but basketball shorts.

For Sandra Bland: Robert Cameron Redus, pulled over for speeding and shot after saying sarcastically, “Oh, you’re gonna shoot me?”, or Brenda Sewell, whose guards withheld her prescription medicine, or David Kassick, shot lying facedown in the snow after being stopped for an expired inspection sticker.
For Freddie Gray: Christine Abbott, who sued Baltimore after a “rough ride” like the one that broke Freddy Gray’s neck, or Michael Saffioti, whose allergic reaction to his food was ignored.
And since I'm quibbling: Ms. Zhang says, "Dozens of psychology studies show that people hold implicit biases against African-Americans—they might not admit or even be aware of these biases, but reaction times give them away." To be precise, studies show that many people hold implicit biases. But Project Implicit also shows some people hold no biases at all, and a large minority of white people, like me, show an implicit bias against white people.

ETA: Police kill more whites than blacks, but minority deaths generate more outrage: analysis - Washington Times