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Racial bias runs deep in this overly armed country.

From Mother Jones magazine:

According to a new report from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, racial bias can affect the likelihood of people pulling the trigger of a gun—even if shooters don’t realize they were biased to begin with. Researchers found that, in studies conducted over the past decade, participants were more likely to shoot targets depicting black people than those depicting white people.

A team led by researcher Yara Mekawi looked at 42 studies that used first-person-shooter tasks to identify shooter bias. In the lab, images of black or white people were shown to participants, who then had less than a second to decide whether they would shoot the target. In some images the people were armed, and in others they were holding another object, like a cellphone.

The meta-analysis showed that the participants were quicker to shoot when an armed person was black, slower to choose not to shoot when an unarmed person was black, and more trigger-happy toward black targets in general…”What this highlights,” Mekawi told NPR, “is that even though a person might say, ‘I’m not racist’ or ‘I’m not prejudiced,’ it doesn’t necessarily mean that race doesn’t influence their split-second decisions.”

Read more here.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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