Racial police killings are a hot topic. Everyone is bound to have a reaction of some kind; The Washington Post article “Police kill more whites than blacks, but minority deaths generate more outrage” starts with a strongly worded statement from novelist Toni Morrison: the discussion about race isn’t over until a white teenager is shot in the back by a police officer.

The article then lists its statistics that police actually shoot more white people than black people, but shows that more outrage is generated over the deaths of black people who are killed by white people as opposed to white people who are killed by black people. The idea is that black people are purposefully targeted, while white deaths are generally circumstance or necessary. The data is then further broken down to account for such things as population statistics and the homicide rate in order to interpret the data further.

I felt that the article was skewed slightly towards a white bias; they started off with a fairly inflammatory quote without any surrounding context (wishing death on a teenager because of his or her skin color is a very pointed wish, and one that definitely ramps up the shock factor to someone clicking through to the article) that essentially uses the logic that unless teenagers of all skin colors are being shot in the back, there is still racism. From there on I felt a little bit of a pull from the writer to convince the readers that the race discussion is getting out of hand, and is fueled by emotion rather than a desire for equality. However, the writer did put effort into being unbiased. I feel that it’s not necessarily about race, however, and more about selling print and getting people to click on articles. It’s pretty rare these days to find any article that is not biased in some way or another. I don’t really believe the writer was writing from a point of implicit bias — more that the title was clickbait and the article was being polarizing to generate more views.

As to the comments, it’s pretty obvious to me that they were swayed by the tone of the article. Right off the bat the first comment was polarized (snarkily pointing out black on black crime), and what followed were arguments essentially stating that anyone who does stupid things deserve to get shot. I got the hint of insinuations that most black people who were shot therefore deserved to be shot, but I am not sure if that is necessarily an implicit racial bias so much as it is backlash against the idea that all white cops killing black citizens are racially motivated shootings. I suppose it could be an implicit racial bias started by a seemingly overt racial bias?

Interestingly enough, just a few more comments down things switched to some Muslim racism couched in a joke, though the person who submitted the joke was quickly lambasted by others. It then devolved into pointless squabbling.


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