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Delta Flight Attendants…And Black Doctors…Again

WTF is going on with Delta Airlines. Once upon a time they had some of he best flight crews of the American carriers. Looks like that has gone totally downhill…

These FA’s need to be fired, as they are endangering passengers.

It Happened Again. Another Flight Crew Can’t Believe a Black Woman Is Actually a Doctor

 

Doctor Ashley Denmark

Dr. Ashley Denmark, D.O., who hails from South Carolina, was on a flight from Seattle to Hawaii. The trip, to attend a good friend’s wedding, was intended as a bit of a rest and relaxation period for the busy doctor, wife, and mother of two. As soon as she heard there was a traveler in need of medical assistance, though, Denmark got up and made her presence known. That’s when everything went awry. Denmark shared her story on her website:

“As I settled in to watch a movie and read a book, about 1 hour into our flight over the intercom, a flight attendant requested a doctor or nurse to report to front of cabin to assist a passenger. When duty calls it calls — even if you are 30,000 feet in air…”

And she continued on social media:“The flight attendant didn’t believe I was a doctor and told me to have a seat while 2 nurses provided medical care to the passenger.”

It was merely a few days ago when Tamika Cross, MD, another young, black physiciandescribed a very similar situation happening on a different Delta flight. In Cross’s situation, the passenger was unresponsive, a seemingly life-threatening situation in which every second counted.

What exactly is it that inspires seemingly normal people to prevent qualified individuals from offering their professional assistance? In life-or-death situations, do we really have time to be prejudiced?

A report by the Washington Post, points to the phenomenon of “implicit bias” as the culprit. “Overt bias certainly exists, but there is also a growing body of scientific literature that’s revealing an even more uncomfortable truth,” according to the article. “Deep-seated unconscious biases help steer our thinking and behavior — even when we don’t realize it.”

One can only hope that by sharing their stories, women like Cross and Denmark can begin to receive the respect that others — particularly older, white men — enjoy without needing to jump through hoops to prove themselves.

Denmark reiterated this hope, telling Yahoo Beauty that she hopes her story raises awareness to the fact that the face of medicine is changing. “Doctors can be young, female, or come from different ethnic backgrounds,” she says. “My hope is that Delta takes into account my unfortunate experience and prevents a similar occurrence from happening again. Despite this experience, I have remained focused and will continue to do so, striving to be the best physician, mother, and wife I can be.”

And to those last words, we’re happy to give her more than the benefit of the doubt.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Implicit Bias – Training Law Enforcement to Be Less Racist

Since the early 90’s when books by Dinesh D’Souza and Jared Taylor hit conservative bookshelves, racism, and the pseudo science behind it have gone mainstream in the conservative world. Fox News picked up and found serial racism was profitable. It is safe to say than anyone you meet who watches Faux more than an hour a day…

Is a racist.

Faux News talking heads like Sean Hannity have built their entire careers around defending, encouraging, and promoting racism though implicit bias.

I think back a few weeks to the brother who murdered 5 Cops in Dallas. Stupid, stupid, stupid. First off, there was no evidence that any of the victims were either “bad cops” or criminal in any way. Killing the symptom, not the cause. If the brother was going to do some good in eradicating some of the racism in america – including the murder by cop of unarmed, innocent black men – he needed to shoot the hand behind the hand holding the gun. He needed to go to 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, and shoot the first 5 talking heads emerging out of limousines.

Especially if 2 or 3 of those were the incessant purveyors of implicit racism.

It simply isn’t going to stop until the purveyors of racist trash know there is a cost to it. All the nice training courses discussed below won’t do a damn thing.

It is sort of like alcohol addiction. Alcohol is one of the, if not the hardest drug to kick. The reason? I would say in most cities it would be hard to walk a block though a commercial section without seeing a bar, a restaurant that serves alcohol, signs promoting alcoholic beverages. Turn on the TV – happy people consuming alcohol. Go to ball game – signs for alcohol everywhere, and dozens of places selling beer on draft (heck – there are even guys who will bring beer to your seat). Alcohol consumption is part of our social fabric. We are bombarded with messages hundreds of times a day promoting alcohol consumption.

Faux News and other conservative outlets do the same thing for racism. A good portion of their programming is devoted to promoting and advancing racism in the form of implicit bias.

So if you want to kill the implicit bias beast – you need to a lot better than a 2 hour slide show.

Implicit bias training seeks to counter hidden prejudice in law enforcement

When the Justice Department released its report on the Baltimore Police Department last week, examples of racial bias were clear:

The police:

— employs “enforcement strategies on African Americans, leading to severe and unjustified racial disparities”

— “disproportionately searches African-Americans during stops,” yet illegal items were found twice as often on white individuals during vehicle stops and 50 percent more during pedestrian stops

— arrests black people five times more than others for drug possession, yet black drug use is about the same or only slightly higher.

What is not so clear is the unseen, but not unfelt, implicit bias that provides the foundation for racism.

Most people carry some implicit bias, which Justice defines as “the unconscious or subtle associations that individuals make between groups of people and stereotypes about those groups.”

Justice and Baltimore agreed to reach a consent decree setting out needed reforms, including improved implicit bias training. At the same time, the Justice Department is launching a major effort for its own crew. All Justice law enforcement officers and prosecutors will undergo implicit bias training under a directive issued by Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates and backed by her boss, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.

“We have been requiring implicit bias training in a lot of our consent decrees for local jurisdictions,” Lynch said in a brief interview following her appearance before a joint conference of the National Association of Black Journalists (disclosure: I am a member) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. “We really felt that if we were going to make that a prescription for local law enforcement, we should also be part of it.”

That means the department’s 23,000 law enforcement agents in four agencies and 5,800 lawyers are being trained in how to recognize implicit bias in their daily work.

Perhaps anticipating push back, Yate’s memo to staffers said “I know that your time is valuable, and that you already devote many hours to various training requirements, but I would not have asked you to take on this additional responsibility unless I and other Department leaders were convinced of its value.”

While the training will be geared to different elements in the department, all of it will begin with the science behind implicit bias, Yates said by telephone. “As you might expect, people can naturally start out a little defensive when they come into this kind of training.”

Yates, who has taken some training, said it’s important for employees to understand that implicit bias is distinct from explicit bias “and that it is something we all carry around unconsciously in one form or another.”

After the science, the training includes scenarios where implicit bias might kick in and strategies to counter it.

Strategies can include providing factual information to counter stereotypes. The Justice Department’s finding that contraband is found much more often among white folks, yet black people are stopped and searched at a higher rate is an example.

That information, perhaps, could have an impact on those who assume higher arrest rates mean black people are more criminally inclined. Studies have shown that black people are treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than white people for similar offenses at every step of the process.

“What the science also shows is that the most important aspect of countering implicit bias is being aware that you have it to begin with,” Yates said. “Most people don’t really recognize that they are carrying around the bias, particularly people who believe themselves to be fair-thinking, non-prejudice folks.”

I wonder if that fits Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation and a former Justice Department lawyer.

He thinks the department is going “to spend a lot of taxpayer money on training for a nonexistent problem.” Despite science to the contrary, von Spakovsky said, unconvincingly, “these claims are based on very dubious, questionable studies…the bias I saw there when I worked in the (DOJ’s) Civil Rights Division was towards whites.”

Perhaps he should talk with Lenese Herbert, a Howard University law professor.

Implicit bias training “represents cutting-edge research,” she said, “that may be enlisted to eradicate the internationally embarrassing and domestically destabilizing scourge of officers killing unarmed Black people in extraordinarily disproportionate numbers and in the face of shockingly nonviolent resistance.”

 

 
 

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Why White Cops Shoot Black Men

Interesting analysis. Not sure it goes deep enough though. Like, why exactly has this seemingly reached epidemic proportions? Is there a relationship to he media? In view that the number of violent interactions between the police and the general public seem to have gone up – what are the implications and impact o the methodologies now commonly used?

Walter Scott Murder

The neuroscience behind why white cops kill black men

If you’ve paid any attention at all to the news during the past year, or simply are on social media, then chances are you’ve seen real life videos of white cops shooting and killing black males when the situation did not warrant it. The most recent video to have surfaced captured the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, for which he has been charged with first-degree murder. Earlier this year, a similar video was released of a white South Carolina cop shooting a 50-year-old unarmed black man in the back as he was running away. Although in these cases it was clear that the officers were not presented with any lethal threat while they fired their weapons multiple times, there are also countless cases where police officers have discharged their firearms when the level of threat was more ambiguous.

A classic example of this occurred in 2014 when another South Carolina policeman shot an unarmed African American who he had stopped in a parking lot for a seatbelt violation. The cop asked for an ID from the young man, who subsequently reached under the seat for his wallet, but was shot in the leg before he could even take it out. Upon inspection of the body-cam video, it becomes evident that the jumpy, trigger-happy cop probably did fear for his life. At the same time, it is also clear that he shouldn’t have, as the behavior of the driver involved nothing out of the ordinary. One could reasonably argue, and many did, that if the driver had been white, the cop wouldn’t have reacted the way he did.

Does this mean that the officer was a racist, and that he fired his gun purely out of hate? Without actually being inside the cop’s mind, there is no way to know for sure, but we can know for certain that many similar situations have transpired where white officers acted on gut instinct, and not out of animosity towards African Americans.

What needs to be understood by the prosecutors of such cases, and by the public at large, is the distinction between explicit and implicit racism. Where explicit racism is intentional and conscious, implicit racism involves a subconscious bias that causes one to treat members of other races unequally. Implicit racism likely plays a significant role in many of the cases involving white cops shooting black males, and it is also likely that these cops genuinely believe they hold no prejudice at all. In other words, white police officers may perceive black males to be a threat for behaving in ways that wouldn’t seem suspicious for white males. In fact, an overwhelming number of studies from the fields of neuroscience and psychology provide evidence to support this notion.

For example, studies have shown that while some white individuals answer survey questions with responses that reflect positive attitudes toward blacks, their behavioral responses on certain psychological tests reveal a different story. In one particular type of classic experiment, white participants are asked to quickly categorize words that pop up on a computer screen as either positive (like “happy”) or negative (like “fear”). However, just before each word is displayed, either a black or a white face quickly appears on the screen. What scientists have found time and time again, is that on average, white individuals categorize negative words much faster when they follow black faces, and positive words faster when they follow white faces. What these studies show is that many of us, despite what we believe about ourselves, have split-second negative reactions towards members of certain other races. And unfortunately, these subconscious racist tendencies may affect behavior in the real world, especially when police officers need to make blink-of-an-eye decisions about how to respond to a perceived threat.

Another type of experiment has provided further evidence that white individuals tend to subconsciously perceive black males as threatening.  All individuals, regardless of race, show something that scientists call an “attention bias” for threat. For example, hundreds of studies have shown that humans tend to move their attention more quickly towards threatening aspects of the environment. In something called a “visual search task,” participants are instructed to locate one specific object in a clutter of objects on a computer screen while their eye movements are tracked. The data has shown that people are able to locate threatening objects, like spiders, or angry faces, much faster than they can find non-threatening ones, like ladybugs or happy faces. This makes sense in terms of evolution. Being able to rapidly locate threats in the environment allowed our ancestors to survive in an unpredictable and dangerous natural world. Interestingly, scientists have also found that white individuals have a similar attention bias for black faces, even when those faces have non-threatening expressions. Specifically, white participants tend to orient their attention towards black faces more quickly than same-race faces. These findings clearly show that on average, whites tend to subconsciously perceive blacks as threats, no matter how opposed to stereotypes or racial discrimination they may be.

Although these studies reveal subconscious racist behaviors that may be beyond one’s immediate control, they also offer solutions to the problem of white officers’ tendency to overreact in situations involving black suspects. First of all, all of us, including police officers and other figures of authority, must realize that these racial biases are real and prevalent. If we are aware of our innate predispositions then we can make a conscious effort to regulate our behavior. For instance, if a police officer is in a situation where his life is not being immediately threatened, he should go through the effort of assessing the situation logically before acting to ensure that he is not overreacting or using excessive force. Additionally, perhaps psychological and behavioral measures, such as surveys and visual computer tasks that test for implicit racial biases should be implemented as screening measures for police. If an officer does in fact exhibit these biases, he could be subjected to more in-depth training that can help mitigate these effects. Psychologists also have attention training tasks that can help dissolve cognitive biases, which can be provided to those at risk through computer apps.

Finally, we all must realize that in some situations the use excessive force by police officers might not be intentional. Although that is by no means an excuse, it may help us to better understand why the outcome occurred, and how we can possibly prevent it from occurring in the future. And if police departments recognize that these implicit racial biases are in-fact driving some of their behavior, it would show the world that they are willing to admit there is a problem that they plan to address and correct.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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In the Crosswalk…While Black

Why that implicit bias can kill you just walking across the street…

Drivers Show Signs Of Racial Bias At Crosswalks, Initial Study Finds

Does the race of a pedestrian determine whether a driver will stop to let them cross the street?

A joint preliminary study by researchers at the University of Arizona and Portland State University suggests that it is. The study — which, it should be noted, had an extremely small sample size and was based in one city — found that African-Americans had to wait in a crosswalk about 32 percent longer than white people before drivers stopped. The research also suggests that African-Americans are twice as likely to be passed by multiple vehicles.

The findings, co-authored by a University of Arizona transportation planning expert and two Portland State University students, were published in August in Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behavior. The researchers trained six participants — three white, three black — and had them stand at a crosswalk in downtown Portland, Oregon. Then researchers observed 88 trials, cataloguing how many cars passed without letting the pedestrian cross and how long it took for a driver to finally stop.

“Drivers were clearly displaying behaviors consistent with implicit racial bias,” study co-author Arlie Adkins said. “It was not a very large study, so we weren’t sure the amount of data collected would be enough to reach statistical significance, so we were surprised to see how quickly the significance showed up.”

Tara Goddard, a doctoral candidate in urban studies at Portland State and co-author of the study, said the research has broader implications even though its sample size was so small and it only took place in one city. She, Adkins and co-author Kimberly Kahn received a $30,000 grant from the National Institute for Transportation and Community to expand on the study, and are putting the finishing touches on more comprehensive research on the subject.

The study wasn’t meant to prove that drivers are “overtly racist,” but that they could have implicit bias that leads to danger on the road, researchers said.

“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reported that during a period that spanned 2000 to 2012, African-American and Hispanic male pedestrians were more than twice as likely then white men to die in traffic crashes,” they write in the study.

Are those crashes caused by implicit bias?

We’re not saying this is the missing link, but it’s worth exploring,” Goddard told The Huffington Post. “It’s likely happening at a subconscious level.”

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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