Study: Black boys affected by racial stereotypes
A new study produced by researchers at the University of Iowa reveals that black boys are seen as more threatening than white boys.
While that’s not necessarily breaking news, the research was conducted to investigate why so many black men are shot and killed by the police. In doing so, they found that racial stereotypes play a large factor into why incidents of that nature happen.
But their research also revealed that the racial prejudices we show against black men really begins much earlier. The study found that racial stereotypes are first felt by black men when they are just boys.
Delving deeper into the study, the findings get even more disturbing. The researchers polled more than 60 white college students and showed them separate pictures of five-year old black and white boys.
As they were shown the images of the children, the students were also given pictures of a gun or a toy.
The analysts revealed that the white college students were more likely to partner the photo of a gun with a black child and the picture of a toy with a white kid.
While white children are seen as less threatening, black children face the crushing weight of being racially stigmatized.
This study explains why so many black students are suspended from school compared to that of their white counterparts. It’s why Oakland started a program geared towards black boys in order to help deal with the crisis of black students being disproportionately kicked out of school.
It’s also why President Obama has a plan to try to decrease the number of black kids who are expelled from school.
But I’m not sure that a national program will change the way we view black children. We often associate innocence with the face of children, but the reality for black kids–at least according to this study–shows that we believe them to be dangerous and a threat to our safety.
Even if that child is just five years of age.