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Mon Aug 11, 2014, 04:41 PM

 

Study: White people support harsher criminal laws if they think more black people arrested

So we live in a post-racial society? I think not.

Study: White people support harsher criminal laws if they think more black people arrested

Source: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/08/07/3468368/study-white-people-support-harsher-criminal-laws-if-they-think-more-black-people-are-arrested/

A recent study suggests that, if you are white, and you are presented with evidence that our criminal justice system disproportionately targets black people, then you are more likely to support harsh criminal justice policies than if you were unaware of this evidence. According to a study by Rebecca Hetey, a post-doctoral fellow in Stanford’s Psychology department and Jennifer Eberhardt, her faculty advisor, informing white people that African Americans are significantly over-represented in the prison population “may actually bolster support for the very policies that perpetuate the inequality.”

Forty percent of the nation’s prison population is black, as compared to only 12 percent of the population as a whole.

To reach their conclusions, Hetey and Eberhardt conducted two experiments involving white subjects. In the first, white people were asked to watch one of two videos containing mug shots. In one video, 25 percent of the mug shots were pictures of black men, while in the other video, 45 percent of the mug shots depicted African American males. After watching the video, the subjects were then asked whether they would sign a petition calling for one of California’s strict sentencing laws to be eased.

The result: “Over half of the participants who’d seen the mug shots with fewer black men signed the petition, whereas only 27 percent of people who viewed the mug shots containing a higher percentage of black inmates agreed to sign.”

In the second experiment, two groups of white New Yorkers were shown different statistical data about the racial makeup of the prison population. One group was shown data indicating that 40 percent of prisoners are black while the other group was shown that 60 percent are black. Once again, the group that was led to believe that fewer people in the criminal justice system are African Americans were more likely to support liberalizing criminal justice policies. In this case, the New Yorkers were asked if they would sign a petition calling for the end of New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy. Thirty-three percent of the subjects who were led to believe that fewer African Americans are incarcerated were willing to sign the petition. Only 12 percent of the other group were willing to do so.

As Hetey notes, this research could have profound implications for advocates seeking to convince voters — or, at least, white voters — to support less harsh criminal justice policy. “Many legal advocates and social activists seem to assume that bombarding the public with images, statistics and other evidence of racial disparities will motivate people to join the cause and fight inequality,” according to Hetey. “But we found that, ironically, exposure to extreme racial disparities may make the public less, and not more, responsive to attempts to lessen the severity of policies that help maintain those disparities.”

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Reply Study: White people support harsher criminal laws if they think more black people arrested (Original post)
Liberal_Stalwart71 Aug 2014 OP
jaysunb Aug 2014 #1
cui bono Aug 2014 #2
noiretextatique Aug 2014 #3
randys1 Aug 2014 #4
Cali_Democrat Aug 2014 #5

Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Original post)

Mon Aug 11, 2014, 04:58 PM

1. Well, DUH ! n/t

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Original post)

Mon Aug 11, 2014, 06:51 PM

2. That's horrible!

So when they know it's already skewed wrongly they want to make the punishment harsher? Particularly if there are more African Americans affected by it? Wow.

The fact that only 33% of New Yorkers are willing to sign a petition to end stop-and-frisk is particularly disheartening. And that's the high number of the two. New Yorkers! I wonder what they would say if they weren't told any statistics about it at all.

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Original post)

Tue Aug 12, 2014, 01:25 PM

3. my friend considers racism a genetic defect

Because it is so 'normal' and common. I cannot disagree, systematically speaking. The culture totally reinforces racism.

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Original post)

Wed Aug 13, 2014, 09:22 PM

4. I am so god damn ashamed that i am white and american

between this thread and MO and Trayvon and Jordan DAvis and the rest...

just sick to fucking death of all this, watching it live now in MO

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Original post)

Thu Aug 14, 2014, 01:09 AM

5. I love these kinds of studies

 

They pretty much verify what I already knew to be true.

Thanks for posting.

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