Does “confirmation bias” influence the way whites think about police shootings of young men of color?
This bias is the tendency to interpret or remember information in a way that confirms what we already believe, and helps us to ignore new data. And it may explain the tension between white cops and black kids — and the public reaction to them — more than outright racism does.
Many of us think police must be in the right because we have internalized a fear of black males and assume that they are up to no good.
As Harvard sociologist Charles Ogletree has pointed out, “Ninety-nine percent of black people don't commit crimes, yet we see the...