Guardian: Racism is so insidious, even black people underestimate it

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There is a tendency to respond to racialized tragedies with a sudden effort at self-reflection – an attempt to quantify our collective attitudes on race for clues as to why, yet again, we must somehow make sense of the senseless killing of a black teenager. Of the numerous recent polls that measure American perceptions of race, nearly all arrive at the same conclusion: overwhelmingly, white Americans not only believe that race is far less a factor than reported in incidents of police violence against young African-American men but that, in essence, black people are pretty much making this whole racism thing up.

And yet quantitative studies tell a vastly different story. Researchers consistently find that people of color are more likely to be stopped and frisked; that white Americans are more likely to use illegal drugs, but black Americans are more likely to be jailed for drug use; that black men are sentenced to longer prison terms than their white peers for the same crimes and, even more incredibly, that the more stereotypically “black looking” a defendant is, the more likely he is to be sentenced to death. White Americans support harsh criminal penalties not despite but because they believe black offenders will be disproportionately affected…

That racism is so rampant might seem unfathomable to most white Americans, but the evidence is undeniable…

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