Hillary Clinton told a mixed audience, “I mean, if we’re honest, for a lot of well-meaning, open-minded white people, the sight of a young black man in a hoodie still evokes a twinge of fear” (http://tinyurl.com/ojxsrhm). Before we get into the nuts and bolts of that observation, I’d like to ask a question. Would well-meaning, open-minded white people have a similar fear at the sight of an elderly black man using a walker and wearing a hoodie?
Whether we like it or not, easily observed physical characteristics — such as race, sex, height and age — convey information. That’s because there is often a correlation between those characteristics and other characteristics not so easily observed.