Breaking Brown

August 31, 2015

Shooters Quicker to Fire on Black Targets Than Whites, Study Finds

Shooters Quicker to Fire on Black Targets Than Whites, Study Finds

One reason why the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter caught on so quickly was because many within the black community already realized that black lives don’t matter nearly as much as white ones. Twelve year old Tamir Rice was shot dead within two minutes of police arriving on the scene, and John Crawford was shot almost immediately after police arrived at Walmart where he was holding a toy rifle. Both Rice and Crawford were black.

Given this news, a study from the University of Illinois, which found that shooters are quicker to open fire on black targets than white ones, won’t come as any surprise.

“Researchers Yara Mekawi and Konrad Bresin compiled findings from 42 studies on trigger bias to evaluate if race affects the likelihood of a target being shot,” CBS St. Louis reported.

The researchers used studies where participants were told of how police are required to make split second decisions when shooting suspects. Participants were then presented with targets from various races who were holding either a gun or an ordinary object, such as a soda can or phone.

In an interview with NPR, researchers Yara Mekawi  and Konrad Bresin explained that race does impact how people shoot.

“What we found is that it does,” Mekawi tells NPR’s Arun Rath. “In our study we found two main things: First, people were quicker to shoot black targets with a gun, relative to white targets with a gun. And … people were more trigger-happy when shooting black targets compared to shooting white targets.”

Asked why the participants were quicker to shoot blacks, researchers speculate that it may correspond to how blacks are perceived.

“One theory states, essentially, that when people view images of black targets with a gun, it’s what’s called “stereotype-consistent,” which means that it’s something that you expect. And so people typically respond to things more quickly when they’re congruent, when they make sense to be together. So that’s one theory. Another theory is that it could be something to do with threat. It could be that individuals perceive black targets as being more threatening. And so they inhibit their shooting behavior less because they’re more threatened. So you can think of it as kind of a threatened response.”


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18 thoughts on “Shooters Quicker to Fire on Black Targets Than Whites, Study Finds

  1. HANNIBAL the VICTOR says:

    We need to condition society to be “more comfortable” with back people with guns. We can start by getting concealed and open carry licenses on a mass level.

  2. TinaSue says:

    They need to do a study and ask them why they feel “threated” by Black people. Don’t these people protected from Black people by living in their segregated communities?  Do they feel we will invade their communities?  Don’t they have Police protection in their communities to protect them from us?  What’s behind their fear?

  3. Watchful says:

    More worthless studies telling us what we as blk ppl already knew … wonder how much money was wasted this time.  SMH

  4. Johnw11 says:

    “Stereotype-consistent” is a round-about way of saying that the shooters have a “racial hatred” of Blacks, and, therefore impulsively manifest that hatred with “trigger-happiness.”
    That’s why 12 Y/O Tamir Rice was shot dead within 2 SECONDS of the “trigger-happy” ones’ arrival on the scene.
    Clearly the findings of this and similar studies strongly suggest that the problem is not one of “training” but racial hatred.

  5. Johnw11 says:

    TinaSue  I thought you said you were going to read Dr. Welsing’s book over the summer, Tina. If you did, I’m sure you already know that the “threat’ is genetic / biological.
    All that other stuff about “stereotypes” and fearing Blacks behaviorally, etc., are but psychological distractions (defense mechanisms) designed to mask the racists’ fundamental fear (unconscious in some cases) of the “genetic” threat posed by Blacks.
    The failure of Blacks to understand this, Dr. Welsing argues, leaves Blacks ill prepared to deal with racism at its most fundamental level; answering the question — why do racists hate Blacks so deeply.

  6. Johnw11 says:

    Watchful  “Worthless study”? Intellectuals have to eat too, you know. (LOL)
    On a serious note, these type of data do serve a useful purpose in that they provide “evidence” that can be useful in the educational as well as the policy process.
    For example, when one encounters a fool who argues that “Blacks are shot more often because they do the most wrong.” Therefore, the value of this and similar studies in the education process is that they prove that Blacks are shot more often because there is a craving to shot Blacks more.
    On the policy level, where this is ALREADY known, efforts should be made to solve the problem in a myriad of ways. But that will not happen as long as “mis-leaders” and “low budget snitches” continue to purport to speak for Blacks. PERIOD.

  7. TinaSue says:

    Johnw11 TinaSue  I’m glad you mentioned Dr. Welsing’s book.  I had planned to “re-read” it over the summer, but had not yet done so.  When I first read it, it was a “page-turner” that I couldn’t put down.  So, I may have rushed through it.  Not being a psychologist/s/sociologist myself, many of the concepts take time to comprehend fully.
    When I commented on the above study, I was thinking of a comment made by that Swedish sociologist (Gunderson?) who was asked to come to the U.S. and do a study about the race situation  Do you know about him and the study he did?
    While in the South, he had suggested to this White woman that perhaps the reason she had a fear of being raped by Black men was an undiagnosed desire to sexually be with a Black man.  He barely escaped with his life as they chased him out of the South for suggesting such a thing to this “delicate” White woman. lol
    Dr. Wesling , as I understood it, says it’s a fear of genetic annihilation of Whites.  She did not include other ethnic groups with this fear, which I think they too have, to a certain extent.  And, I’m thinking those other groups are conditioned by White Supremacy and respond similar to Whites at times.  I watched a program where this Indian man was saying he didn’t know he was prejudiced like that until he took the test.   Even Black people showed this prejudice against themselves.
    Unless you are a psychologist, it’s hard to figure these issues out.  When you get a chance, elaborate a bit more.

  8. Watchful says:


    LOL, John … I guess u got a point there. 

    I especially agree with the last line of ur comment. If only these ‘studies’ would somehow influence said policy, but alas, the sheeple seemed to have resigned themselves to accepting the status quo.

  9. Watchful says:


    U’re so right, Tina. That’s the powerfully-damaging psychological influence that white supremacy(racism) can have on its non-white victims … it can often cause them to unconsciously hate themselves almost as much as their racist oppressors.

  10. Johnw11 says:

    TinaSue Johnw11 Tina, you seem to have not “rushed” through the book at all. Your understanding of the fundamental most point made regarding the root cause of white supremacy / racism is quite accurate — “a fear of genetic annihilation.”
    The point I was making in my reply to you is that “fear” (“genetic annihilation”) is the real fear and all the other things racists claim to fear Blacks for are basically smoke screen defense mechanisms to cover-up the real fear, which Dr. Welsing argues is the basis for their creation of a worldwide system of power and control encompassing all areas of human activity. 
    She argues further that all “people of color” are subjected to the system of racism, brown, red and yellow. Blacks are the most feared (hated) because Black is the ultimate color state, from which all other colors are derived.
    As for your not being a “psychologist” or “sociologist,” that’s not important to be in order to understand her writings. While it is true that her being a psychiatrist, she uses language and concepts from her medical / behavioral science discipline to ground her work, clearly her writings can be understood by anyone with competent reading skills, discipline not withstanding. 
    Stop selling yourself short. I’ve always considered you to be brilliant. That’s a fact!
    As far as “Gunderson” is concerned, I think you mean Gunnar Myrdal. He was the Swedish social -economist whose mid 20th Century research on U.S. racism has received much acclaim. He wrote: “An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem And Modern Democracy” (1944). In this he argued that the way Blacks were (are) treated presented a dilemma for America which on the one hand professed to be a “democracy,” but on the other denied democracy to Blacks. And, in fact, blamed the results of racism on Blacks. Thus, his powerful analysis was socio-politically based.
    He was no Dr. Welsing. He dealt primarily with the “effects” of racism, and even erroneously postulated that “democracy” would remediate racism. The statement you attribute to him regarding the unconscious sexual fantasies of white women regarding Black men, is consistent with both a Freudian analysis of “repressed wishes” and Dr. Welsing’s position of whites wish for color. Hence, the basis of “color jealously” (as evidenced by sun bathing) on the one hand, and the fear of genetic annihilation on the other– should the wish be fulfilled. Which is why she termed racism as a form of “neurosis” a mental illness ( A term which the APA’s DSM series discontinued as a diagnostic category after her observation, replacing it with “personality disorder” beginning with DSM III 1980. Her original work “Cress Color Theory” was first published circa early 1970s.)
    I agree with your astute observation that these other “colors” also exhibit racism against Blacks. I’m sure she knows that. 
    And, this is my own observation, much of the dislike of Blacks by these other groups could possibly be charged to cultural and ethic xenophobia than racism. I’m thinking that’s why she charged white supremacy as the “only racism in the known universe.”

  11. Watchful says:


    Another good post, John.

    BTW, it was doctor Welsing’s close colleague, Mr.Neely Fuller Jr, who originally stated that white supremacy is the only form of functional racism among the ppl of the known universe.

  12. Johnw11 says:

    TinaSue Johnw11  Also, as an addendum. Regarding some Blacks not liking themselves based on race, that’s an easy one to figure out. The system of white supremacy is fundamentally anti-Black in its core values.
    Many Blacks, being acculturated (psycho-socially trained) under such a system, will automatically think and behave consistent with their training. It is to be expected.
    The training is so consummate that it’s obvious even in many cases where  the Blacks consider them selves to be  “pro Black.” We see it on this site all the time. People, good meaning, but uninformed, will get Uncle Ruckus –like and falsely claim that African Americans “have all the wealth we need, but are too ‘stupid’ to use it wisely.”
    When in fact Blacks are cheated out of 85%–90% of wealth due us, and only have an estimated 0.6% to 1.75% of U.S. wealth despite being 12%–14% of the population.
    So, that’s an easy one to figure out — why there’s self-hatred among SOME Blacks. The claim of Blacks having all the wealth they need is rooted in ignorance, the claim that Blacks are “stupid” is rooted in white supremacist training. I’ve known it to be described as the result of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.” The only problem with that analysis is “post” means after, while the process of psycho-traumatizing Blacks is “ongoing.”

  13. Johnw11 says:

    Watchful  Thanks Watchful. You’re correct. In fact, Dr. Welsing has long given credit to Mr. Neely Fuller’s observations as being the foundation of her work on racism / white supremacy.

  14. Watchful says:


    Indeed, John … they’ve worked closely together since at least the 70s, if not earlier. We r all enormously indebted to them both for all the work they’ve done over the past several decades in an attempt to educate our ppl on what white supremacy really is and how to neutralize and ultimately eradicate it.

  15. Watchful says:


    Thx for another spot on post, John.

  16. Johnw11 says:

    Watchful  Thank you back!

  17. TinaSue says:

    Johnw11 TinaSue  Very insightful posts.  Thank you.
    Last Saturday, a young Black man friend, whom I often give advice, stopped by with his young son after going to dinner and the Beach.  He’s a School Teacher by profession.  I was shocked when he showed me the Pistol he was carrying.  Within the next month, I have to talk with him about whether the current events caused this action.
    Four days ago, I finished reading Ta-Nehisi Coates book, “Between The World And Me.”  It was very helpful, giving me insight into the feelings of Black men.  In addition to my own family, I do community mentoring as much as time allows.  When discussing issues, I try giving the best advice I can.
    Yes, that Swedish doctor is Karl Gunnar Myrdal. I later Googled it.
    Dr. Wesling should have elaborated more on the sexual racism as it pertains to Black women.  Too often, sexual racism is only discussed in relation to Black men.  A corresponding example should always be done for Black women.  As I read the example that Dr. Wesling did give, I thought back years ago when this White man told me he always fantasized about having sex with a Black woman.  He asked if I had the same fantasizes about White men.  I answered him, “no.”  Then I explained to him that I was socialized to fear being raped by White men.  My response hurt his feelings, although that was not my intention.  I was only being honest, which I thought (at my young age) he would appreciate.
    During this same era, a Black woman told us that she would never date a White man again, because of his constant feeling of sexual adequacy, and the need for constant assurance . She said it was so embarrassing with the comments he would make and his behavior around sex.
    One only needs to look at some of the Internet Posts when Black women (Venus/Serena) are the topic of discussion.  An analysis of such would delve deeper into the racial White Supremacy of what’s really going on.  I think Dr. Wesling could have done an excellent job explaining it in reference to Black women.
    Sorry for the long post.

  18. TinaSue says:

    Johnw11 TinaSue  Post Script I meant to say “feeling of sexual INadequacy.”

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