Deconstructing the narrative of stereotype

Stereotype threat and topics in general are quite important when we consider the incidence of violence against unarmed men of color. There is a circular, transactional exchange between two people where the action of one triggers a reaction in the other. In turn, this creates an elevated risk to both as each perceives a high degree of personal “threat”. This is what adds to the elevated risk to both members of the transaction. It is a complex interplay of wills, awareness, and stereotype.

This may, in fact, have no bearing on the context of the interaction as it unfolds. Neither person in the transaction is actively aware of this in real time. Yet it may have immeasurable bearing on the future conduct and well-being of both. The proper way to avoid this is to slow the pace of the encounter and interpretation of the actual circumstances that are occurring without the underpinnings of stereotyped expectations. The resulting behavioral action/reaction that must occur should allow for normal human apprehension and fear in the person who is stopped by police as well as the assumed, plausible threat to law enforcement given the time of day, neighborhood area crime, and specific circumstances of the evolving encounter.

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