Building ties to understanding

Many people are asking “When will it stop?” 
 
Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, was shot and killed by a white police officer last week. This is another in a series of incidents involving the killing of unarmed black men by white police officers. 
 
This problem still pervades society, and it’s partly rooted in the brain. People tend to remember negative experiences in much more detail than positive ones because negative situations often require more thinking. If police have many negative experiences with black men and only a few positive ones, they will most likely dwell on the negative. 
 
More positive relations between police and the black community would help improve the situation. Having more positive experiences with different people allows you to associate positive memories with them. This way, your brain won’t rely on negative information to make decisions. 
 
Fortunately, Minneapolis is one of six cities slated to test a national project aimed at curbing racial bias in law enforcement. 
 
In the hope to enhance procedural justice, this program will assess the relationships between police officers and the communities they serve. The first part of the project includes a visit from the Justice Department, during which officials will create a detailed plan of action. Researchers will then evaluate how Minneapolis has addressed racial issues. 
 
The idea to better the relationship between police officers and black men is great. I just hope that it really does present positive results. It is an arduous process to change people’s ways of thinking and feeling, but curbing racial bias is one step closer toward achieving both justice and fairness.