Writing at Newsy, Eugene Daniels commented that “implicit bias” against black Americans can be found not only among white police officers but even among black police officers. Noting an exchange between the vice-presidential candidates during the recent debate, Daniels quoted Republican Gov. Mike Pence as saying to Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), "Senator, when an African-American police officer is involved in a police shooting involving an African-American, why would Hillary Clinton accuse that African-American police officer of implicit bias?" 
 
It was thus that Pence critiqued Hillary Clinton’s assertion that everyone can have “implicit bias,” wrote Daniels. Pence praised Donald Trump’s proposal to utilize “stop-and-frisk” policing to address crime, while he criticized protesters who are calling attention to police brutality. Pence noted that the national Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed Trump because of “people that seize upon tragedy as a reason to use a broad brush to accuse law enforcement of implicit bias or institutional racism.”
 
Pence mentioned Brentley Vinson, the black police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, who shot and killed a 43-year-old black man, Keith Scott, on September 20. According to the Huffington Post, this means that Pence mentioned the incident as “an example of why implicit bias shouldn’t be discussed since, apparently, black cops can’t be anti-black (which isn’t true).” “We mourn with those who mourn, we grieve with those who grieve and we are saddened at the loss of life,” Pence said. “Hillary Clinton referred to that moment as an actual example of implicit bias in the police force.”
 
The Huffington Post said that Pence did not understand Clinton’s point about implicit bias. “Enough of this seeking every opportunity to demean law enforcement probably by making accusation of implicit bias every time tragedy occurs,” he said. According to Daniels, “Implicit bias isn't something you can attribute to only white people. Black police officers can also have implicit bias.”
 
For support, Daniels cited the Project Implicit website. According to Daniels, Project Implicit says that black people can experience the same negative stereotypes about other black people in the media that everyone else can. And that would mean all of us, including black officers, are susceptible to implicit bias. 
 
The Project Implicit website answered the frequently asked question: "Do Black participants show a preference for Black over White on the race attitude IAT?"
 
“Although the majority of White respondents show a preference for White over Black, the responses from Black respondents are more varied. Although some Black participants show liking for White over Black, others show no preference, and yet others show a preference for Black over White. Data collected from this website consistently reveal approximately even numbers of Black respondents showing a pro-White bias as show a pro-Black bias. Part of this might be understood as Black respondents experiencing the similar negative associations about their group from experience in their cultural environments, and also experiencing competing positive associations about their group based on their own group membership and that of close relations. For more information see Nosek, Banaji, & Greenwald, 2002.”
 
 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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