Reflections on Race, Power, and Science
With the current news cycle highlighting police brutality against African Americans, it is hard not to contemplate the continuing role of race in American life. Despite our progress as a nation and more broadly as a human race, we still struggle with seemingly antiquated modes of thinking that lead to unnecessary frictions between people. It is as if the impressive advances in social psychology and neuroscience have not sunk into the consciousness of the broader population.
We now have a much deeper understanding of the countless fallacies of thought, biases, and group dynamics to which all humans are prone. We now understand that socioeconomic status, culture, education, language, environment, personal experience, and differential treatment are among the most important causal factors behind the varying behavioral outcomes of different social groups. Our differences have absolutely nothing to do with skin color. Sensible people always understood this, but science has now proven it.
Tim Ridout is a Wider Atlantic fellow at GMF, where he focuses on political and economic issues in Brazil, in addition to global security challenges.