Two profoundly depressing examples of implicit bias–not to mention the deficits of today’s media–were on display in Indianapolis last week.
The first–and arguably most embarrassing–occured when Ben Carson endorsed Donald Trump; Fox 59 showed a picture of Trump with a photograph of Indianapolis Democratic African-American Representative Andre Carson superimposed.
Because all of “them” look alike?
And how oblivious to the political environment they cover did the newsroom have to be in order to confuse a black Democrat who happens to be one of two Muslims serving in the U.S. House with a sycophantic joke of a presidential candidate? Did they really think Andre Carson would have endorsed a xenophobe who wants to bar Muslims from the country?
Equally discouraging, if not as inexplicable, was the early reporting about a shooting involving an IFD officer. According to later, corrected reports, Michael “Kevin” Gill, a veteran of the Indianapolis Fire Department, was shot outside a house and ran into a nearby mosque seeking help.
Earlier, “breaking news” had reported that Gill was shot inside the mosque. (The definition of prejudice is to “pre-judge”…).
Tribalism–and its exploitation by demagogues seeking political power– is creating a meaner, more dangerous America.