Thursday, May 15, 2008

1-2-3 Shoot! Or Not - The Threat Reaction Game

Wassup, Y'all!

A while back my girl, Northside Shorty forwarded me a link to a Diversity, Inc. article by Eric Hinton titled, 'I'm a Racist, huh?' My first thought was 'hmm...that's a provocative title for a story about West Virginia' but ol Ty was dead wrong y'all. Instead, this article focused on the phenomenon that seems to have been at play in the police murders of unarmed southside homeys like Amadou Diallo (shot 41 times as he reached for his wallet) and Sean Bell (shot at 50 times while being in a car, unarmed, leaving a strip club following his bachelor party)...

It's centered around a reaction test called Shooter001 that you can take on your laptop that puts you in the position of having a gun and the choice of either firing or holstering your weapon when pictures of northside and southside men pop up. Each time one pops up he'll either be holding a gun, a wallet or a cell phone. You have to make your move quickly (fire or holster) or you'll lose points and if you wait too long and homey has a gun, you get shot. The test, designed by the psychologists at the University of Chicago (how come the eggheads in NYC aren't working on this as well since the NYPD Blue seem to have itchy trigger fingers??)

The article author - a southside homey - was feeling bad because his results indicated that he shot southside homeys faster than northside homeys in both cases armed and unarmed. Perhaps that was an indication that southside homeys are always perceived to be more of a threat. Intrigued with how I would do, ol Ty decided to strap on his Nine and give it a go.

The test throws up 120 homeys against various backgrounds and I'll admit, it's tough to always make the right call. In the end, my overall score was 220 - which is not all that accurate - but it showed that I capped armed southside homeys about 50 milliseconds (yes - milliseconds) faster than armed northside homeys. I chalk that up to my familiarity with my southside homeys and knowing instinctively when something's up. However, I dropped unarmed northside homeys about 150 milliseconds faster than unarmed southside homeys - a clear indication that I've been playing too much damn Grand Theft Auto IV (but we all know that life is hard on the mean streets of Liberty City...)

It's a little scary knowing that, for whatever reason (I'm chalking up alot of that to skewed, pervasive media images), southside homeys don't get the benefit of the doubt in such split second, life or death situations. I have to admit I think about that every time I see the PoPo and how I could very easily go from Tyrone Malone, basement blogger, to Tyrone Malone, National Headline after being capped enough times to make Sonny Corleone's toll booth ambush look like a spitball fight - while reaching for my wallet. Law abiding Southside homeys learn early that during *all* traffic stops your hands never leave the steering wheel until permission has been asked and granted. How whack is that?

Anyway - give the test a try and see if you too have what it takes to don the blue in NYC (read that anyway you want...).



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