The Bias by Numbers print addresses racial bias in policing, criminal justice, and media culture. Racial bias in policing and criminal justice has a long history, but studies have revealed evidence of just how pervasive and consistent the bias against black citizens really is. From being five times more likely to stopped and searched, to being four times more likely to be subjected to unnecessary use of force, to being four times more likely to be killed by the police when unarmed, blacks face a severe degree of police bias in relation to whites. The statistics revealing racial bias in prosecution and sentencing are compelling as well. Though recreational drug use is equally common in both predominantly black communities and predominantly white communities, convictions for drug possession are almost six times higher for blacks. Blacks frequently receive longer prison sentences than whites contributing to African Americans being incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites.
Racial bias in police enforcement undermines public trust and presents a significant threat to legitimacy of law enforcement in all communities. However, racial bias as a police issue may be intensified by other cultural factors which are both obvious and insidious. I have personally noticed the media characterizations of black protesters as "agitators", "lawless thugs", "hoodlums" etc… as far more pejorative in comparison to the descriptions of white protesters as "exercising free speech", "expressing their convictions" and "showing what democracy looks like".
A portion of proceeds from this print will support Black Lives Matter in their efforts to highlight and combat bias.
Thanks for caring.
Bias by Numbers. 18 x 24 inches. Screen print on cream Speckletone paper. Signed by Shepard Fairey. Edition of 450. $55.