Researcher: Opinions over police shootings a matter of perspecti

Researcher: Opinions over police shootings a matter of perspective

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LUBBOCK -

You have probably already seen the fights, arguing, the blocks and unfollows on social media centered around race issues. Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, police shootings and protests -- we all see them through a perspective that is uniquely ours. 

"Because we have subjective perspectives based on our lives," Texas Tech professor Bryan Hotchkins said, "as connected to a cultural memory of the culture of the communities that we grow up in, plus our individual experiences, is going to shape our perspectives." 

Hotchkins said the introduction of video evidence that goes public plays into how we view current events.

"I think that because black people see these things, we believe that -- because there's video evidence -- that there would be a conviction, but more often than not, there has not been a conviction," he said. "So that skews our perspective of what justice is and why it's applied disproportionately across black and white communities."

The same goes for the environment we are raised in.

"My uncle, Freddie Mitchell, who was a Marine who earned a Purple Heart, who was injured in Vietnam and had to end his tour of duty early, and watching him and having discussions with him, I learned about his perceptions of what America was and what it should be," he said. "Right along the same line of Dr. King about having America evolve into a place where everyone is treated equal and so I grew up believing those types of things as a youth."

Hotchkins said the only way to change perceptions is to study our differences and hash them out.

"Once we reach the point where we are able to identify our biases and interrogate ourselves, then we can get advice from the groups that we are actively marginalizing, then we can adjust our behavior individually which will affect the system and we ill have a systemic change."

If we do that, he said the U.S. can finally get closer to Dr. King's dream of the nation coming together.

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