“BLACK MEN BEWARE YOU ARE THE TARGET”
Everyone has a good mental image of who said this, right?
Heuristics are an incredibly useful tool that our brain uses to make snap decisions without having to reason all the way through. It uses past experiences and lessons to make a spur of the moment decision based on what your senses perceive around you.
This is an evolutionary trait that makes us the most successful species on planet earth, but also can lead to some catastrophic mistakes when not balanced with further examination.
Earlier this year in Colorado Springs CO., racist threats popped up outside of a local church. Signs referenced the KKK and threatened African Americans in the local community.
Authorities caught the suspect, but he is certainly not who most people would have expected.
He is an African-American man named Vincent Broughton, 44, a man apparently known in the community who decided to take advantage of the tragedy at a church in South Carolina.
According to the Pastor of the church, Promise Lee, where three threatening signs were found, Broughton wanted “to try and instill some fear. And at the end of the day he’s seeking attention.” He went so far as to post that the predominantly African American church worked for the KKK.
The heuristics you have developed over a lifetime, those gut feelings you get in a sticky situation, may just save your life someday.
Just make sure that once the threat is gone you take some time to make sure you know the real story. Things aren’t always what we first expect…