The press has a habit of covering the actions of white adults and youth of color quite differently.
According to a study published in 2014 by the American Psychological Association, Black boys as young as 10 years old aren’t viewed the same as their white peers. Black boys are viewed as older than they are and they are likely to face police violence if accused of a crime.
“For one, these racist perceptions date all the way back to U.S. slavery,” said Horace Hall, a professor of education, criminal ethnic studies and African Black Diaspora at DePaul. “Black youth, perceived as chattel, served in the same labor roles as Black adults. As such, Black youth suffered the same dehumanization and were rarely perceived as children, much more worthy of the playtime white youth.”
One of the authors of the research study explains that Black children aren’t afforded the protection of child-like innocence. He says that Black children may be seen as adults by the time they are 13 years old.
The media’s portrayal of Robert Aaron Long, the shooter behind the Atlanta spa shootings, versus their portrayal of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old shooting victim in Chicago, is a prime example of the study.
Georgia law enforcement explained that Long not only had a sex addiction, but he was also having an