There is a room of twenty people, four are black and the other sixteen are white. Black people make up twenty percent of the population while white people make up eighty percent of the population in this room. Of the four black people, one of them is a criminal. That would make the black population’s criminal rate exactly twenty five percent. Of the sixteen white people, three are criminals. That would make the white criminal rate not quite nineteen percent. But because the black people have a higher rate, the majority of the people in the room, the white people, decided that the most effective way to combat the potential for crime in the room was to watch the black people since they had a higher rate of criminality.
In order to remind everyone in the room of the importance of keeping a watchful eye on crime, the people decided to put up posters and distribute reminders that the black people had a higher propensity for crime even though only one black person was in fact a criminal. The people decided that the actual number of people committing crime was irrelevant because the per capita rates could show that the black people were statistically more responsible for crime, despite the fact that when you added the number of criminals up, one black and three whites, the black population would have a one in four chance of being responsible for crime while there was a three in four chance that the crime was committed by a white person.
But the constant reminders around the room that black people have a higher per capita rates helped to ingrain into the people a natural condition of thinking that made everyone distrust black people. Whenever anything went wrong, whenever something came up missing, the first impulse was to ask the black people what happened. The fact that the white people had their own criminals among them was soon forgotten because the propaganda trained everyone to think that black people were more likely to be criminals.
The black people in the room thought it was unfair that they were the first suspects for any crime in the room. They knew that one of them was a criminal. But to assume that the black people were the ones behind the crime, or that the black person was the one who committed the crime, was not helpful to finding the real culprit. The black people tried to remind the white people that there were three criminals in their midst.
But the white people simply pointed to the propaganda that they had put up around the room. The white people simply pointed to all of the things that said black people were more likely to be criminals and that was more than enough to justify the majority of the people’s suspicion. The black people protested. The white people accused the black people of not being helpful in their effort to solve the crime problem in the room. The white people accused the black people of doing everything that they could to thwart the effort to control the proliferation of crime in the room. Soon more posters followed that black people could not be trusted.
The black people in the room began to look at the posters. The black people began to realize that in order to become part of the mainstream order they had to accept mainstream thinking. The constant propaganda was hard to resist. While the majority of the white people were quick to absorb the propaganda, to varying degrees, the black people were affected by the constant misinformation. One black person didn’t have a problem believing the propaganda and was quick to point to the other black people whenever something was amiss. Another black person developed a distrust of anything the white people had to say. The other black people would vacillate between the two. Sometimes they would stand with the white community. Sometimes they would stand with the black community. But most times they didn’t care about what was going on.
The people in the room were never able to eliminate their crime problem despite how hard they tried. If a crime was committed and there were no clues, it was always assumed that a black person was the culprit. Whenever a white person was found to be the perpetrator, that white person would be given every benefit of a doubt. They didn’t mean it. It was just a prank. It was an accident. Or whatever else could be claimed to dismiss the deed. However, if the crime simply couldn’t be downplayed, the white person paid for their indiscretion and that was the end of it.
However, whenever a black person was found to be the guilty party, a stern message had to be sent that crime by black people would not be tolerated. The laws of the room had to be upheld or else anarchy would result. And when the black person was found guilty by a jury of white peers, the white people would point to the propaganda and point to the black people as if to say that black people are everything the propaganda said all along.
The crime continued. The rates held steady with a ratio of one black person and three white people committing crime. But thanks to the propaganda many white people did not believe white people were the biggest source of the crime problem. Whenever asked, the people knew in their hearts that black people were the source of the majority of their criminal activity, despite the reality of what happened in the room. The crime rates proved it beyond a reasonable doubt, with the help of a considerable amount of propaganda.