The problem with systemic racism is that it’s often exhibited in a variety of subtle ways. Psychological research can often reveal the hidden perils of this type of racism, in particular, a recent article points out the danger for non-White individuals as they go through the court system.
The article points to a court case in which Tim Gilbert was granted a new trial as the original trial was deemed to be unfair. The jury passing judgement in the original trial, deliberated in what is called the U.D.C room or United Daughters of the Confederacy. Needless to say this raises some issues, even more so with the adornments and decorations of the U.D.C room.
The room included a Confederate flag, a Confederate leader’s portrait and plenty of other memorabilia. The argument was that this environment, no matter how subtle, could influence the final decision made by the jurors. By deliberating in the room, the jurors may have been more susceptible to the cultivation or tolerance of prejudice.
The article points out that this is not an isolated scenario, and other cases such as Terrance Shipp Jr has his case in a trial where the Virginia courthouse was adorned with a variety of portraits or White judges some of “whom had issued discriminatory rulings.
This article is extremely interesting, and it falls on us all to absorb this information and learn from a psychological viewpoint how to make the jurisprudential system fair for all.