Center on Race and Social Problems

David Harris Lecture featured on local TV News Channel 11, WPXI

Dr. Harris' work - and this lecture - focuses on the criminal justice system in America. In this lecture Dr. Harris notes that part of the problem is the lack of shared reality between black and white citizens.  Black and white citizens simply do not experience the same reality when it comes to encounters with the police.  The disturbing video of the murder of Mr. George Floyd has sparked, we hope, a shared acknowledgement of this divergent reality.

Dr. Harris' lecture highlights just a few of the issues we have in trying to solve this ongoing problem, including a lack of federal level data in regard to lethal police force, deeply embedded - sometimes unconscious - attitudes of racism and prejudice, and a lack of transparency and accountability for police use of force.  Dr. Harris' suggests that the predominant model is a "warrior" mindset for the police, which could be changed to a "guardian" mindset; subsequently, he highlights some positive changes that have been made and can be made going forward.  

If you would like to see the entire lecture, it's available to view here.  We also offer an extensive list of other resources for understanding racism here.