The shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the choking death of Eric Garner in New York City have shaken American society to its core, triggering waves of protests. Most Americans seem to feel that racism played a role in these deaths—that they never would have happened if the victims had been white.
While we struggle to make sense of it all, we may also wonder what we would have done if we were in those same situations, as either the unarmed victims or the police. Would we have acted with more caution? Might we have been subject to the same biases that led to these tragedies? And could our conscious brains have overridden any hidden biases we hold?