Obama Stimulus Money for Video Games and Racial Studies

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

An important revelation from author Edward Klein is the name of the Obama ally who allegedly offered a $150,000 bribe to Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright to be quiet until after the 2008 election. Klein named him as Dr. Eric Whitaker, executive vice president and associate dean at the University of Chicago Medical Center. A close friend of Obama, and black himself, he leads the Urban Health Initiative (UHI) at the medical center.

Klein’s book, The Amateur, which has been ignored by the major media, will reportedly be number one on the forthcoming New York Times list of nonfiction bestsellers. One of his revelations is that Wright, in a tape-recorded conversation, admitted that he didn’t know if Obama, after 20 years at his church, had given up his devotion to Islam.

It was subsequently disclosed that Whitaker’s University of Chicago Urban Health Initiative received $5,862,027 in federal funds under Obamacare.

The rest of the story is that the medical center is part of the University of Chicago complex, which acknowledges receiving 217 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) awards (Obama stimulus money) totaling $105,856,751 from the Department of Education, Department of Energy, National Endowment for the Arts, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation.

One of the stimulus grants went to Joshua Correll, a University of Chicago professor who operates a “Stereotyping & Prejudice Research Laboratory” that has been working since 2000 to develop and refine a first-person-shooter video game that was originally designed to ferret out allegedly racist cops in order to re-educate them.

However, Correll is white and his researchers include only one black person.

Correll specifically received $154,563 in stimulus grant money for what is called a collaborative project at the University of Chicago which “outlines a series of studies investigating the role of individual differences in executive functions (EFs) in expression of implicit racial bias.” This appears to be academic jargon for identifying and naming alleged racists.

Whether Correll’s stimulus money directly went for the further development of the video game or not, the game has been a major focus of his attention. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder and now specializes in “Stereotypic associations between Black people and danger.”

“Our working hypothesis is that in American culture, black is often associated with danger and crime and physical aggression,” Correll told National Public Radio. It is a “stereotype,” he said.

Tell that to the victim of a black mob in downtown Baltimore where a manager was violently attacked after he tried to stop the looting of his store. Maryland state delegate Pat McDonough had previously called attention to attacks upon citizens in Baltimore by roving mobs of black youths. This video shows a white tourist being beaten in downtown Baltimore by a black mob that steals his belongings.

Correll’s other area of expertise is said to be the “moderating effects of training/expertise on bias.” In other words, isolating and re-educating the alleged racists.

The Chicago Medical Center connection to the attempted silencing of Wright raises a series of questions about how federal money is being used in Chicago and other parts of the country to benefit Obama’s base and further his partisan political interests.

First Lady Michelle Obama was a vice president at the Chicago Medical Center, while senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett served as chairman of the medical center’s Board of Trustees.

As with most things Obama-related, the $105 million received by the university has a racial component. It is supposed to address “a variety of medical problems,” including “racial bias,” and “other important challenges of our time.”

It is apparently under this category of “racial bias” that Professor Correll got his grant.

The Obama website reports that the project is 50 percent complete. We are not told what that means, however.

Here’s how this website describes the project:

“This collaborative project outlines a series of studies investigating the role of individual differences in executive functions (EFs) in expression of implicit racial bias. Executive functions refer to higher-order control processes that regulate thought and action. Although an individual’s performance on laboratory-based implicit bias tasks is typically interpreted as a straightforward manifestation of his/her underlying automatic bias, recent preliminary evidence suggests that performance on all such tasks implicates executive control processes, such as the overriding of dominant or pre-potent responses. According to the team of researchers involved in this project, racial bias, as assessed by implicit bias tasks, is a complex construct jointly affected by automatic bias and individual differences in EF abilities.”

While this seems deliberately vague, additional research led to the “Stereotyping & Prejudice Research Laboratory” in the Psychology Department at the University of Chicago and the video game that has been under development since 2000.

We are told that the video game “presents a series of images of young men, some armed, some unarmed, set against realistic backgrounds like parks or city streets. The player’s goal is to shoot any and all armed targets, but not to shoot unarmed targets. Half of the targets are Black, and half are White. We have used this game to investigate whether decisions to ‘shoot’ a potentially hostile target can be influenced by that target’s race.”

The video game seemed designed to prove racial profiling or racism on the part of police. Indeed, it is reported that Correll came up with the idea of studying this issue when U.S. attorneys decided in 1999 not to file federal charges against four white New York City police officers in the Amadou Diallo case. Diallo was a black illegal alien who was shot and killed because officers thought he had pulled a gun on them.

According to the article, unconscious racial stereotypes may have been at fault in that case and, after being identified, it is possible that this “bias” can be “trained out” of the officers.

The problem is that Correll told NPR, which was recently doing a story about the shooting of the black youth Trayvon Martin, that his research at this point suggests even blacks have preconceived notions about other blacks being potentially dangerous.

NPR reported, “Correll says the participants are universally more likely to fire at black men — whether the shooter is young, old, male, female or even black.” Correll told NPR, “Everybody [on the video game] was faster to shoot a black target than a white target, and the magnitude of that bias was equivalent” regardless of race.

Media coverage of the Martin case was driven by a real stereotype, encouraged by agitators like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Corrine Brown, that a racist white person shot Martin for no legitimate reason, perhaps as part of a “hate crime.” The evidence produced in the case demonstrates a case for self-defense by the shooter, George Zimmerman, who is Hispanic and was monitoring the neighborhood for criminals before he was viciously attacked by Martin. Additional information about the dead teenager’s lifestyle and background, including juvenile delinquency and marijuana use, has come to light since President Obama commented if he had a son, “he’d look like Trayvon.”

Left-wing network MSNBC has pulled back on its saturation coverage of the case, after apparently concluding that Zimmernan, who is in hiding from black mobs out to kill him, has the evidence on his side. Sharpton is a host on MSNBC.

One wonders if Correll will receive any more federal money if his final study finds blacks just as “guilty” as whites of “racism” or “hate crimes” against blacks.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org.


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