By Izzy Afriyie
HERE IS MY REVIEW of Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink :
This book is about the power of the subconscious mind. It illustrates how a person does not necessarily need a lot of information to make a decision.
The last chapter of the book is rather sad. Malcolm Gladwell uses the story of Amadou Diallo to illustrate the power of the subconscious mind.
Amadou Diallo was a 22-year-old Guinean refugee. Police officers killed him in his own apartment building. At the time when he was killed, he was not committing any crimes. He died because he came out of his apartment to get fresh air after work. However, to police officers, he fit the description of a serial rapist or a ‘push-in’ robber so they approached him.
The officers were not in their usual uniform. Diallo, who was a stutter, barely spoke any English. He lived in a dangerous neighborhood. Therefore, when he saw two men, not in police uniform approach him, he started running. To the police, this was a sign that Amadou may be who they suspected him to be. They pursued him further. When the officers finally caught up to him, he possibly mistook them for robbers and so reached his pocket for his wallet. The police mistook the wallet for a gun and started firing. They fired 41 times.
This is the power of the subconscious mind at play. The little information we feed our mind with about life and about a certain group of people is retained in our subconscious mind. These information are what directs our daily decision makings. When we are faced with situations similar to what the police faced with Diallo, we do not see with our conscious mind. We see with the subconscious so that in a blink of an eye, we see a gun where there isn’t any. And a harmless innocent man loses his life because we mistook him to be harmful.
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