Racism and statistical discrimination
In a scathing review of Blink in the The New Republic, the celebrated Judge Posner explains: "It would not occur to Gladwell, a good liberal, that an auto salesman's discriminating on the basis of race or sex might be a rational form of the "rapid cognition" that he admires… [I]t may be sensible to ascribe the group's average characteristics to each member of the group, even though one knows that many members deviate from the average. An individual's characteristics may be difficult to determine in a brief encounter, and a salesman cannot afford to waste his time in a protracted one, and so he may quote a high price to every black shopper even though he knows that some blacks are just as shrewd and experienced car shoppers as the average white, or more so. Economists use the term 'statistical discrimination' to describe this behavior."
I concluded: "Statistical discrimination is a troubling phenomenon, because it chips away at the libertarian assumption that competitive markets eliminate racial discrimination, as they do away with most things that are irrationally costly."
Malcolm Gladwell Blinks At Racial Realities
Background Checks Change Racial Hiring Preferences