UU Mom (uu_mom) wrote in pg_race_matters,
UU Mom

Unconscious bias & understanding racial prejudice

There have been some good programs on how we think that causes us to be prejudice without our even knowing it, based on recent research.

Some people wonder why there's an ongoing conversation about the Zimmerman case and other cases of racial bias that touch on the Stand Your Ground laws. Understanding the connection can be hard for people who believe the Zimmerman case was "just based on self-defense", but the jury had to decide based on the law and the judge instructed them to judge based on that law. Melissa Harris-Perry had a good segment on the case with the only African American juror speaking out about it.

Many people ask, "Why can't we just stop talking about race?" Even Morgan Freeman, who we know as a very intelligent man besides a famous actor, says we should stop talking about race to get rid of racism. It would be nice if it was that easy. Though Morgan Freeman hosts science shows, he is not a scientist and those shows are not the sciences of sociology or psychology.

Kojo Nnambi hosted a program recently, Unconscious Bias And Debates About Race (you can click to listen to it or read the transcript), that explains a lot about why racism persists and why white people and African Americans often see things differently.

There was another recent NPR program about How to Fight Racial Bias When Its Silent and Subtle. We need to think about what we say and do to be more conscious about our biases or at least not to allow them to dictate our behavior. It can be a very hard thing to do. You can test yourself at Harvard University's Project Implicit - click on "I wish to proceed" and find the Race IAT, though there are several others there you can take also.

If we all do our part, we can have a fairer and more just world.

Some additional reading on the topic can be found on Wikipedia with many references: Implicit stereotypes, implicit attitude, cognitive bias mitigation, Introspection_illusion: Explaining_biases and many more. There's so much to learn about how our minds work that affects our behavior and the research continues.
Tags: articles, news, racial bias, racial discrimination, racism, radio, unconscious bias

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