Unacknowledged Racism Feeds Institutional Prejudice

Prejudice  by Mo Flickr/creative commons

by Mo
Flickr/creative commons

This morning, The New York Times Op-Ed by Nicholas Kristof asks, Is Everyone A Little Bit Racist? This bit of genius melds diverse findings that suggest that yes, we are, whether we are white or a person of color.

Blind research has proven over and over again that unacknowledged racism throughout society has fed institutional prejudice.

When injured, non-whites were less frequently prescribed pain-killers.

Black students are three times more likely to be suspended from school.

Young black people are almost 4 times more likely than their white cohorts.

A black sounding name on a resume is much less likely to result in a call back.

Kristof points out that while we tend to blame overt racism, the real culprits are the “broad swath of people who consider themselves enlightened, who intellectually believe in racial equality, who deplore discrimination, yet who harbor unconscious attitudes that result in discriminatory policies and behavior.”

We challenge you to become a part of the research that explains why these facts are true by playing an on-line shooting game and/or some other tests to self-reveal your implied social cognition, the unconscious attitudes about race we all possess to one degree or another. By uncovering and owning our unconscious attitudes we become better equipped to do something about them. I’ve worked since my teens fighting racism but my results taking several tests show that, unconsciously I moderately favor white people over Asian and black people.

Black, brown, white, and Asian people are equally affected by the same cultural programming, but it is up to each of us to bring our gut impulses more in line with our intellectual aspirations.  

Prejudice can be cured, and you can help bring about change by knowing yourself better by privately exploring your most innermost impulses. If you are brave enough to test yourself, let us know how it goes.




The Sexual Freedom Project: Do your own research

The level of sex education in America’s schools is impartial at best and at its worst calls for abstinence. What has been your experience?

Many people believe that the responsibility for sex education lies with your parents. How has the worked for you?

The bottom line makes you responsible for your own sex ed, researching those aspects that teachers, parents, and even your peers left out. There are plenty of good sources of sex ed on the Internet (and in your local library), including sites especially for teens such as teen source, Scarleteen, and sexetc, so you don’t need to be left in the dark.

What have you done to complete your sex education?

If you believe is sexual freedom, then sex ed is an important tool for you.

Make a video, write a poem, song, or an essay — or even create an original work of art — and express your thoughts. If we feature your contribution on the site, we will send you a free VenusPlusX t-shirt to thank you.

More videos.

Male Genital Mutilation: Bad Science (Part 2)

In Part 1, I spoke of faults in pro-circumcision rhetoric and attitudes that condone genital cutting. Now we will examine some evidence in favor of circumcision.

“Circumstraints” are used to immobilize infants during a torturous process: circumcision.
Image by James Loewen

The trials in Africa, conducted from 2005-2007 and often referenced, have been shown to use poor methodology. Brian D. Earp, who has written rigorously on this topic, familiarizes us with others who have done extensive research:

While the “gold standard” for medical trials is the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the African trials suffered [a number of serious problems] including problematic randomization and selection bias, inadequate blinding, lack of placebo-control (male circumcision could not be concealed), inadequate equipoise, experimenter bias, attrition (673 drop-outs in female-to-male trials), not investigating male circumcision as a vector for HIV transmission, not investigating non-sexual HIV transmission, as well as lead-time bias, supportive bias (circumcised men received additional counseling sessions), participant expectation bias, and time-out discrepancy (restraint from sexual activity only by circumcised men).

Gregory J. Boyle & George Hill (2011)

Other studies research HPV, urinary tract infections, and other conditions, indicating that circumcision helps with them. However, they tend to be insufficient to recommend circumcision, and the alleged benefits negligible due to already existing treatments. For example, urinary tract infections are uncommon in males and easy to treat, and standard safe-sex practices such as maintaining bodily hygiene and using condoms are far more proven than circumcision in terms of effectiveness.

Finally, one would expect worldwide statistics and medical consensus to be different. It appears that many health organizations again, do not find existing data sufficient to support routine circumcision. And while correlation is not causation, places such as Africa, where circumcision is prevalent, do not seem to see any real effect on STD rates, for instance. Circumcision is not the solution it’s made out to be, and misinformation is not a substitute for safe sex education.

Part 1 here

Click here for Part 3, where we will examine circumcision further, and give our final comments.