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.