Few people would freely admit that they are racist, or biased towards people of different races, but in reality EVERYONE has at least some racial bias. Often we are not even aware or conscious of our racial biases. The lack of awareness of racial bias is known as implicit bias. Implicit racial biases can cause real problems in our world. While racial profiling is illegal, if you are unaware of the biases you hold deep within yourself, you could be treating some people you interact with differently than others. Maybe you’re a teacher, and you’re unaware that you call on students of a certain race more than others. Maybe when you go out to eat you tip a little differently for different races of servers.
You may think of yourself as someone who sees and treats all people equally. This perception of yourself is a good starting place, but very likely inaccurate. To find out if your perception of how you think about people of different races matches your subconscious thoughts, click on the link below. The link will take to a research project from Harvard University. Click on “Project Implicit Featured Task,” and you can take a test that measures your implicit biases.
Did your results surprise you? That’s ok. Everyone has at least some implicit biases. What is important is that after you take the test, you know and are now aware of your racial bias. This in turn can help you create more equal and positive interactions with people you encounter.