Unconscious Racism

I was raised to be a racist and I’ve spent a lot of years trying to overcome my upbringing.


On public radio’s The Takeaway, journalist John Hockenberry talked about a method of testing thoughts and feelings outside conscious awareness and control. I went to the site, The IAT. The Implicit Association Test is a research project by Harvard and other universities, measuring attitudes and beliefs people may be unwilling or unable to report. Many tests are offered—from religion to gender to weight. I took the race test.


Try it. It takes 10 minutes.

I’m sorry to report the song from South Pacific was right. “You have to be taught to love and to hate.” In Mississippi, we were carefully taught and it’s hard to erase those early prejudices. In spite of my efforts, the test showed I “moderately prefer” European faces over African ones.

2 responses »

  1. Dear hearts,

    There is no shame in being educated/trained/conditioned as a child. Your job as a child is to learn. The job of parents and mentors is to teach. Later, arriving at the maturity to judge and appraise beliefs and understandings, it is your job to become an elightened human being if you can. It’s not easy. But don’t blame yourself or your teachers. For the most part, they were all doing the best they could with the limited wisdom they had. Blame them only if you need a scapegoat.

    Instead, why not take on the job of becoming the kind of human being that is a blessing to the world. Guaranteed that this will challenge every part of you, and it will be fun to attempt. Plus you get to meet some very cool and interesting folks along the way.

    Bless you all, Rev (not!) Bill

  2. Reblogged this on Here's a Thought and commented:
    You might be amazed at what you find out – give if a try, if you dare…


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