Implicit Bias in Society
In the past America has been a country of oppression for many different types of people. In recent years this oppression has been getting better and better, but we still face the problem of racism and bias in millions of people. Some people believe that we need to preserve America’s “traditional” culture and make sure that people who are not conforming are oppressed. “About 7 in 10 African Americans say unconscious racial bias — which the poll defined as white people discriminating against Black people without realizing they are doing it — has been an obstacle in their own lives.” (Black Americans overwhelmingly say unconscious bias is a major barrier in their lives) Implicit bias can come in many different forms. A way some people are implicitly biased with black people is when black people are randomly approached by white people. Some white people are conditioned to think a black man or woman walking alone at night means they are up to something illegal. Some people are afraid of black people just because of the actions of few and they decide to profile an entire race as inherently evil. Many black people have faced bias from the moment they were able to think on their own, they never had a chance to prove everyone else wrong so instead these white people based them off a stereotype. “There are certain conditions under which we become more vulnerable to it: when we’re thinking fast and moving fast. We can slow down and make a shift so we’re less likely to act on bias” (What Police Departments and the Rest of Us Can Do to Overcome Implicit Bias, According to an Expert) In most cases racial bias happens in a split second decision and very little thinking is done about it. People will see a black person and immediately assume something about them without slowing down to think about who they are as a person and not as their race. A black man walking down the street behind a woman does not mean he has ill intentions though most people would see it as the black man stalking and chasing this woman down. If everyone was to slow down their thought process and really take a good look at what they are judging they may find that there is nothing to back up the thoughts that they are having. “This sort of bias means that people who — sincerely — report that they are not racist, and that they are committed to fair and non-discriminatory treatment, might nonetheless harbour implicit race biases” (Implicit racial bias and the anatomy of institutional racism) While there are some people that are purposefully racist against other people, most do not even realize that they are doing it. Most of the people who act racist are completely un aware that they are doing it, thus creating an even bigger challenge when it comes to reforming society and ending implicit bias and racism. When it comes to aggression most people associate anger and violence with black people, which is yet again another case of implicit bias. As I said earlier a great way for people to stop regarding black people as dangerous and aggressive is to slow down and take the time to think about the person and not the race behind them, just because someone is black does not mean that they are a dangerous person. “Implicit biases are influenced by experiences, although these attitudes may not be the result of direct personal experience.” (How Does Implicit Bias Influence Behavior?) Whenever we create an implicit bias in our mind it can usually be traced back a few bad experiences that makes your brain think in different ways. Some people let a few bad experiences control their whole mindset and end up hurting other people and themselves. If we as a society continue to base all of these innocent people off of our own bad experiences and implicit bias, then we will slowly fall back into the terrible oppression that we have been fighting so hard to end. “Most of us like to think that a person who is sensitive to racial issues — who believes firmly that all races should be treated equally — is a person who is not under the sway of racism. In other words, someone who is against racism is (by definition) not racist.” (Can We Change Racial Bias?) When most people think about racism they think about harsh racism but often times that is not the case. Most cases of racism are actually the implicit bias that surrounds us. The best step to fix these problems is to take a deep look at ourselves and think longer before we act. If we take more care into what we think and say we can reduce the stereotypes and solve the problems our society faces.