Racism is a Reflex

Police Car

Racism is a reflex. Do you think you are a racist? Probably not. Am I one?

I thought not. Then I had a shocking experience with my own unconscious racial bias.

A few years ago we informally adopted a teen age boy from Soweto. Soon the house was filled with African boys.

One day, sitting bunched up on the couch, as usual, we were watching the news. A drug bust. A policeman spun a black teenager around, pushed him toward the police car. The young man braced himself, hands on the car’s roof.

I flinched as his hands hit the car. For a moment my world stopped and rocked.

How many times had I seen this? Hundreds?

How many times had I flinched?

Never.

How about you?

Please visit: Implicit.harvard.edu

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