Implicit Bias can be referred to as an unconscious attitude or behavior towards a certain group in society. Education and awareness led people to believe that all groups and communities must be treated on an equal basis and discrimination of any sort must be avoided. The aim of educating the masses is to ensure that a society where all humans enjoy rights regardless of their color, occupation, race, and religion can be formed. However, old beliefs and values are hard to change and they continued to seep into minds from generation to generation. Although awareness played its role in making people understand the importance of equality and justice, some form of discrimination exists in the back of our minds. This is because the majority of people who form societies and norms still haven’t shown acceptance for minority groups openly.
It is usually assumed that the new generation will eliminate all forms of injustice and promote equality among all ethnic and religious groups however, it doesn’t work this way. Young minds are imparted knowledge on equality but the values they receive from the elders and members in the society somehow cause contradiction and they treat minority groups with a slight degree of inequality.
The term stereotype is significantly used when it comes to minority groups and the biased behaviors their members experience. A stereotype is when certain characteristics are assigned to all members of a group based on assumptions and past experiences. For instance, Black people are usually involved in crimes is a stereotypical statement because usually, they come from poor and illiterate backgrounds. Not all black people are criminals however, the same lens is used to view all blacks living in the society.
Decades ago when Africans migrated to the US to settle there for a bright future, they were never welcomed by the native whites. Blacks were always seen with disgust and hatred because of their skin color and look. Black and white people rarely go along because of race differences. Americans are regarded as one of the most progressive nations but when it comes to racism, they fail because to date, they have not given equal rights to blacks in the society.
It is quite heartbreaking to see that society does not approve when a black and white kid plays together, or when black and white families share neighborhood. Interracial marriages are rarely supported because it strengthens bonding between black and white families. Black people are highly discriminated against when they are denied jobs and promotions at work. Black people are not paid equally as their white colleagues because of racial discrimination. They are denied offers when purchasing or renting properties. The entire world was shocked when Barack Obama was chosen as the President of the United States of America because he was African American. Many party members who supported whites became strong oppositions for Obama however; he kept all racial differences aside and ruled the nation with dignity and capability.
It must be brought to attention that in societies where kids grow up surrounded by a lot of discrimination, they experience certain psychological issues that are later reflected in their behaviors. For instance, a black child is bullied at school by a group of white class fellows. He is made fun of for being dirty and dark in complexion. He cries badly when the bullies tell him that all blacks look alike. His confidence is shattered and his dreams are crushed. He becomes an inferior member of the society and afraid to move on in life like others.
Implicit Bias Test
An implicit bias test is a tool that helps to identify how individuals perceive minority groups in a society (Bartlett, 2017). Although people are accepting the fact that it the right of Africans or blacks to be treated equally in all respects but unconsciously they become biased. Growing up, people hear from their near ones that blacks should not be treated nicely but as adults, they realize that the opposite holds true. However, in certain situations, these same people unconsciously get involved in acts of inequality for minorities.
The implicit bias test allows people to self assess their approach towards minority groups. A list of questions is included in the test that revolves around the fact that good emotions and phrases are linked to white Americans or Europeans whereas negative emotions are linked to black people. White people are generally perceived as attractive, successful, intelligent, and trustworthy whereas black people are known to be ugly, ill mannered, less educated, less advanced and peace breakers.
The most interesting part of the test was a group of words as good or bad. In the next step, it was asked to group bad and Africans in one group whereas good and Americans in the other group. The third part was a tricky one where the same words and pictures were to be organized in right and left columns under bad and Americans one side and good and Africans on the other. It was quite shocking to learn that my fingers on the keyboard worked swiftly when I had to place bad and African in one group and good and Americans in the other. On the contrasting side, I was a bit slow while placing bad and Americans in one group and good and Africans in the other. The results revealed that I have a slight inclination towards automatic preference of Europen Americans over African Americans.
The test results suggested less accuracy however, it was an eye opener for me. For years, I have been seeing this discrimination going on between whites and blacks which depresses me sometimes. I believe all human beings are the creation of God and making a dark complexioned person feeling bad and inferior about his personality and confidence is totally wrong and must be condemned. White people have no right to feel superior only because they look beautiful physically and tend to have strong soft skills. However, such discrimination is difficult to eliminate.
It is the duty of parents and teachers to make the young kids and students understand that black and white are alike and must be treated equally. Superior treatment should only be given in terms of achievements and contributions to the society. Young minds can certainly break stereotypes and responsibly play their part in giving equal treatment to oppressed groups. The government authorities must also take certain measures to ensure that minority groups do not face any type of bullying or discrimination when they apply for jobs or start businesses or even rent apartments. There are several not for profit organizations that work to safeguard the rights of minorities. However, a proper check needs to be kept by the authorities to make certain that peace and equality are maintained in all societies.
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Bartlett, T. (2017). Can we really measure implicit bias? Maybe not. The chronicle of higher education.