We know from esteemed psychologists Manhzarin Banaji, Anthony Greenwald, and their work on understanding implicit and explicit bias; helps us see a significant amount of the harm inflicted on the American people. From race, gender, political preferences, and differences in general. We see the lasting impact and injuries inflicted on the people.
The majority of the tools we use to address racism, sexism, and divisive political rhetoric address explicit bias and the not implicit biases we harbor in our subconscious. In essence, what we have in this country is a significant disconnect in addressing/challenge bias and discriminatory behaviors.
Focusing on implicit bias's effects helps us rise to a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of the problems. It is sort of like when we go to the doctor when we are ill. We tell the doctor the symptoms; after a thorough examination, they accurately diagnose the problem and prescribe the appropriate treatment form. Similarly, we can accurately diagnose and treat our real implicit bias problems. In that case, we succumb to a higher level of understanding, which positively impacts the condition of ourselves and the world at large.
Implicit bias is both predictive and preventive. Emerging and promising strategies coming out of the scientific community suggest that we can put systems to mitigate our vulnerability to act on our biases or discriminatory behaviors with internal motivation and customary practice. Harvard University's Project Implicit website where people can take any of the Implicit Attitude Tests and receive a test result can serve as a predictor or indicator of hidden discriminatory behavior. (Link: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/aboutus.html)
As a country, we need a prevention approach around bias and discrimination versus an emergency room approach. We typically wait until something happens, and we rush to act independently of dealing with the root cause or the diagnosis of the problem, which stems from implicit bias.
Protesting independent of rich, honest conversations to diagnose the problem will lend itself to insanity. (NOTE: NOT SURE WHAT THIS IS SAYING)
Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result will only yield insanity. Therefore, we must make a conscious effort to expose ourselves to situations that are not the norm.
So, how do we move forward?
1. Start with self- Understanding one's self is the beginning of any change.
2. Change your way of thinking- make the unexpected into the expected.
2. Visualize situations before they happen – become more aware of the role bias plays in your life.
3. Be Open - to different possibilities.
4. Be Honest - When a bias surfaces, examine yourself and ask yourself how I would handle the situation if the person looked like me or did not look like me?
Have Courage – to be a model, helping those around you become more aware of their biases and the impact it could have on the lives of others.
Bottom line - BE THE CHANGE YOU DESIRE TO SEE.