Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Trump is not to blame, however ...

Image result for implicit bias

Donald Trump is not responsible for racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, or any of the other biases held in secret by many people. However, he has made those biases socially acceptable to express.

It is clear that American have implicit biases.
"What is meant by implicit bias?
Unlike explicit bias (which reflects the attitudes or beliefs that one endorses at a conscious level), implicit bias is the bias in judgment and/or behavior that results from subtle cognitive processes (e.g., implicit attitudes and implicit stereotypes) that often operate at a level below conscious awareness and ..." (Google search). In other words, they are biases held secretly and usually not expressed openly.

From the moment we experience consciousness, parents, society, and the media begin to instill us with biases. If all three are in play, the biases become worse and may openly be expressed. This should be more obvious with respect to racism and anti-Muslim attitudes. It is the "us and them" attitude. They aren't like us so they must be bad, or suspect, or feared, or shunned. Religions are big on this. But when a mother pulls a child close when an African-American or a person in a headscarf passes by, the parent passes on a bias. Many biases stay hidden/latent and may never be openly verbalized.

However, when a major personality openly expresses and even endorses these biases and phobias, the door is open for such attitudes to become socially acceptable. Further, when said personality encourages action upon these biases, what was once socially suppressed behavior now becomes acceptable.

Perhaps it is good to know the extent and depth of these biases. Hidden fears and emotions can burst at the most inopportune times and can even be the cause of disease. Once exposed, maybe they can be discussed and  and even dispelled.

What is sad is the extent of these implicit biases and what is scary is that an individual, even in America, can make these biases acceptable.

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