Deep down, I’m partial to white people over black people.
However, I do prefer black people to Asians. Oh, and I think people that engage in eating high-fat foods should be ashamed of themselves. The mentally ill? Well I won’t say they’re outright dangerous, but I do think they’re more dangerous than someone with, say, diabetes or cerebral palsy. Fortunately though, I associate myself with being calm and I have higher than average self-esteem (most likely because I’m white and in-shape, two things I value).
I found this all out thanks to Project Implicit, a nonprofit founded as a multi-university collaboration by scientists from the Univeristy of Washington, Harvard, and the University of Virginia. The project seeks to “foster dissemination and application of implicit social cognition,” supporting a collaborative network of researchers “interested in basic and applied research concerning thoughts and feelings that occur outside of conscious awareness or control.”
You can take Project Implicit’s quizzes here.
Basically, they’re a bunch of very smart people able to construct professional and analyzable tests about what we’re like on the inside. Think of them like BuzzFeed quizzes, only instead of learning of ‘What 90’s TGIF Show Are You?’ it’s more along the lines of ‘How Strong Is Your Preference For White People Compared To Black People?’ Apparently, “slight” in my case (which is disconcerting but sadly helpful to know).
By using Implicit Association Test (IAT) in which you sort images and/or words into categories as quickly and accurately as possible, these tests assess how much certain concepts are linked in your mind (like “pleasant” and “white person” in my case). And as they are quick to point out, “previous research shows that our conscious reports and the associations revealed by the IAT can be different.” We may think we know thyselves, but our self-knowledge might not actually be accurate, meaning we really need some third-party self-reflection if we ever want to prevent those biases from affecting not only our worldviews but our actions in dealing with the world around us.
Because we’ve all got them. And we can’t just go blaming it all on our genes. Hell, I can tell you that I sincerely don’t think I’m a racist person, but if I was being really honest, I have to admit I am a little uncomfortable around large groups of Asian tourists (I live in Washington, D.C., this is a more common occurrence than you’d expect). I try and act “extra normal” when I find myself around them, but it’s that same feeling like when you try and drive “extra legally” when you see a cop even though you weren’t doing anything wrong in the first place. But at least I’m aware this is a thing of mine, and I’ll work on it until one day it isn’t. They say the first step is admitting you have a problem.
It’s the ones that don’t know they have a problem we have to worry about.