In a previous post, I discussed the topic of Implicit Bias. It is important that we interrogate ourselves to uncover our own internalized racism. I say this even as a woman who identifies as a person of color. Growing up in America we are exposed to a barrage of racial stereotypes that we may or may not be aware of. It is imperative that we dig deep, and get a little uncomfortable at times as we explore the attitudes and beliefs we may have unwittingly have internalized… Even when we are black!

Acknowledge your Own Bias

The first step in addressing our own racist thoughts and attitudes is acknowledging the fact that we ALL harbor implicit bias against cultural and social groups. Hey, we are HUMAN! Don’t say “I don’t see race.” That’s balony! If you’ve spent any time in America (and I’m assuming you have if you are reading this blog!) you will have been exposed to many negative stereotypes about black people. Research shows both black and white children as early as 36 months, have shown a preference for white playmates*. This clip below is a humorous yet accurate example of how even black Americans can internalize racial stereotypes again our own people.

Key & Peele – Phone Call

Challenge your Beliefs

Don’t be afraid to challenge your own attitudes and beliefs about race. Accept the fact that it will feel uncomfortable and do it anyway. In fact, as my friend Julie says, “If it feels uncomfortable, you are probably on the right track.”

This clip below is from a larger film dedicated to the topic of internalized bias, titled: Cracking the Codes. In the clip we see various experts from a variety of backgrounds share their thoughts on bias they’ve witnessed and experienced. Click here to stream the entire movie (for free!) You can also download free conversation guides.

Cracking the Codes: Unconscious Bias

See Selma in Movie Theaters NOW!

I have to say… this is a very difficult movie to watch. Nonetheless, it is an important one, for it challenges our collective narrative about racism as a “thing of the past”. Many of the scenes from Selma seem ripped from today’s headlines. Nonetheless, our need to ignore current inequities black American’s face in the our nation’s public education system, judicial system, elected representation, economic access (you name it!) still persist today. How can this be is a “post-racial” society? after Brown vs. Board of Education, with a black President? Our current situation is directly related to the

Selma

This is just a start. Our conversation and our work is just beginning. Nonetheless, it is worth it.


* Katz, P. A., & Kofkin, J. A. (1997). Race, gender, and young children. In S. S. Luthar & J. A. Burack (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology: Perspectives on adjustment, risk, and disorder (pp. 51–74). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Related reads: Understanding Implicit BiasWhy Selma is a MUST SEE MovieCall for Family-Friendly Resources: Addressing Racial Equity with Young Children

How are you challenging our own internalized bias? What resources do you know about that might help others?

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About alimcollins

Ali Collins is an educator, community organizer and mom. She lives with her husband and twin girls in San Francisco, CA.

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