I really don’t, but I wanted something provocative as a title for my blog. Since you’re reading this, it seems to have worked.
I’ve written about race once or twice before following the election of Barack Obama. I grew up in an environment [Please read environment as much bigger than immediate family. My parents were awesome, and encouraged relationships with people of other races.]where racism was (is?) the norm. I’ve told others of how I was assaulted on a regular basis by ethnically Hispanic peers on almost a daily basis in middle school. I developed such a dislike for all things Hispanic that I intentionally failed the semester of Spanish required by the great state of Texas. My best friend in middle school was African American. This one fact was the reason he wasn’t allowed to join my family on our Thanksgiving trips.
As an adult, I’ve tried to intentionally seek multi-cultural situations within which I could have a dialog with members of other ethnic groups. I’ve traveled internationally. My previous congregation was split evenly among native European Americans (think ‘White People’) and Hispanic immigrants. I’ve been blessed to have friends that are African American that will tolerate me asking pointed questions about race relations. All this, I thought, helped me gain a better understanding of culture and a greater sensitivity to race.
A few years ago I read the book “Freakonomics” and learned of a facial sorting activity that Harvard University developed to identify subconscious preferences for either European Americans or African Americans. It’s a little tricky, but after you complete the survey and a very neat facial sorting activity, it provides you with an evaluation as to whether you prefer blacks to whites and vice versa. After viewing your results, it takes you to a page with overall results from all participants, which is a little surprising.
I’ll share my results with you, but only after I give you a few days to take the instrument first. If you’re brave enough, share your results in the comments section. Remember this is subconscious associations, which we may or may not be directly responsible for. Feel free to tell us if/why you agree/disagree with your results.
To take the instrument, visit http://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit and then:
- On the main page, select ‘Demonstration’ and read the introductory statement.
- Click “Go to the Demonstration Tests,” read the preliminary information.
- Click “I wish to proceed” agreeing with the statement.
- Scroll down to the “Race IAT” button and select it.
- Continue following instructions through to the completion of the test.