Are We All Unconscious Racists?

No: there’s scant evidence to support the trendy implicit-bias theory.

Few academic ideas have been as eagerly absorbed into public discourse in recent years as “implicit bias.” Embraced by a president, a would-be president, and the nation’s top law-enforcement official, the implicit-bias conceit has launched a movement to remove the concept of individual agency from the law and spawned a multimillion-dollar consulting industry. The statistical basis on which it rests is now crumbling, but don’t expect its influence to wane anytime soon.

Implicit bias purports to answer the question: Why do racial disparities persist in household income, job status, and incarceration rates, when explicit racism has, by all measures, greatly diminished over the last half-century? The reason, according to implicit-bias researchers, lies deep in our brains, outside the reach of conscious thought. We may consciously embrace racial equality, but almost all of us harbor unconscious biases favoring whites over blacks, the proponents claim. And those unconscious biases, which the implicit-bias project purports to measure scientifically, drive the discriminatory behavior that, in turn, results in racial inequality.

  • deplorabledave

    There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.

    Jesse Jackson

    • If that really bothers him I know how to fix it.

    • mauser 98

      Muhammed Ali..” thank God my Granddaddy got on that boat”
      after returning from fight in Africa

  • Recognizing a potential threat, based on experience, is self preservation.

    For instance, Japanese tourists don’t set off my radar. Extrapolate.

  • Hard Little Machine


  • canminuteman

    I was agreeing with him until he stated that we are all biased against blacks, because I think that the reality is that we are all biased toward our own kind.

  • terrence22

    I have seen a number of large scale studies that had hundreds, if not thousands of babies – of ALL colors. They were not old enough to talk, but they all could crawl. They were randomly placed on a large soft carpet. After some time (I don’t recall how long), they ALL had crawled to the babies with the same skin color – ALL OF THEM. NOT ONE OF THEM STAYED ALONE OR WENT TO THE WRONG COLOR, including black babies.

    • Alain

      Of course just as an unfamiliar face will cause a baby to cry in most cases.

  • ed

    as an Englishman I`m hated by the catholic scots , the celtic welsh and the catholic irish that`s just for starters in the uk never mind Europe and most of the none English heritage world , it bothers me not ! I just look down on every other race without the need to comment , it`s a DNA thing [ ed uk ]

  • Norman_In_New_York

    How often do the proponents of this notion look at themselves in the mirror?