For my National Board Recertification, I had to video a teaching session. Yesterday as I was viewing it, I noticed two things that upset me. One, I have gained too much weight. But secondly and most importantly, I exhibited implicit bias in my class.
Implicit bias is our unconscious stereotypes that affect our attitudes and behaviors. We ALL have them.
I noticed when my African American students gave a correct answer, I replied with positive feedback. “God job. Excellent. You got it.” But when my student’s of other ethnicities gave a correct answer, I simply acknowledged the answer was correct. Man, that was a hard truth pill to swallow. But swallow I must.
Now does this make me a racist? A bigot? No. Absolutely not. Are some of my best friends white? Yes. Do I feel guilty? No. Well I be more cognizant of my implicit bias and do better? Yes.
We ALL have implicit bias. It doesn’t make us horrible people or racist. You may have wonderful relationships with people of different races, religious beliefs and still exhibit implicit racism.
When you hear of a Police Officer accidentally shooting an unarmed black male, do you automatically assume the black male was in the wrong? Implicit bias.
If you hear of an act of terrorism, are you more likely to think it was perpetrated by someone of the Muslim faith? Implicit Bias.
When you hear of an active shooter in a school, do you imagine a white male teen? Implicit Bias.
When you hear of an African American male attending a prestigious university, is your first thought they must be an athlete? Implicit Bias.
This post is not to induce guilt but awareness. Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, do better.” I am making changes today to overcome my implicit bias. I pray as the Holy Spirit reveals this in your life, you too will do better.
“For God does not show favoritism.”
Romans 2:11 NIV