Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Responding to Racism

On January 8, Time Magazine reported on a new study of human behavior that suggests "even people who aspire to tolerance...still harbor unconscious biases powerful enough to prevent them from confronting racists or from being upset by other people's racist behavior." Jack Dovidio, a Yale psychologist and co-author of the study believes that "the most worrying aspect [of the study] is that even if a small proportion of a society is active, old fashion racists" that majority "rationalize away racist behavior and don't intervene or even get upset when it occurs."

Please read the Time article and respond to TWO (it is your choice) of the following questions in the comment section:
  • How do you explain why people who believe they are not racist often do not confront people displaying racist behavior?
  • What are the implications for a group, community, and nation when people who do not like racism, do not stand up to stop it?
  • Is there an ethical or moral difference between conscious and unconscious biases? How do unconscious biases reveal themselves?
  • How can people overcome unconscious biases?

-From Facing History and Ourselves


  1. Question 2:I think when people who do not like racism do not stand up for it when they see something happen is due to the fact they just don't want to get on anyone's "bad side". Because if they do stand up to the racist person then that person might think they are siding with the victim and victimize them as well as the first victim. Like during Genocides, many people know what is going on is wrong but then why do Genocides still occur? Because of the fear that if you do what you think is right, the racist person your standing up to might end up victimizing you. It's like when someone sees a kid in the hallway push another kid and your in the hallway, most people just pass it by, even if they think it is wrong. I don't think not standing up to racist situations is racist because I think most of the time people are worried for themselves turning into the victim.
    Question 4: I think people can overcome unconscious biases by getting rid of stereotypes and pre-judgment based on appearance. Most of the time the unconscious bias is because of some stereotype we have heard or event that we have seen or heard. You can't help your thoughts and how your mind works. Most people connect everything to something they know even if they know it is wrong. Most of the time people judge people based solely on their appearance without even knowing. So to get rid of the unconscious bias people have to get rid of anything that will make them judge a person, like stereotypes.

  2. Question 1: I think that people who consider themselves not racist do not confront others who display racist behavior for two reasons. One, because someone might feel that by acknowledging racist behavior they are admitting to themselves that it exists; and therefore thinks that by ignoring it that it just won't happen. Or two, that they truly aren't not racist and put that mask on for society. We have come along way in terms of fighting racism, and people who really are racist might pretend like they are not so that they are not looked down upon by others.

    Question 2: The implications of a group of people who do not stand up for racist behavior might be that they are scared of consequences that may come if they stand up for racist behavior-- even though they know what is right. Like Charlotte said, they might not want to get on anyone's bad side, or become the victim of racism or discrimination themselves. It is very hard to stand up for other people- even from little things like friends standing up for each other against the bully on the playground. It is the same thing, just on a much larger scale.

  3. Question 1: I think people who believe they are not racist often do not confront people displaying racist behavior because, like the article stated, they expect to feel a surge of wrath at such displays. When feelings of irritation occur, people think that maybe the display wasn't THAT bad. For instance, in middle school I would get really upset when people used the "n" word, or the word "gay" in place of "dumb" or "retarded" instead of "annoying" or "stupid". Playing with an group of 20 odd immature preteen boys, I heard these words a lot and after telling them repeatedly that they sounded dumb when they used those terms and that they were offensive, still nothing changed. I don't remember ever deciding that these words that I couldn't physically bring myself to use were ok or acceptable, but sure enough my strong opposition sadly seemed to fade. And when I started saying "retarded" instead of "stupid" this year, I was annoyed at myself for conforming, but not half as pissed as I should have felt at myself. Furthermore, some people probably think that taking part in some "casual" racist acts are not half as bad as what their white ancestors did in the 19th century to people of a different race. They could perhaps believe that it isn't as bad in perspective, so there's nothing wrong with it.

    Question 2: There are a couple implications that could be drawn for a group, community, and nation in which people who do not like racism, yet do not stand up to stop it. First, it mean that people are all talk, and do not actually mean what they say when they have the opportunity to take action. Second, it could mean that we are all racists like the article says. Third, which seems to me to be the most likely, is that racism still exists in trace amounts, be it conscience or unconscious. Like the article said, not everyone is a raving old-time racist, but biases do exist. Perhaps most of us do not intend to hold these biases, but we were born into this world where certain things are expected. Like the article said, when you imagine an angel, do you imagine him or her to be black? If the answer is no, maybe it's because history has set into our minds that darkness is evil,scary, and untrustworthy and lightness is refreshing, and often paired with Heaven or God. So maybe we are not giving anyone a chance because of all the ideas we already have that are all but set into stone. Like Thoreau said, perhaps we can't truly know our own opinion or who we are until we silence the voice of conformity.

  4. Question 1: I think that people who are against racism do not act against racist acts because they are in fear of the reactions they will receive. We live in a world where anything controversial or something that is disagreeing with another persons opinion can be attacked. If someone stood up to a racist remark, that person might endure anger or hatred from the person who made the comment. Also, humans generally try to avoid as little confrontations possible, so that may be why we chose to keep quiet when someone insults or has racist behavior.

    Question 2: The implications for a group when they do not stand up to racism often gives them a negative reputation. If people do not fight for what is right, others may view as either cowardly for not stating their beliefs, or racist themselves. Generally, when a group of people to not say they are against racism, it is implied that they are racist, whether it be true or not. Another implication that could be made is that the country or group of people do not mean what they say, and it could cause suspicion as to anything they promise. If people think that a country lied about anti-racism, what else are they lying about? The lack of reaction towards racism from a group further proves that there is still some small trace of underlying, unconscious racism left in the world, whether we want to admit that or not.

  5. 1. People who do not think they are racist often do not confront people who are being racist because it is easier to ignore racism than to combat it. Also, as the article and a few people have said, they do not feel the outrage that they expect to feel, and try to rationalize this. Most people do not want to believe they are racist, but when actually faced with racism and a lack of emotional response to it, they would rather ignore it than accept that they may have some unconscious biases.

    4. I think there is a moral difference between conscious and unconscious biases. While both are problems that have to be grappled with, I don't think that unconscious biases pack the same unethical punch that conscious ones do. At least when biases are unconscious, we rationally know that all people should be equal, and have the same equal treatment and opportunity. These biases become a problem when we are unwilling or unable to recognize them (so that they are unconscious), but I don't think that you can view the people standing by while racism occurs in the same light as the people openly being racist. It's still not right (they say that the people standing by are just as guilty as the people committing the crime), but somehow I can't feel that their inaction and rationalization of racism is as bad as racism, and the rationalization that makes another human being lesser than you.
    (Sorry if that made no sense – I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what I'm trying to say)

  6. Question 1:
    People who claim they are not racist often do not confront people displaying racist behavior because they do not want to get into a long drawn out heated argument or debate. They do not want to offend others as well when talking about race. Others do not want to disturb the "peace". America has come a long way like Adrienne said but I think they do not want to disturb that "peace" of American coming a long way. I also do agree that people put on a mask not because they want to think racism doesn't exist but because they choose not to talk about it for personal reasons.

    Question 2:
    The implication of a group, nation, or community that does not stand up to stop racism show that they do not have courage. They do not have the courage to stand up for what they believe in instead they want to take the easy route and not be vocal. It shows that they are racist because they are allowing this behavior to happen. If you were not racist you would not tolerate this kind of behavior from anyone. However, I do understand that standing up for something can be hard but there are many ways to end racism that are not so difficult.

  7. 1. People who believe them selves not racist may some times look past some racist events. Racism has been in our society for so many generations that people are sometimes unable to realize that someone is being racist. Some racist ideas are so common every day that people do not realize what exactly they are thinking. For example when people recognize of angry, criminal and poor after viewing a black person. It is so engrained in society that even black people begin to think the same thing. People may not confront racist behavior because they do not recognize it as racist any more. People also don’t want to get into the middle of a situation involving racism. It can turn into a mess that they may not necessarily have any business in. People don’t feel as compelled to act.

    4. People can overcome unconscious bias by being educated about racism. When some one thoroughly understands something they will be able to recognize it more. People can then think about there actions and ideas more thoroughly. Even if they only realize that something they did or witnessed was racist some time after it happened, they will know for next time to not let it happen again.

  8. 1-People who believe they aren't racist can ignore those who display racist behavior for a variety of reasons. It could be a situation wher the recist person is their superior, and can't be spoken against, they could think it would have no effect, or they could also just not care, thinking that "well, at least I'm not the one saying/doing all those racist things". There is also the posibility mentioned in the article that they are, indeed, subconciously racist, but that is certainly not the only reason.
    2- When people don't stand up against racism, it puts off the image that even though they may not like racism, they still will do nothing but sit there and gripe about how terrible it is, rather than get up and try to help. They make the community seem uncaring, lazy, and hypocritical, too. It shows their feelings aobut racism aren't as strong as they could or should be to stop the problem.

  9. Q1: I believe that someone who considers themselves to not be racist because they'd prefer to no be involved. They don't want to jeopardize themselves in a situation that they know is very "touchy" all over the world. Also I think that most people have the attitude to not do something because they know the next person will. They see something but just say to themselves "someone else will pick it, it doesn't have to be me." People may also feel that by not intervening at all they are staying clear of racism and having nothing to do with it all. But in actuality because they aren't part of the solution in the issue they are still part of the problem.

    Q4: I agree with Charlotte in order to get rid of unconscious biases we have to throw out any stereotypes that are keeping us apart.The only way we can overcome them is to disregard stereotypes and intervene in a race issue right away. Because by doing nothing at all you aren't helping the cause your just allowing it to happen.

  10. Question #1:
    When trying to think of another example of people not standing up for their beliefs the first thing to come to mind was an elementary school recess. If a kid is not a bully and disagrees with bullying in every way, yet when she sees a kid being shoved in a locker she doesnt say anything it doesn't necessarily mean she herself is a bully, just that she is afraid to speak up, for fear of what the bully may do to her or for fear of what other people think. She isn't secretly enjoying watching the child being tortured she just chooses to be silent. In the case of students its a little different because they are older and probably weren't scared of the white actor making racist remarks, but since the black person left the room they probably silently disagreed and decided to not make a big deal out of it.

    Question #2:
    The implications for a group, community, or nation when people who do not like racism, do not stand up to stop it can be seen today and in history. Today in Darfur and historically the Holocaust many people who were tolerant or considered themselves non-racist did not stand up for the same reason the little girl wouldn't stand up to a bully. Not because they believed all jews should perish or all Tsutsis (spelled wrong i'm sure) should be gone form the earth (although some did), but more because the people in power had weapons and the power of persuasion and if objecting they could do the same to you. Now the students example is obviously less extreme, but hopefully we will one day live in a world where even in the most tranquil situations people will stand up for what they believe, and will be respected for it.

  11. Question 1: As some people have already stated, people who do not confront people displaying racist behavior are doing it because of a few reasons. One being that they are afraid that they will be victimized in place of the real victim, which is because of the idea of “better someone else than me.” Another reason is that if someone puts themselves above racism, they will most likely put most of society above that racism, and when they actually see racism in action, they will ignore it because they refuse to acknowledge that society is not above racism.

    Question 2. When a society, whether it be a small group or a nation, is passive about racism despite their feelings about it, they are being hypocritical. It’s like if someone says that they hate criminals, but when they see their neighbor’s car get broken into they don’t call the police. In both situations, a party is letting injustices go unchecked despite any objective feelings. Allowing such actions to continue without consequence only encourages the behavior to continue. If the thief stealing the car is not caught, he will most likely steal again, and if he never gets caught, what’s to stop him from just continuing his theft? The actions will escalate and will become a real problem for the society, no matter how small it started out as.

  12. Question 1 --
    It is easy to look past other people’s racism, because it is just one of many issues plaguing the world. If you’re on the subway and the person to your left is being called nasty names because of his race, and the person to your right is homeless because of bad government policy, it is hard to decide which to get riled up about. The simplest option is to ignore both of them. There are hundreds of awful problems like these to fix, and if they’re not directly demanding your attention or effecting you, it’s easiest to choose to campaign for none of them.
    Question Four --
    One clear way to stop this subconscious racism is to educate people about it. Becoming more aware of oneself will encourage people to question if they’re being racist towards the people they meet. This will also raise the racism from subconscious to conscious racism. And because conscious racism is considered to be much worse, than subconscious racism, people will confront their feelings towards people of other races, and they hopefully will be able to make their prejudices go away. And if people are thinking about how no one ever stands up against the racist, they might take a stand next time they see that.

  13. 1. Despite the vast number of people who claim they oppose racism, most of those people don't stand up to fight when they see it. Like some already said, they don't want to be victimized themselves, should they protest, and want to avoid conflict as much as possible. In a way, also, it's a matter of conformity--take for example a bully who is taunting his victim, in front of his friends and others. No one steps in, because no one else is stepping in, and they don't want to be the odd one out. It's basic instinct; don't do anything that will make you noticeable, because then misfortune will be directed upon you instead. The situation with racism is exactly the same. Though many people claim to be against it, only a select few are brave enough to stand out in the crowd and actually take action, without caring about what others think of them and doing only what they believe is right.

    2. By not standing up to racism, in a way it's implying that the group, community, etc. don't stand by their claim enough to do something about it. Rather than truly disliking racism, they are indifferent to it--they disdain it when they see it happen, but maybe their thoughts are only along the lines of "I'm better than him; his insults are really low" rather than "That's wrong, I should stop it!" As long as the racism isn't aimed at them, they don't find it necessary to take action and get rid of it, because even though it's insulting, it seems harmless.

  14. Question 1: Like many people have already said, most people who believe they are not racist do not confront racism because they are afraid of adding themselves into the situation, when it is likely that they just want to stay out of it. Whether or not they really are racist, few people are willing to join in a conversation or issue regarding race, because it is such a sensitive topic. There are many people who are affected negatively by racism, and by putting your input in, you could potentially be upsetting someone else.

    Question 4: In order to overcome unconscious biases, people should try and understand the "concept" of racism better. By putting yourself in the shoes of another person who may be targeted because of their race, it gives you a stronger perspective of how it feels, and then it is more likely that you will think before disregarding something concerning race. Racism cannot be fought without understanding, and by educating ourselves about it as much as we can, it's the only thing that can start to bring us out of unconscious biases.

  15. Question 1:

    People who consider themselves to be racially unprejudiced, yet don't speak up against or confront others about racist behavior do this for a number of reasons. Similar to any kind of harrasment situation, some people who witness it are too shy or scared to speak up. They do not want to get involved, but they feel this is fine because they do not create racial tensions themselves.

    Question 3:

    Whether a bias is conscious or unconscious makes a difference in the morality behind the it; but it is still not an excuse for having an unconscious bias. Conscious biases imply that a person actively selects and judges people based upon a certain trait, and that they justify themselves in doing so. An unconscious bias, however not excusable, can have a more moral standing. In some cases, a person who has an unconscious bias will have this bias pointed out to them by somebody, and they'll sincerely try and change it. this kind of effort comes from a compassionate person, one who is willing to overcome what faults they see in themselves for the better treatment of others.

  16. Q3)I personally do not believe that there is a moral difference between concious and unconcious bias. It is just a different way of people expressing their bias, one outwardly knows and admit to it and another has it deeply engrained in themselves that they do not know that they have certain bias. However, it is true that unconcious bias do get express by subtle yet obvious movements. Such as aversions and others. Some may not realize it, even with the aversions, but maybe, there are times we hints of aversions are so prominent that one may discover their hidden bias.

    Q4)Personally, I do not believe that people can overcome bias. This may sound harsh, but it's like "can we really overcome poverty?" We can dream of a world that we would, one day, all have abundent food and water to share. But poverty and others can be lessen but I believe that it can never be gone completely. And I believe the same applies to bias and racism. We may educate ourselves and learn about it and lessen the racism and bias among our world, but we cannot completely get rid of it.

  17. 1. Often times those who claim to not be racist choose to keep their thoughts to themselves. It is awkward and difficult to express your opinions towards someone who is displaying the opposite actions. You don't always know how to react, especially because you're certain that the racist person will not accept your opinions regardless. It is hard to speak your mind and try to persuade others in society because people are so judgmental and you can not be sure how they will react.

    3. I think that there is a difference between unconscious and conscious bias, but I think that neither is justifiable. Often times people are not aware that they have a strong one sided opinion on certain issues. This emerges by the way people were taught and have lived their entire life. Usually it takes someone else's opinion to make a person realize their bias, but if it does not change then it is not right. Those who are aware of their actions and yet still continue to follow the same opinion are conscious of their decisions to be judgmental and close minded.

  18. Question 1: People who consider themselves to not be racist but don't stand up when they notice racism occurring choose to not take action for multiple reasons. They do not want to become the victim instead of the person already being hurt. Also, all the attention would suddenly be on themselves instead of the previous person, putting them in a worse position then they were already in. People see it as acceptable to ignore the racism around them, as long as they actively do not participate in it. Similarly, people are afraid of the anger and irritation the person being racist will have towards them for standing up to them.

    Question 4: People can overcome unconscious biases by becoming more aware of their surroundings. Instead of just accepting when someone makes a racist comment or insults someone else, they should confront the person and tell them not to do it. I know this is an unlikely situation, since for the many reasons above, people don't like to confront racism. However, if people were able to actively notice the events taking place around them then they would be more likely to notice when they were unconsciously being biased or prejudiced.

  19. Q1) Often people who claim not to be racist don't confront racist behavior for a few reasons. They fear the other person's reaction. If they confront the person, the other person might start a fight or argument or a debate. By confronting the person,the goal is not to debate or fight about racism. Rather, it is to try and stop racist behavior and remarks. People also find it easier to ignore the behavior and pretend that it didn't happen. However, this opens the door(sorry for being cliche) for more racist behavior. Like Devon said, people have the attitude that the next person will deal with the racism. This has the same affect as ignoring the racist behavior and allows the other person to think that racist behavior/remarks are ok in the world.

    Q4) People can over unconscious biases in a few ways. First of all, people must become aware of their surroundings and actions. They should mentally take note of biases they notice and self-evaluate to make sure they are not doing the same thing. Through self-awareness, people can learn about themself and stop their biases. We also must get rid of prejudice and stereotypes as Charlotte said. Getting rid of prejudice and stereotypes eliminates the basis for racism and racist behavior so we no longer have bias. Finally, we must learn about biases and educate others so they do not have biases.

  20. 1. Racism can be so deeply embedded into a society that people don't realize a racism comment or action until much later after it has happened. So even if someone who claims not to be racist hears someone say something racist, or sees someone doing anything they may not see it as a big deal because it may not be uncommon. They also may not want to get involved in something that doesn't affect him or her.

    4. I don't think it will be possible for us to overcome unconscious biases anything soon. In this generation and those before us, we all already have some sort of bias embedded into our minds. The only way I can see us getting rid of them would be to not teach these biases to our children and the younger generations. If we do this we may be able to cut down of biases little by little, and maybe, just maybe stop them all together

  21. Question 3 – I think that unconscious racism is probably worse than conscious racism. Hiding behind a façade of “everyone’s equal” while still being racist is wrong, even if its unconscious. At least those who are overtly racist are not hypocritical (at least not in the same way as those who are unconsciously racist are). Those who are overtly racist are also easier to fight against – it is easy for others to see that they’re wrong.
    Question 4 – I’m not sure whether you really can overcome unconscious racism – it is ingrained in ourselves and our society. But one step forward, as people have already mentioned, would be to educate people and try to make them conscious of their racism. I certainly think that would help, but I’m not sure it could get rid of racism completely – judgments happen in an instant, and they’re hard to forget. One thing I think that we should NOT do is have quotas and use positive discrimination. Positive discrimination is still discrimination by name. Does anyone really want to get a job if there is a question whether they were hired because they were well qualified, or because the company needed to fill their quota of minorities?

  22. 1. I think that people who think they aren't racist sometimes act in racist ways because that sort of behavior was not perceived as racist in their community, home or mind. I think that based off of what a community agrees to be racist or not, is what really shapes an individual. If you were taught that saying bad things to colored people was bad, but throwing sticks at their houses and cars was ok, you would throw sticks and never second guess it. I think that in America, since there is such a wide spectrum of people with so many beliefs that its almost impossible for us to be brought up in a non-racist way.

    4. I think that the only way for people to overcome unconscious racist thought(s) is to first acknowledge them/it. And once you have figured out that you have them/it, you have to look back at your life and the way that everything has been played out. You have to look at what people said or done to influence you one way or another. Look at the conversations you had, the people who you were/are friends with. An example of this could be that you grew up in an all white/ black/ asian..etc town and once you moved out, you were surrounded by people who were different that you. You could either be shocked and horrified or you could just live with it. I think that we all to some extent have some unconscious racist thought buzzing around our head. Whether or not we acknowledge it or not i what makes us different.

  23. 1. I think that fear is a very common reason to why people do not stand up to other people being racist if they are opposed to it. Sometimes standing up for something that you are not really involved in besides having an opinion about it, can be scary. In my experience, a much less serious example, but when my parents fight with my brothers and I know my parents are wrong but because they have authority over my brothers I always want to step in and explain my opinion on the situation, but sometimes I don't because they will tell me it's none of my business, and most likely get mad that I was eves dropping. The person who is being victimized may appreciate you're input and opinion, and the fact that you are standing up for them, but it could always go the other way and just create more problems.
    2. I think that there are a lot of implications on everyone involved when someone does not stand up. First of all for the person who is too afraid to stand up, they may feel guilty, knowing that they could have just seriously helped someone, but were too scared too. Secondly, it will obviously affect the person being victimized. It has to do with the bystander theory in psychology. If someone is in danger, you are in the same vecinity as them, and could potentially stand up for them and help them, but you decide to just watch or leave, is it you're fault if they get hurt? I don't think it is directly the bystanders fault, but they could have also helped in the situation. It could also go the other way and the person who could potentially stand up to the person being racist, could only be causing more problems and trouble for the victim. This question is almost like was it the chicken or the egg? There are so many consequences and options.

  24. Question 1: I think that people find it difficult to confront people who display racist behavior. Some reasons for not confronting someone about this type of behavior could be fear of what they would think of you, or just fear of getting into an argument. Also, like many people were talking about before in another prompt, people find it difficult to discuss race, and confronting people displaying racist behavior would also mean discussing race issues, which people try to avoid. I think that people tend to ignore things like this so that they can avoid conflict. I was recently watching a TV show, I can’t remember the name of it now, but it placed actors in different situations to see what kind of reaction they would get out of people. One of the examples was of a blind person going into a bakery and the person behind the counter was being extremely rude to him and was trying to cheat the blind person out of his money. In this scenario not too many people responded and defended/helped the blind person, and even when someone did, it was usually only one person in the store out of many. People really just seem reluctant to get involved in conflicts, no matter the subject or how bad/wrong they think something is.

    Question 2: If people, who don’t like racism, don’t stand up to stop it, racism will always be an issue. No one will learn, or become more accepting, if their racist views are not questioned. When people remain passive and ignore racism, it is almost as bad as actually being racist, because you are allowing racism to continue, even though you know better and you know that it is wrong.

  25. 1. I think that sometimes, people don't stand up against racism because people are shy and insecure about the topic. No matter how much a person disagrees with a racist comment, somehow those comments become half accepted in society when they are constantly let slide. People disagree with them, but there is a big difference between disagreeing with something and having the courage to stand up against it. It's easy to say, he/she didn't know any better, or something like that, because people are often too afraid to get into racial disputes. It's just a touchy subject.

    2. There's really no way to fix a problem unless it is accepted and confronted. When people don't stand up against racism, it continues to be somewhat accepted in society. When people stand up against it, it makes racism stand out and be less acceptable in society. Either way, it's sort of a chain reaction. The less people there are that stand up for what they believe, the more likely people are to let racist comments slide; When more people stand up, it becomes easier and more acceptable for people to speak up.

  26. 1) Our society was one that was built on the idea that one person, usuaully a white one, is better then everyone else. I think that people who say that they aren't racist and then don't say anything to stop it have nver really been in a rasict situation. Like the article said, people over-estimate what they would do if they actually had to deal with racism.
    2)A society that can't admit when there is racism in it's mits is one doomed to repeat the cycle of racism until they are able to admit it. Like Sophie said, you can't fix a problem unless it is accepted and dealt with. It's a ripple effect, the only way for racism to be defeated, it needs to dealt with and made known,

  27. 1.
    The lack of confrontations in the study can be explained partially by the power that the word racism has. Racism is something remote and hateful, even to people who harbor stereotypes. By creating a situation with such blatant racism, the bystanders would have likely been shocked by it, as well as moved away from it mentally. They would probably place a block between the racist and themselves saying that is not me, that is something else. In this way the bystanders to the event become accessories, by not reacting negatively there is probably a sort of herd mentality in the spectators. There would be awkward silence where no single person wants to go forward to address a touchy issue regardless of their opinion on the subject. I suspect that in the study if one person had gone forward and asked the offender to apologize, the rest of the test subjects would have quickly done the same.

    There is definitely a moral difference between conscious and unconscious biases. Morality is manifest in people’s conscious beliefs; one holds an opinion and is aware of the morality of said opinion. With an unconscious bias, you are not even aware that you hold a bias and your moral sense can not influence the bias. This makes an unconscious bias much harder to gauge which is this behavioral study is so interesting. If you were to poll people on the morality of biases you would get very different results if you let peoples actions speak for themselves as we have been shown.

  28. 1. I feel that people who believe they are not racist often do not confront people displaying racist behavior because they feel uncomfortable stopping what is going on. Since everyone is aware that racism is a difficult topic to explore, it is probably even more difficult to experience firsthand. It could also have something to do with the bystander theory. It seems that more people are willing to let it continue on than do something to stop a wrong when it is happening.

    3. I think there is definitely a difference between conscious and unconscious biases. I think when a person has an conscious bias they are more willing to express their opinions in this bias in a way that could offend people. For people that have an unconscious bias I think that they keep their thoughts to themselves but they still think the same thing as the person with the conscious bias. I do not think that one bias is more acceptable than the other. I think they are both equally unacceptable because the thoughts of differences and prejudice against these differences are not morally correct.

  29. 1. People who are openly racist and persecuting victims through clear behavior are acting out of hatred. Hating differences is a piece of racists and a motivator behind their actions. People who are not racist are not moved by that kind of passion, in regards to racial issues, and though they may protest, it is not a mindless rage as racists are ruled by. It is a complicated position, the vehemence harbored by racists could easily be turned upon one confronting.

    2. When an issue is begging for resolution, but nothing has been done it can only mean perpetuation. Absolving or even just allaying racism is such an enormous task that one immediatly becomes lost in it's vastness when looking for some sort of approach. But if the solution moves beyond an individual undertaking and becomes a copious effort then progress can be made- a fact that has already been proven with the level our country is at currently. If a problem is not handled it will not be resolved- and the key to dealing with any issue is to expose all truths and work through it.

  30. 1. Many people who don't consider themselves racist, still have some subconscious racist thoughts at times. Many people, though, are in fact not racist. However, it is very difficult to stand up for something you believe in, however worthy or important the cause is. People have a tendency to want to avoid "disturbing the peace", and most don't want to risk making a scene, if they think they might be alone in their conviction.

    2. Although it might be difficult, if someone does not stand up for what they believe in, or doesn't denounce injustice or racism, the victimized group may come to the conclusion that others don't think the injustice is wrong. They may be less likely to stand up for themselves if they believe that no one else will publicly support them. It is fine to privately believe something, but what one says publicly is what matters most.

  31. I think that one way you can explain how people who don't think that they are racist don't stand up against racist behavior is because even when people don't think something is right unless they are outspoken people or they feel really strongly they won't stand up for somebody they don't know. the implications of not standing up against something that you think is wrong is that it sends the message that things like racism are okay because you are just going along with it. Even though there is a difference between the two types of biases i think that if either of them hold you back from acting against something you find fundamentally wrong then it doesn't mater if you know your biased or not. I think that the only way to change these biases is to consciously think about any unconscious biases you might have and make an effort to not act on them or even act against them.

  32. Question 1: Sometimes people just want to see the best in others. This article brings up an interesting point about the reaction that read or viewed racism elicits, rather than experienced racism.

    When we READ about racist actions we (most of us anyway) tend to be repulsed by the individual’s actions. But part of this is just because of the nature of reading an article or a story: we see the story through the eyes of a narrator or author. When a racist action is the primary focus about somebody who we read about (or see in a brief video clip about for that matter), it tends to be one of the few things that we're shown about them in order to better define their racist propensity. In this situation because we only have a limited amount of info, it has a polarizing effect upon our thought process about them; we understand they’re racist -> We think what they did is wrong -> We confront their racism (even if it's just us reflecting about a story we're reading). That person could be a great community leader, or somebody who drops half their income into charity. But if the writer hasn't told us that, then we don't know that and because of the way they’ve been presented to us, we’re drawn to disapprove of them. But (returning to my main point) reading about racism and seeing it firsthand draw very different reactions from us.

    When we SEE racism, we're dealing with a live person. And because of this, they're so much more detailed than written word could communicate. There are things about them that we think we like, and things that we think we don't like. But for many of us, we'd prefer to focus on all of the potentially great things that we may know or come to learn about this individual. If he or she makes a racist comment we may let it pass, because confronting it is like putting up a hostile wall between us and them, effectively shutting us out from learning about their life, and we’re afraid this could make us an enemy. Additionally for some of us another thought may arise regarding seeming judgmental. With a live individual, if we choose to confront their views, they can judge us just as quickly as we seem to have judged them.

    Question 3: I think that most would agree that actively holding a conscious bias is more immoral that holding an unconscious bias. Maybe we think that others, or ourselves, can't be held as accountable for the unconscious type. But the truth is that an unconscious bias has its own set of consequences. These biases are ingrained in us by society from as early as childhood and they can become an even greater part of who we are, even if we don't realize it. Because we stick with these for so long, they can often be the most difficult to try to rid ourselves of. And the most damaging to try and rid ourselves of too, since these deep-rooted prejudices are a part of us, engraved into our subconscious mind which has deep down directed our every step. As the name might suggest, we often don't realize our own unconscious biases. It's only until we meet someone with conflicting biases that our own can start to clearly bubble to the surface.

  33. People who say they are not racist do not confront those showing racist behavior because by doing so would make it look as if you were on his side, even if you were not, also it helps one avoid the whole situation, so people don't judge.
    People can overcome unconscious biases by thinking for themselves. people who have unconscious biases usually do so because of the group of people that they hang out with. if one person hangs out with all white people, they may be afraid that by becoming friends with this new black person that there old friends wont like him anymore, so unconsciously they make fun of him instead, but if they just went with there gut they could be friends, and one should not have to think about there other friends

  34. Question 1:
    I think people that are not racist only confront people when they display racist behavior that pretains to them. In many situations where someone is being racist towards someone directly or indirectly people take it very personally and say something to that person or take other actions. When a racist comment is said about another race for some reason a lot of people don't really say anything mainly because they probably don't want to interfer or get involved with a confrontation. It also depends on how the comment is said. I have heard many people say racist comments in a joking way around people of that race and in most cases those people took it very lightly and either laughed or said something insulting back. I think it makes a huge difference on who the speaker is and who they are speaking to because people tend to take certain comments differently because of the particular person that said it.

    What are the implications for a group, community, and nation when people who do not like racism, do not stand up to stop it?

    Question 2:
    When a group, community, and nation doesn't stand up to racism it makes them look very weak. It shows that this particular group of people don't want to put in a effort to make things right for one reason or another. It's basically like a way of saying that they have better things to do then deal with problems like these and are too lazy to stand up for what's right because it might cause an issue. No matter how big of an issue it may create, racism should be confronted and shouldn't be ignored.