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Our Racist, Sexist Selves

Our Racist, Sexist Selves - The New York Times April 6 2008...

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The New York Times, April 6, 2008 Our Racist, Sexist Selves by Nicholas D. Kristof To my horror, I turn out to be a racist. The University of Chicago offers an online psychological test in which you encounter a series of 100 black or white men, holding either guns or cellphones. You’re supposed to shoot the gunmen and holster your gun for the others. I shot armed blacks in an average of 0.679 seconds, while I waited slightly longer - .694 seconds – to shoot armed whites. Conversely, I holstered my gun more quickly when encountering unarmed whites than unarmed blacks. Take the test yourself and you’ll probably find that you show bias as well. Most whites and many blacks are more quick to shoot blacks, no matter how egalitarian they profess to be. Harvard has a similar battery of psychological tests online (I have links to all of these from my blog, nytimes.com/ontheground, and my Facebook page, facebook.com/kristof). These “implicit attitude tests” very cleverly show that a stunningly large proportion of people who honestly believe themselves to be egalitarian unconsciously associate good with white and bad with black. The unconscious is playing a political role this year, for the evidence is
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