If you’re determined to take a real stand against anti-Black racism, there’s plenty of work to be done. Some of that work might start with recognizing that we all have internalized prejudice. And this can perpetuate racist behavior—from the individual level of microaggressions, all the way to ingrained systemic problems, like police brutality and opportunity hoarding.
Don’t be discouraged. The science of implicit biases helps us to understand why this is, and how we can harness mindfulness to help us show up for the work of anti-racism, even when it’s difficult.
Implicit or “unconscious” biases are automatic, internal processes that associate certain characteristics with members of a specific social group. A significant body of research demonstrates that all people have biases, and that our biases unconsciously influence behavior.
This doesn’t mean that unconscious bias is always maladaptive. For example, unconscious biases that activate feelings of love and care toward friends enable us to be kind without consciously trying. But many of our biases are far more harmful. We learn what we are exposed to, and the culture most of us grew up in is quite literally…