I wrote this six years ago.
I have heard people say things like, “I’m just not around a lot of people of color.” or “There’s not much diversity in my neighborhood.” as if these aren’t tied to the choices they have made in their lives. As if someone else made them live in the neighborhood they live in or chooses who they are around. I understand it’s hard to see what is unconscious in us so here are a few questions to examine that may give you some insight on your own unconscious prejudges: Are your best four friends the same race as you? Are more than 90% of your neighbors the same race as you? Would you consider the schools you and/or your children attend or have attended diverse? Is your doctor the same race as you? Is your dentist the same race as you? Is your banker the same race as you? Is your lawyer the same race as you? Is your accountant the same race as you? Are the people you go to for counseling (therapist, minister, coach) the same race as you? (note: It doesn’t count if you don’t pay them for it. Throughout history we have always gone to people of color for advice but often we use their genius without compensation.) If you have regular gatherings, (book clubs, game night, girls night out) do all the people who come share your same race? Are more than 90% of the members in your church the same race as you? I think these are power-filled questions because most of these people are in positions of trust. I can’t unpack for you what the answers to these questions mean for you but I know that when we look at this list as a whole it can teach us something about our unconscious prejudices.