Are we all unconscious racists?

PJMediaNow we are learning that the Implicit Association Test is all bunk. Althea Nagai at the Center for Equal Opportunity drilled deep into the methods and reliability of the test and published this report at the Heritage Foundation. It's time for every source of federal dollars - particularly at the Office of Justice Programs and the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department - to read the report and cut off all sources of grant funding for any programs that rely on the bunk of the Implicit Association Test. Here's why.

The problem with the idea that everyone is somehow an unconscious racist based on millesecond differences in reaction time to words is that it removes the element of choice. People choose their actions, because they control those actions. They may or may not control exactly they they think, but they absolutely control what they say and what they do. If racism is to be measured not by choices and expressed opinions but unexpressed -- even suppressed -- thoughts, then not only is everyone condemned to be a racist by this amoral measurement, they are also condemned permanently and unforgivably to that fate. It is impossible for them to NOT be a racist.

At that point, why even try to do the right thing?

I firmly believe that all people have the right to be evaluated as individuals based on all reasonably available information. But when decisions are being made and tracked at the millisecond scale, you're barely engaging conscious decision making at all. You're tracking unconscious decision-making, basically instinct, and probably not very accurately.. and then assigning that measurement a dangerous amount of moral weight. That's immoral in itself, and arguably abusive of the subjects, who doubtless did not expect to be labeled unconscious racists when they agreed to participate in the study.

This entry was published Mon Jan 29 09:05:31 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2018-01-29 09:05:31.0. [Tweet]

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