It’s in the news and well it must be. Let’s get it out on the surgical table, open it up and get to work. It’s tricky, complex and potentially life threatening but absolutely necessary for survival. Starbucks is taking a small, hopefully seed sowing, step into the malaise May 29. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/04/19/starbucks-victims-speak-out-ask-their-arrests-inspire-change/531582002/
I face my implicit bias on a daily basis. I see people who look and act differently from me (thank you god) and, when I am practicing the presence of my mind, notice all the thoughts that come rollicking forward. There was a time when I quietly acted on them. There came a time when I beat myself up for those thoughts and ‘soldiered’ through, acting as if I didn’t have them – sometimes overcompensating.
As I have continued growing up that approach failed to sit well with me. I still feel discouraged by some of my ingrained thinking but I understand it is in fact only thinking and thinking is abstract.
So I’ve taken to counteracting undesirable thoughts when they arise. I replace the thought with one that feels neutral to me. There’s a line in the radio play/song set I wrote that says, ‘It’s interests we have in common.’ I intentionally bring my thinking to that notion. I look at the person I’m seeing with neutrality. I make the effort to wonder about them and their lives and their ways and their feelings.
It takes a lot of work sometimes (and many times it doesn’t). But I want to know what true freedom is. Before I sign off from my time here on Earth I want to experience more and more the freedom from implicit bias and racism. That’s a freedom to live with.