Unconscious bias is exactly that – without conscious knowledge, with no intent to be influenced by prior experiences and most certainly with no pre-fixed agendas. But it is the most human and most natural of reactions – based not on physical perceptions but on mental stimuli.
Since it is not out in the open and easy to spot, it is often swept under the carpet and never brought into conscious scrutiny. The time has come to address this in the only way possible. By going deeper into our own sub-strata and understanding why we believe and react in the way we do.
We all come to the table with our own set of positives and negatives and that is perfectly fine. But what we need to realise is that these experiences have affected us in ways we do not overtly recognise. They begin to inform how we face life – the way we perceive interactions and the way we assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Which is why, each of us often responds in a different way to the same situation.
Unconscious bias is a subliminal form of disparagement. It carries the seeds of needless animosity and insecurity, based on one’s personal benchmark of approval and disapproval. Why not, however, stop playing judge and jury – and see where that takes us? That way it’s an open court and certainly a better testimony to us as a fair society.
A good start, I think, would be to see how we can look into ourselves more honestly in order to look at others more openly…