Brown paper bags, nods and prejudice

I definitely do not consider myself a racist. But I am biased.

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Would you change places with a black person?

I definitely do not consider myself a racist. But I am biased.

I am white, my wife is black and we have 2 mixed-race sons.

My wife graduated from an Ivy League university here in the US. At this ‘liberal’ university certain sororities openly applied a ‘brown paper bag’ admissions policy (only those with a skin colour lighter than a paper grocery bag were accepted).

We now live in a sleepy coastal town in California. When we first moved here (from the UK) I used to tease my wife who nods and smiles whenever she passes another black person. ‘What’s all that about?’ I would ask. I never fully understood her explanation of ‘I see you’.

No, I am not a racist but like everyone, I am full of unconscious bias. It’s inevitable … we develop our beliefs and attitudes from the world around us … our culture, the media we’re exposed to, our upbringing. It’s inescapable.

And that means that sometimes ‘reasonable’ (?) people like me adopt ignorant and irrational views of others.

This video is an attempt to summarize some of my confused ideas.

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Courtesy of Yiorgos GR/Shutterstock
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