Monday, June 17, 2024

Bias and Privelege

In going back to revisit some of the posts from around RWA's newsmaking, I realized I alluded to something about DEI programs. 
I do want to be clear. There are great DEI and DIBs and other programs. I have been in some. 
But some programs are a little sanded down. And so what can happen goes something like this. The program will talk about things like unconscious bias, how we all have it. It happens to everyone. 
And yes, unconscious bias does happen to everyone. We live in a racist and bigoted society. And so those things seep into everything. Being not racist and not bigoted takes work. 
But if you don't also discuss privilege and power structures, then its easy to walk away thinking oh, we're all a little bit racist, and so people can be racist about me too. And that's not true for everyone. 
I can be personally biased towards doctors who speak French, but that is not something that our whole society is designed to support. If I say I simply am more attracted to blondes, so much of our society is set up to reinforce that. 
And I can be a person of color and still be racist. I can be a woman and still be sexist. Our societal structures are designed to support all that.
So in a DEI training that just teaches we all have biases and should look out for them, well, it's not wrong. But that lesson on it's own does very little to help me unpack those biases.