IAT Test Analysis The Implicit Association Test is a test designed to identify a person’s automatic connection to their mental depictions of a specific topic or idea. After taking the Skin-Tone IAT exam I found that my results suggested that I have no automatic preference between Dark Skinned People and Light Skinned People. I believe that my test results are valid because it perfectly reflects my actual feelings when it comes to the topic of racial bias and skin tones.
I grew up in a New York City, a city that is dubbed to be the melting pot of America because of its variety of races. I have been exposed to almost every race and skin tone. I have seen foul and spectacular behavior from every race so I cannot say that one specific race is superior, or more well behaved to another. I was pleasantly surprised to receive these results because although I believed that this was my true feelings when it came to skin tone. I was sure the test would reveal some hidden bias that I may have had. Regardless of the IAT test I do believe that I possess a few racial biases. The implicit associations we each have do not naturally link with the beliefs that we express and often so not even reflect ideas we may explicitly express.
I was not raised with any racial bias. However, after the 2016 election I started to feel a strong “us vs. them” attitude in society around me. Every time I came across a Trump sticker on a car or a “Make America Great Again” hat my blood would boil, as I would begin to feel a strong unsafe and uneasy feeling. This was right around the time that I began to learn more about institutionalized racism and it made me feel even more uneasy in the world around me. The “us vs. them” feeling became more of a reality as I opened my eyes and saw that I had been directly affected by these things that I had little to no control over. Generationally, my parents differ in their feelings on race and skin tone.
My mother is one of those individuals who claim “they don’t see color”. She says this in hopes to bring the attention off of race and on to Christ. She strongly dislikes topics of race. My father on the other hand is a very proud black man, I was seeing a white man for a while and I asked my father if he minded that he was white. He looked at me with his face in disgust asking if I liked pale skins. During this time I had a friend who was also white who had spread horrible rumors about me to our entire camp. My father went on to tell me to never trust white people, and that pale skins were from the devil. I was shocked because I had no clue that my father felt this way about Caucasians.
In my personal experience, I never thought I had any racial bias until moving to Lancaster and the various experiences I encountered. I found myself uncomfortable and feeling very alone being one of the black persons on campus. I felt lesser than and behind in many ways even though I was in the same place at the same time as my peers. I got asked naïve and ignorant questions like if I was a ghetto black girl and wondering why I didn’t have material things like a laptop or many pairs of shoes. I asked three individuals that I know and trust to take the Race IAT test. Their results varied with 2 of them receiving results that claimed that they had no preference between African Americans and European Americans. This did not alarm as I saw these traits already in the individuals I had asked to take it. Nevertheless, one individual received a result which stated that she had a slight automatic preference for white people over black people.
This particular individual whose results I was analyzing considers herself to be a very proud African American woman. We were both appalled at her results, but as I sat there and pondered how this individuals results came back the way they did when I realized, she is simply a product of her environment. This saddened me because all though my friend puts on a very strong front of her identity to the world I see that it is because every day she posts about black excellence or that #BLACKLIVESMATTER she is simply trying to relearn the correct way of thinking. Although race and racial justice have come so far from where this country was, say, 100 years ago it is still a very prominent issue in the world we live in today. I find that it is an important task to discover ones implicit feelings on race so that the individual can then address it, work on it and hopefully one day overcome it. An essential step in the process of one day extinguishing racism is to fully grasp how culture can mold a mindset, a community and eventually the entire world. This experiment has definitely has changed the way I think about race relations in America and in my community. It forced me to open my eyes to biases that I may have been a victim of and biases that I may put on other races.
I recognized the power that the media has on society. I choose to challenge the biases that have put a wall between the way I view other races and the way other races view me. Race in America is a topic many are afraid to speak on and analyze.
Race in America is usually narrowed down to six categories: White American, Black or African American, Native American and Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and people who identify with two or more races can enter a category called “some other race”. All of these races are together sharing a space and yet it isn’t very often you see the races mixing. From neighborhoods, to schools to workplaces and even lunch tables. We act is if there is an invisible wall that keeps us separate.
I will now take these things into account when going through my everyday life to take the extra step to shatter the walls of racial implicit biases and create a new environment in my community and eventually in my world. Implicit biases are hard to overcome because they are implicit, meaning they are not plainly expressed, making it hard to notice and overcome. In my opinion, the first step to take in order to reduce and eliminate implicit bias is to recognize and accept that you have biases. No problem can be solved if you cannot identify that the problem exists.
The second step is to introduce yourself to counter stereotypes. Studies, documentaries and even individuals who contradict the stereotypes that may help to re-shape the broken mindset. This will challenge biases and cause the individual to reevaluate the bias. The third step, would be to set the correct goals when trying to eliminate racial bias. Instead of aiming to be “color-blind” as my mother would say; we should aim to see each and every individual we encounter as an individual, a person, not a race and stereotypes that may have absolutely no correlation. The final step is to go the extra mile by seeking out favorable relationships with those of other racial groups. I believe, the more time you spend with people you may have deemed racially different than yourself, will help one to a level of comfort with someone who seemed to be a threat. The Christian community can have a huge role in reducing implicit biases, some include, widening its racial demographic in each church community.
Going on missions not specifically overseas but maybe even to a community in another town close by and showing God’s love. Churches can invite guest speakers from places all over the world to make it possible for those who may never be exposed to any other races if not. As Christians we should allow God’s word to pierce our hearts, and convict us when we need to be corrected.
The Bible is very clear on its stance on racism. We see this in Galatians 3:28 which reads “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” God doesn’t see us as black, white or Indian; He sees each individual, whom He created, as equals. If the church loved one another as Christ loved us the impact would be world shattering. I grew up in a non-denominational church with over 100 different nationalities. We worship Christ together, we pray for each other, we cry together, we laugh together and truly care for one another as Christ has taught us.