Pretty scary stuff. It made me wonder. Did it have anything to do with my column? Who knows. Is he psychotic? Definitely. On drugs? Probably. Do any of those factors matter as I contemplate my safety? Nope. Does this change the way I view white people? This isn’t a one-word answer, but it should be.
The incident made me reflect on my own BS (Bias Synapse). I knew that once upon a time, I held an unconscious bias toward white people for years. Sometimes, I still struggle with my BS today. I didn’t know I had it for a while, and when I realized it, I still felt validated in my feelings.
Before you stop reading, allow me to explain.
For me, and many diverse groups, the “us versus them” dynamic is real and valid. To protect me and create awareness of the world I would grow up in, those closest to me — parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends — and eventually my personal experiences taught me that I couldn’t trust “them.”
They may not provide me with the same education, so I had to study harder. They may think I stole my candy from the store, so I had to get a sack and a receipt even for one piece of candy. They may not allow me the same opportunities if I don’t dress better, know more and speak correctly when talking to white people, or, “them.” These feelings were not malicious. They were an unconscious bias because none of us knew we had these feelings. They were simply an unrecognizable part of our upbringing.
Read the full story of #RishaTalks from Tulsa World.