Reflecting on Prejudice
1. The first video was an exercise to demonstrate the impact of prejudice on others who are experiencing it. Consider your own life experiences. Have you experienced prejudice? Or have you lived a life of privilege with limited prejudice and many opportunities to live without having to be on guard or constantly defend yourself. Think on the differences between your life (as someone who has experienced prejudice or as someone with privilege) and the lives of others (who have lived lives different from yourself).
Discuss any notable instances of prejudice you have experienced. Or, if you have not, discuss instances others you know have experienced. Or, if you don’t know anyone who has experienced prejudice – discuss how it’s possible you’ve gone through life without this occurring to yourself or anyone you know when it has been occurring to others for hundreds of years (this last one is essentially – discuss your privilege).
Discuss the differences between your life and the life of others with regard to prejudice. (Essentially, if you’ve experienced it how is that different from those who have not and vice versa)
2. Consider that the first video was from 1992 which was 28 years ago. Then consider George Floyd’s death and the many, many other deaths of black individuals due to racism in this country in just this year alone.
Discuss your thoughts on how far we have not come in the battle to end prejudice against minority populations such as individuals of color, transgender people, or homosexuals.
Discuss why you think we continue to struggle with this issue in our society, using information we discussed in the lecture where appropriate.
3. In the first video, at 28:58, a white male speaks about white male privilege and later, says that white male privilege happened for a reason. Jane asserts that male privilege exists because men have the physical strength to be in power. The man speaking referenced God in an earlier part of the video so I anticipate he was going to say that God made men stronger for a reason and thus, it is his plan for men to be in power (and even if this wasn’t what he was going to say, it is a frequent argument). Think on this and how your own gender has impacted your opportunities in life.
Discuss the impact of white male privilege on our society and the impact on your life up to this point. It is possible while male privilege has benefitted you or harmed you, there’s no right or wrong direction to go here.
Discuss how your life might be different if you were afforded the same opportunities as white males in this country. Or, if you are a white male – discuss how your life might be different if you were not afforded the opportunities you have had.
4. Near the end of the first video, several women bring up Jane’s communication style as being “hostile” and something they were uncomfortable with. Jane provides an explanation, saying that if you have to constantly defend and justify your actions, you begin to express yourself in such a way. Consider that what is being said is this – “you must present yourself differently in order for me to be comfortable with what you are saying”. This is another form of prejudice –
Do we have permission to force other people to behave in ways that make us comfortable? Explain your thoughts.
What does it feel like to consider that you have minimal control over the actions of others, and, at times, their choices may not feel good to you?
5. In the second video, the presenter, Dushaw Hockett, discussed implicit bias.
What are some of your explicit attitudes with regard to race? Sexuality? Gender?
What are some of your implicit attitudes with regard to race? Sexuality? Gender?
In looking at your explicit and implicit biases, do you see them as harmful? Why or why not?
6. Think through the results of the IAT test. Consider the assessment answer and the meaning this holds for you in your life.
How did you feel going into the assessment? Were you confident that you had no biases, or did you believe that maybe you did?
What was it like for you when you received the results? Did it confirm or refute your initial belief about how you would score?
Do you agree with the results of the assessment? Why or why not?
5. Now that you have thought through the impact of prejudice on individuals in this country as well as your own biases – either as the result of this assignment or due to having been doing anti-prejudice work as an educated ally for many years or months prior….
Where did your earliest attitudes about prejudice come from?
How have your attitudes and beliefs changed over time? What are some things you have learned and when did you begin addressing your attitudes and biases?
How can you best support others who are experiencing prejudice (even if you disagree with the impact such prejudice has on their lives)?
What is one change you can make THIS WEEK that will support an end to prejudice in our country and what is your plan of action to accomplish this task?
What is one change you can make THIS WEEK to begin challenging your own biases and what is your plan of action to accomplish this task?