john_j_enright (john_j_enright) wrote,

Unconscious Racism

I recently had a conversation with a young woman who is having trouble because one of her psychology teachers wants her to admit that she's racist. She doesn't think she is. Her adviser suggested she plead institutional racism, the kind white people supposedly can't help. But this seems wrong to her.

I suggested she plead "unconscious racism," and explain that she must have it, since she's been told she does, but that she remains completely unconscious of it.

She laughed.

Her teacher had subtly abused her.
At least my suggestion amused her.

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