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So You're A Racist Now MikeyDred

Do I Have Implicit Bias or Racism?

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 3 years ago Updated 3 years ago 4 min read
So You're A Racist Now MikeyDred?

So You're A Racist Now Mikey Dred is the title of this piece and came about when I was discussing toxic environments with Karin Venables , and I thought of the Father Ted episode where Ted Crilley is being a little racist (it was the point of the episode) which appeared in "Are You Right There Father Ted?" , the first episode of the third series , and also the first episode that was screened after Dermot Morgan died.

That got me thinking if the fact that I have come through racist environments and toxic groups , where non whites and women have been treated as inferior and it always rankled with me as a a kid and continued as I grew up . This could be dwn to implicit bias or out and out racism.

I could give examples but I cannot bring myself to write them down , they disgust me so much now. I do feel that designations words such as blackboard as racist is absolutely pathetic but regarding someone as second class because of skin colour or gender is something that I always challenge.

I worked in place and one guy told be he got on a bus in London and there wasn't a white face on there. I pointed out that there was , his. I followed that up by saying would you say that if any of our non white colleagues were here? He said he wouldn't. , I told him he should never say that.

But …..

I got on a bus and everyone on it , apart from me was either Rumanian or Italian , and I thought "It's like I'm in a foreign country" , then I realised I was , I was in Dublin. I was a foreigner too.

I remember walking down the West Road in Newcastle during religious festival and being the only white face on that parade I felt privileged to be part of this whole thing just by walking with them , so colourful and friendly.

One of my neighbours is a Sikh , with beard you could hide a badger in and some impressive turbans and one of the broadest Geordie accents you will ever hear. He and his family are wonderful neighbours.

I moved to new house in the 1980s and had a choice of an Irish or Hawaiian doctor. I chose the Irish doctor and every time you went he prescribed Panadol , even for my daughter.

One of my new neighbours suggested that we switch to the Hawaiian guy. His English was a bit ropey , but what a doctor. He potted an ovarian cyst on my daughter which saved her life and loaned me his Mercedes when my car broke down. He also phoned me up when his car was written off to take him to see some of his patients , his wife picked my youngest daughter from school with suspected meningitis and he was my doctor during my first ITP episode (see here).

But in this episode I initially chose the white man over the brown man , even though the white man was rubbish and the brown man was brilliant.

This is an example of my own racism.

While I try to always be as inclusive as I can be I look back on my past and think I was wrong there, and that has shaped how I am now .

We probably all gravitate to the familiar , and really that's what I did , but just because someone is in your ethnic or gender area does not mean that is the right choice .

So on this story you can decide if I am a racist , I don't think I am , and will share some music celebrating racial integration.

An addendum on Unconscious bias from my great friend Stephen Foster:

I recently had some unconscious bias training at work. I like you don’t consider myself racist and definitely on the tolerant side of the spectrum.

That said I was forced to confront my biases. We are conditioned and as humans we use bias to learn. Unfortunately it is often misplaced and limiting.

First example they use is;

Think of a genius and put your hand up.

Leave hand up if genius was a man.

Leave hand up if was old.

Leave hand up if was Albert Einstein.

Was a room full of hands.

Interesting experiments with resumes send to 1000 law firms and asked for feedback. They used the same resume and found that candidates with track and field or “black” sounding names they got 80% feedback with grammatical errors. If white name and hobbies like lacrosse etc they had “real potential” etc. Remeber all qualifications etc the same. Only names and hobbies changed.

We expect our builders to be called Dave and our financial advisor to be called quintin. It’s human nature.

The lesson I learnt and you have clearly identified is being aware of those moments where you have thought something and then re-evaluated. If this was someone else would I respond the same is a good test.


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Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

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Comments (2)

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  • L.C. Schäferabout a year ago

    I do love it ❤ We all have biases. You're self aware enough to acknowledge your own. Something we all have to do, I think.

  • L.C. Schäferabout a year ago

    I am dead 😂 I haven't even read this yet and it's not what I came looking for, but I know I'm going to love it!

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