Comparisons to Consider and Eradicating Unconscious Bias

What is bias? Bias is defined as prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

Many people think they don't have bias or ideas that would make them think a certain way about a race or perception of people. Here's some examples of bias that don't have to do with race but prove the point that bias exists.

1. Only men ride motorcycles or a petite woman can't ride a big Harley. I face this bias often because of the unconscious bias that only men ride bikes or only a woman who is not as small framed as me. I've had questions as to whose bike that is that I'm riding (uh mine). I was in the gym once and a man asked me what bike my husband rode (I was wearing a Harley T-shirt). When I told him I didn't have a husband and the bike was mine he left very quickly. I have been riding Harley's since 1996 and it still shocks people that I ride. That's because of unconscious bias.

2. Women can't possibly be veterans. I severed 23 years in the military and I've been asked for my husbands info as the veteran. I went to a pharmacy to get a prescription not long ago and asked them if they ran my insurance. The pharmacist asked for my ID. When I gave it to him he about fell over and said "YOU ARE THE VETERAN???!!!!" I said yes, retired Master Sergeant. There is a ton of bias out there about women in the military. I don't like it when women are sensationalized for being the first whatever to do something in the military. It makes it as if its unbelievable that a woman can fly a plane, shoot a gun or command troops. I have an expert marksman ribbon for shooting expert on the 9 mil. I also led groups of troops.

3. You are a woman, you "instinctively" know how to cook. My mother was an alcoholic and died from the disease when I was 12. She screamed and chased me out of the kitchen whenever I wanted to learn. It's not instinctive and I didn't learn as a child how to cook. After she died my father gave me money to go eat out. He sat on the couch and drank beer all day and barely ate. I didn't know how to cook. Eventually I learned but I'm still not super cook.

These are biases I have personally faced. If I've faced these, what kind of biases do we all have about race? There are biases and stereotypes about all races but because of history, black people have faced many uphill battles because of biases. The only way to change that is to recognize it within ourselves and call it out in other people.

Racism and hate are not God's way. Loving our neighbor as ourselves means everyone. The only way to make a change is one person at a time.  Each of us needs to check out bias and stereotypes we may not even realize we believe.  Once we identify it within ourselves, we can then start to make a change.

Check your bias. Make the person in the mirror proud. 

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