Brown paper bags, nods and prejudice
I definitely do not consider myself a racist. But I am biased.
I am white, my wife is black and we have 2 mixed-race sons.
My wife graduated from an Ivy League university here in the US. At this ‘liberal’ university certain
sororities openly applied a ‘brown paper bag’ admissions policy (only those with a skin colour lighter
than a paper grocery bag were accepted).
We now live in a sleepy coastal town in California. When we first moved here (from the UK) I used to
tease my wife who nods and smiles whenever she passes another black person. ‘What’s all that
about?’ I would ask. I never fully understood her explanation of ‘I see you’.
No, I am not a racist but like everyone, I am full of unconscious bias. It’s inevitable … we develop our
beliefs and attitudes from the world around us … our culture, the media we’re exposed to, our
upbringing. It’s inescapable.
And that means that sometimes ‘reasonable’ (?) people like me adopt ignorant and irrational views
This video is an attempt to summarize some of my confused ideas.
Author: Paul Stevens
Published on July 14, 2020 (thriveglobal.com)