“We gotta get out of denial. Stop trying to be good people. We need real people,” Verna Myers said in her TED talk about biases. America has racists. We aren’t this inclusive nation that hugs and loves everyone. Myers spoke about freeing Black men, and she teaches us how to overcome America’s atrocities that are formulated due to biases.
Myers mentioned that five million people take The Implicit Association Test (IAT), which measures “unconscious bias,” and people prefer the color/race White. What does that mean? “When we see a Black face, it is easier for us to connect black with negative than it is white with negative,” Myers said. It’s unfortunate that these associations are made, but Myers gives us tips to overcome this. Stare. Yes, Stare at successful, beautiful Black people. In her TED talk, she put up pictures of successful, Black men, and told the audience to stare. We have to unwire our brains in order to create positive connections about Black people.
“You know, biases are the stories we make up about people before we know who they actually are,” Myers said. She suggested that we analyze what we are currently doing, and that we increase the diversity in our circle. Whether it’s a social or professional circle, this will help us make more positive connections, which will, in turn, lead to a more positive image in our brains about Black men and women.
“When we see something, we have to have the courage to say something,” she said. Don’t stay silent. If you hear or see something that may contribute to biases, step in. Little do we know, our children of the future are listening and taking mental notes. We have to show them what is acceptable in society, and even words and thoughts can be a culprit.
This TED talk really touched my heart. The struggles of Black women and men are real, and Myers’ suggestions as to how we can defeat societal prejudice are not easy, but doable. She offers many solutions to the problem of bias. Take a moment and watch Myers’ video, because her points are extremely relevant to what is happening today.