Are You Aware of Your Racial Bias? {Bias Day 19}
+ Grace & Truth Linkup

We looked at four more biases this week in the series, “I Just Can’t See It!: How to Uncover Hidden Biases.”

  • Fundamental Attribution Error
  • Declinism
  • Framing Effect
  • Contact Bias

Each bias can affect many areas of our lives.

Today let’s look at one specific area that these biases can trick us: our views on racial inequity.

None of us likes to think we are racist. But because we’re human, we all have invisible biases we’re unaware of.

How can we eliminate our racial biases? It takes time and work to unravel our implicit biases.

But even before the time and work? We need awareness. And prayer.

Are you aware of your racial bias

Overcoming Our Biases in Racial Inequity

Reflect on each of these biases. Can you awaken your awareness on one or all of these? How might they be affecting you?

(1) You’re Bad But I’m Just Stressed—Fundamental Attribution Error {Bias 15}

FUNDAMENTAL ATTRIBUTION ERROR is when you assume other people have a character flaw if they make a mistake, whereas it’s just the circumstances if you make the mistake.

If you don’t finish the work in time, it’s because you had too much to do. But if a person of color doesn’t finish in time, do you assume they’re just lazy?

Being accused of laziness is just one of many common fundamental attributions that people of color have to fight against.

Can you question which stereotypes you assign to different groups of people so that you can erase them, and begin seeing each individual as an individual? Slow down your thinking and see how this bias might be trapping you. 

(2) Are Things Really Worse Now?—Declinism {Bias 16}

DECLINISM is the tendency to view the past as better than the present.

But when we look back at our history in the United States, we see massive atrocities carried out by white people against Black people and Indigenous people of color from our very founding.

Racial inequality continues to exist to this day. So although we’re not yet finished with the work, we’re overall moving in the right direction.

When you go down the reflective road of the “good old days,” make sure you caveat exactly how and who they were better for. Appreciate the wonderful things that did occur in the past, but watch your blanket statements that life was better then and is worse now. 

(3) How the Frame Influences the Painting—Framing Effect {Bias 17}

FRAMING EFFECT is when we’re unduly influenced by the way information is framed.

For example, look at the marches for racial equality that occurred in the summer of 2020. Depending on your news source, you may have heard them framed as “riots” or you may have heard them framed as “peaceful protests.” 

If you don’t know which frame your favorite source is using, read from opposite sources and you’ll likely see a stark contrast.

Jesus invited his followers to see truth through the parables he told. He wanted them to think about spiritual matters in a different way than they’d always believed. We, too, need to break out of stereotypical molds that may have sculpted our thoughts. 

Get your information first hand as much as possible, before it gets too packaged for a certain audience. Otherwise, be willing to sift through the frames to unveil the nuggets of truth you need to make this world a better place for everyone. 

(4) When You Don’t Know the Other—Contact Bias {Bias 18}

CONTACT BIAS is believing false information about a person or people that you’ve never had meaningful contact with.

We’re naturally prone to be wary of strangers. And depending on where we live or work or worship, we may have little contact with anyone who is not like us. Thus, there are many “strangers” in the world. 

Fight this bias by getting to know people who are different from you. If you can’t do it in person (which is typically the best way to get to know people), do it in other ways. Read about other cultures. Watch documentaries. Listen to friends who have relationships with different people. 

Jesus broke down cultural barriers when he was here. He treated everyone with dignity and none like “strangers.” We’re called to do the same. 

Featured Post—Signs of Legalism

Ashley Rowland’s post this week about legalism caught my eye as I was learning about biases. Legalism is a type of bias I’m quite familiar with, having practiced it myself for years.  

Ashley helps expose our legalistic biases in faith through four key points. Are you aware of all four?

Read all of Ashley’s post here at HIS Sparrow blog, then link up your own blog posts below.

4 Dangerous Signs Legalism Has Poisoned Your Faith

Thanks for sharing, Ashley! Here’s a button for your blog.

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How do you become aware of any racial biases you may have? Please share in the comments.

You are on Day 19 of the series: “How to Uncover Hidden Biases.”

Uncover Hidden Biases

Previous: Contact Bias {Bias Day 18}
“When You Don’t Know the Other”

Next: 5 Quotes About Bias {Bias Day 20}
“Cast Off One’s Chains”

7 thoughts on “Are You Aware of Your Racial Bias? {Bias Day 19}
+ Grace & Truth Linkup

  1. Rebecca Hastings

    I loved this: “although we’re not yet finished with the work, we’re overall moving in the right direction.”

    Identifying our current state while recognizing the good that has happened and the direction we are headed is key!

  2. Kim

    Thank you again for hosting today’s linkup, Lisa. I’ve met so many new Christian friends!

    As an Enneagram Four, I long to be understood. Part of that includes how I want my feelings for people of other colors, races, and nationalities to be understood (and not judged – ha!). When I say I’d like our country to get back to the founding truths, I’m not ever saying I want to return to all the ways of that time period (and later), meaning slavery. My desire is to have our government leaders stick to our original constitutional laws. A nation under God … with equality for all. All! Yes, including all races and religions. We are a melting pot of peoples from all over the world. Our constitutional laws were divinely inspired and created, I believe, to preserve our nation. God held us in His hand for national blessing for so long! Is that over? Wow, I digress, sorry….

    I love meeting new people, even those from other countries (and all colors)! It is so interesting to learn about other cultures and celebrate the differences (and sometimes laugh together about those differences). Why can’t we keep our sense of humor these days instead of often (too often) relying on a sense of defensiveness and/or anger? Through my cancer journey, God shows me daily that it’s all about His love. Everything comes down to that. Thanks again, Lisa, for a fun Friday with friends! 🙂

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