by Pat Shelly
Implicit Bias in Social Work: #MacroSW chat was held June 25, 2015.
For an edited version of the hundreds of tweets over the hour-long discussion, go here.
In this twitter chat, we discussed implicit bias in the social work profession. What follows are some introductory thoughts.
To find resources shared during the chat, see below, at the end of the Links and Resources section.
The terrorist hate crime and murders at Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17th were allegedly committed by a young white man who espoused racist, white supremist reasons as justification for his actions. He held overtly prejudiced beliefs, and acted with deliberate intention. Is racial prejudice evidence of an abnormal psychology? Was the suspect in the Charleston shootings mentally ill or a sociopath? Or is he a thug?
One explanation for the basis for killings of African Americans in the U.S., particularly by law enforcement, has become more prominent in the media recently. It states there is a belief by many officers in the stereotype of the dangerous black person. This is implicit bias: not a conscious avowal of a stereotype but a covert attitude, with a lack of awareness that these biases even exist. Implicit bias can also be positive; a white person may have a bias in favor of African Americans, for example, or be unbiased regarding all religious faiths.