Daily Reads: Color Blind

This Daily Read relates directly to my last post about race, but focuses more on the social dimensions of racial categories and how people are perceived. Jenée Desmond-Harris of Vox reviews a study that shows that white people perceive lighter-skinned people of color to be more successful and intelligent than their darker-skinned peers. Even with everything else being equal – education, achievement, social class, etc. – darker-skinned people were still categorized as less intelligent and capable of success. This is exactly what I was talking about in my last post when I explained ascribed status. This is highly problematic for the way it categorizes people based on purely arbitrary physical characteristics. As the article says, “It’s reasonable to conclude that this type of thinking  — whether it’s conscious or the result of implicit bias — could taint decisions about everything from hiring and promotions, awards and internships, to mentorship and all of the other judgments that determine the trajectory of a person’s life.” I think it’s important to be aware of these unconscious biases so we can try to bring them into the realm of consciousness and hopefully be less likely to act on them.

Study: lighter-skinned black and Hispanic people look smarter to white people

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