If I assume you are not from here, am I racist?
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Our need for belonging runs deep. Often, this means we split the world into “us” and “them” and exclude others who are not like “us.” Racism thrives on exclusion. Other than people who are indigenous to this land, none of us are really from here — but we all have a right to belong.Kasari Govender, B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner
One question, different…
When a white person is asked, “Where are you from?” the questioner is usually asking: “What city or town in Canada are you from?”
When people of colour are asked the same question, the question usually has a different meaning: “You must not be from here — so where are you really from?”
The assumption behind the question is that Canada is a place where people look a certain way. The assumption is Canadians are white and of European background, so people of colour must not be from here.
This question reveals our implicit bias.
Implicit biases are beliefs we hold on an unconscious or subconscious level that shape the way we view the world — and people — around us.
Explicit bias is where we are consciously aware of our feelings and attitudes. Implicit bias can creep into our worldview without us knowing.
Implicit bias in action
Watch the following video to see examples of implicit bias. Have you seen any of these?
We all have biases. Whether we know it or not, they can cause us to discriminate.
What are your biases?
Learning about your biases is an anti-racist action you can take today.
Take the Implicit Bias Test
Please note: you do no have to enter all of the personal information at the beginning, if you don’t want to.
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