Eliminating bias is not possible; understanding and acknowledging the bias that lives within all of us is. I’ll be honest, this post is an uncomfortable one to write. Even I, with my “objectivity” in being removed from the moral binary, find it uncomfortable to give name to the biases that live within my own head – no matter the reasons that they exist.
I was raised in a close-minded and horrific family. Even now, twenty-nine years after my birth, I am subject to their uneducated drivel when I visit. They are ardent racists and bigots of the highest order. This post is uncomfortable to write because their attempts in indoctrinating me have, of course, succeeded to some extent. The “lessons” we are taught as children become one with our psyches no matter how educated or strong we may be. Those latent words and actions by our caregivers become one with us, no matter how hard we resist. Now, that said, the intellectual and open-minded may be able to counter on a conscious level those messages, but the subconscious will always retain them to some extent. Automatic and unwanted thoughts of bigotry are present in my own mind and – being the ardent intellectual that I am – the best I can do is to make sure that thought does not become action. In other words, I can ensure that I treat people fairly as best that I can but the unwanted messages of my parents during my formative years will always remain. However, I must admit that the damage has been done: I am a racist and a bigot even though I would prefer not to be. My upbringing and the world around me demand my own failings on this front.