by Natsumi T.
People may look someone with prejudging unconsciously. In this COVID-19 pandemic, we are facing another issue; racism. All over the world goes toward eliminating it with #BlackLivesMatter movement. Racism is one of the most shameful heritage in human history, and people can see it visibly even a lot of people have been spent much time to eliminate it, however, there are other common discriminations in the world. For example, cultural discrimination, and gender bias for LGBTQ+. There is a lot of people in the world and they have their own background so it is hard for everyone to realize their mindset unless someone tells that. The goal of this paper is to realize what bias we have, where they come from, and how to avoid prejudge. People prejudge someone unconsciously and people have some way to avoid it; awareness and practice.
There is a lot of kind of discrimination including racism. It arises from the difference in perception and it depends on what experience people have. One of the well-known examples is the treatment of Asians including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean in this COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has spread rapidly worldwide and the number of confirmed cases has been increasing since the first case confirmed in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The reason why they are discriminated is that it is likely impossible for even Asians to distinguish where they come from. In “International crisis shouldn’t be excused for casual discrimination”, Rosen states that “Ever since the disease was first discovered in China, people have been using it as an excuse to unleash their rampant racism and xenophobia. What most likely started as a joke has transformed into blatant discrimination against Asian people.” What the most important is no reason can be excused for discrimination. The media often reports what China did and it seems they control the public opinion to China. In other words, people can hate the government, but the general public has no-fault. People who use it as an excuse for their inappropriate behave get caught up in the heat of the moment. To avoid, there are two steps people should follow.
The first step is awareness. There is no way to realize the bias without knowing it. Have you ever think that a person with a disability is not as happy as people without a disability. This is one of the biases for them. For example, when we see a patient in a hospital, we tend to feel compassion. It seems there is nothing trouble, but it actually biases for them. It means for patients like tells that you are an unusual person and they feel more down. According to “How to recognize and overcome your own unconscious bias”, “These are the biases or prejudices that we might not always be aware of but they affect our actions, decisions, and interactions with other people..” At a glance, there is nothing wrong with, but when you change your perspective, what you did can be the mindset.
The next step is practice. Even people realize that is bias, nothing can change unless you take action. For example, we have been categorizing something into a group since we joined the society. As a result of repeating information processing using categories, stereotypes are formed by the images of various social groups. I would like to suggest that stop categorizing to take stereotype out. In “Meet the psychologist exploring unconscious bias—and its tragic consequences for society”, Starr states that ”It stems from our brain’s tendency to categorize things—a useful function in a world of infinite stimuli, but one that can lead to discrimination, baseless assumptions, and worse, particularly in times of hurry or stress.”. This is exactly evidence for discrimination in this pandemic. Especially this hard time, when people are in a difficult situation, they tend to blame the cause for something, or someone, not themselves and there are two ways to unite, one is that respect each other and works together, and another is that make a common enemy. In this case, they can stay united because of their common enemy.
In conclusion, awareness and practice are essential to realizing unconscious biases. It is hard to realize and sometimes that shocked on them, but these are very simple enough and small steps but when a large number of people's steps add up, it can make a big difference. In addition, people need to realize how strong the impact the media have than people expected. The media plays an important role; tell the truth, but it can also control their audience by their work. Depending on what they tell, the audience gets influenced by their mindset. Please keep in mind that the future is up to our actions. We have a responsibility to eliminate discrimination.
Rozen, Sierra. “International crisis shouldn’t be excused for casual discrimination'” HILLTOP VIEWS, https://www.hilltopviewsonline.com/21462/showcase/international-crisis-shouldnt-be-excuse-for-casual-discrimination/
Agarwal Pragya, “How to recognize and overcome your own unconscious bias”, GLAMOUR, June 10th, 2020. https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/what-is-unconscious-bias
Starr, Douglas. “Meet the psychologist exploring unconscious bias—and its tragic consequences for society”, Science, Mar. 26th 2020. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/meet-psychologist-exploring-unconscious-bias-and-its-tragic-consequences-society