Implicit Racial Bias Essay

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The concept of racial bias –more specifically implicit or subconscious racial bias– has received increased attention over the years as racial and ethnic gaps in achievement (largely educational and economic), treatment, and survival outcomes persevere despite the expansion of concerted efforts to focus on the social determinants of health (SDOH) and combating longstanding, overt discriminatory barriers and practices. The increased interest in as well as investments made within the study of implicit or “hidden” biases is largely attributed to the field of social psychology and the research of practitioners like Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt and Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, whose work have emphasized the importance of focusing on the role that contextual environmental factors and social conditioning play, rather than just explicit racial attitudes, in explaining the persistence of racial inequality.
Racial bias refers to the attitudes and/or stereotypes that one has about different racial and ethnic groups that affect their understanding, feelings, and actions towards perceived …show more content…

As it pertains to African Americans, implicit racial bias studies have repeatedly demonstrated that U.S. civilians subconsciously attribute ape-like associations to Black people. These implicit ape-like connotations directly tie back to the country’s extensive history of dehumanizing people of African descent by explicitly depicting Black people as inferior to Whites and more akin to primates (King Kong, Birth of a Nation, Gorillas of the Mist, to name a few). This effect justified the prolonged enslavement and subjugation of Black people and gave birth to the pervasive dehumanizing stereotype of Black Americans as being bestial, overly violent, and

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