What to Do About Unconscious Bias… In Yourself

By Fred Oduyoye and Rick Lawrence

This week we’ve had two epic examples of unconscious bias (“social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness”)… Whoopi Goldberg, co-host of The View, and Joe Rogan, controversial host of the podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, both made highly public comments that “outed” their unconscious bias. In a conversation about the Holocaust, Goldberg declared the Nazi’s “final solution” to eradicate the world of Jews was “not about race.” She later tried to clarify her remarks, then ultimately apologized for her insensitivity. Rogan insisted on his show that only people who are “100 percent African” are really black. 

In Acts 10, the Apostle Peter has a vision while in prayer on the rooftop of a guesthouse—he hears the voice of Jesus challenging him to lay down his reluctance to eat “unclean food,” a stand-in for his unconscious bias toward “Gentiles.” The voice says: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean” (Acts 10:15). Clearly, Jesus wants to surface our unconscious bias as a step on the path toward unity and reconciliation. Here Fred describes the first steps we can take to acknowledge our own unconscious bias, then move toward restored relationships… 

Post your comments, insights, and responses in the Comments section below—we’d love to hear your own insights, experiences, and questions!

And check out Fred’s new website for more ways to connect, grow, and get involved… CLICK HERE TO GO THERE

Rick Lawrence is Executive Director of Vibrant Faith—he created the new curriculum Following JesusHe’s editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible and author of 40 books, including The Suicide Solution,The Jesus-Centered Life and Jesus-Centered Daily. He hosts the podcast Paying Ridiculous Attention to Jesus.


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