Friday, August 13, 2021

Implicit Bias Training

Image by John Hain from Pixabay 

This is: A weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids and my great-grandkids — the Stickies — to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — A Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering. Viewing with a tablet or a monitor is highly recommended for maximum enjoyment.  

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader  

"Racism must be continually identified, analyzed and challenged; no one is ever done." -Robin DiAngelo, Ph.D. — Critical and Racial Justice Educator

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

I'm retired so if my luck holds I won't be subjected to Implicit Bias training. 

Not from an awokened employer, or an employer who must pretend to be, so as to avoid being turned over to the Intersectional Inquisition by an unhappy customer or a crafty competitor, 

Or worst of all, 

A mob of enlightened employees still fresh from a successful recent indoctrination by a college, university, or even high school. 


To be completely candid, even if I were still working I might dodge this particular bullet as my white privilege apparently got lost in the mail. 

The biologically female half of the Billary, sociologist Hillary Clinton, took it upon herself to enlighten the masses and make them aware of this social pathology (from which no shortage of Citizens of the Republic suffer) and invented a name for those poor souls in its grip, the deluded Deplorables. 

These are the same people that Barack Obama, being a better politician, called the Bitter Clingers, a slightly less offensive term. Seeking a comment, I was able to get him on the phone for a minute when, feeling zany, he was personally answering calls made to the landline of his $12,000,000 vacay cottage in Martha's Vineyard.

He politely explained that he didn't really have time to talk just then as "some bigwig from Netflix" was on the other line about an "issue" with the Netflix children's show that he and Michelle's production company, Higher Ground, put together called Waffles and Mochi to teach people how to eat properly.

{You made that up!} 

No, I didn't, Dana, it's really called Waffles and Mochi. 

Sorry, where was I?  Oh yeah, I imagine/hope that the very last Citizens of the Republic that will be subject to Implicit Bias Training (IBT) — which, I understand, ain't cheap — will be the working stiffs who get their hands dirty while earning their daily bread and/or who can't do their jobs sitting in front of a computer while wearing no pants. And it's not just the cost. 

Any employer of Deplorables with a clue understands that his/her/their help, regardless of what identity boxes they check (or are stuffed into by "experts"), will see through the scam and that any given he/she/they would find IBT as ridiculous as an ancient forklift safety video ported from film to a current video format. 

Although everyone enjoys watching that dude drive his forklift off of a loading dock, time is better served by getting back to the floor, the line, the machine, the dock, the truck, etc., ASAP.


Yeah, Dana, scam. Although I must admit I'm a bit jealous. It's an extremely lucrative scam that I don't think causes much personal damage. If I had a relevant degree I could cash in and I might even be able to justify perpetrating it to myself, from a moral perspective I mean.

But then again, the boss, be it a corporate weenie, or just a mere small business owner that survived last year's peaceful protests and has hung on by his/her/their fingernails through the Wuflu plague might take its effects on morale and productivity personally.    



As any more or less grownup with a pulse is aware, everyone on the planet Earth has biases, they're one of the reasons Mother Nature hasn't been able to delete us (so far...). 

Gorg know hunting and gathering in dark bad. Big, bad, hungry animals see better in dark than Gorg, eat Gorg. Gorg no hunt in dark, even when Gorg have munchies. Gorg keep eye out for animals allatime. Bias maybe keep Gorg alive. 

In 1998 Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji, social psychologists, unleashed the Implicit Association Test (IAT) on the world. Now it can be proved scientifically which racists are hiding in the woodpile of your seemingly respectable firm/gummit agency/school/etceterool. 

A multi-million buck business is born. 

Now you can hire experts to flush out all the racists in your organization and retrain, heal, or fire them before the Inquisitional Inquisition comes knocking on your door.

Greenwald and Banaji published a best-selling book, Blindspot, in 2013 and shared their groundbreaking findings with the world. In 2015 they wrote a paper debunking their own test. If you'd like to find out exactly why there's a ton of relevant articles available online including this one.  
The bad news is that the test isn't reliably indicative of anything. The worse news is (unless you're one of the scam artists) is that the industry it created continues to thrive.

Addendum: On a related note... 
You may have heard that in 2015 a group of scientists calling themselves The Open Source Collaboration claimed that the results of better than half of the results of 100 Psych studies they looked into couldn't be replicated. A "replication crisis" hit the headlines. 

In 2016, four PhDs, two from Harvard, looked into this study of studies and said it was bonkercockie. That it was riddled with errors and there was no replication crisis. 

In late 2016, an article in the Atlantic reported on another, extensive study of studies that debunked the debunkers... at least I think so. I read the article two or three times and I'm not exactly sure.

But I don't even have an associate degree so, grain of salt gentlereaders, grain of salt.  

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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