Mahzarin R. Banaji, Anthony G. Greeenwald

2013 Tigard 155.92 BAN

I read 30 pages, then skimmed. The author's thesis is that "we" discriminate subconsciously, with bad consequences for black Americans. But is this "racism" or unfamiliarity? People don't like the unfamiliar, and what is familiar is the genetically similar people in the same home, the economically similar people in the same neighborhood and shopping at the same store, etc. As the authors point out, brains are designed to detect and respond to differences.

After 150 years of hard work by many noble people, the status of blacks in the US rose from slavery to the presidency.

I deal frequently with space advocates, who base their beliefs about the future on ideas that haven't changed much since they appeared in Astounding Stories of Super-Science in the 1930s. Those beliefs make them blind to opportunity. Successful entrepreneurs are less blind.

My hope is that there are entrepreneurs who are aware of racial differences and limiting biases, and exploit them, engaging the untapped talents that the more reflexive and less imaginative ignore. It is wrong that a talented black person might earn 50% of what a white person earns; an entrepreneur that pays 70% (and rapidly grows her business with all that talent) is still "racist" by some measures, but she is improving the world. Until a better entrepreneur notices, and wrests away her talent by paying 80%. Sweep away the real barriers to economic growth, crush mandated exceptionalism (mercantile or affirmative action), and let the world know that untapped opportunities exist.

Like "Blind Spot" itself, there will be plenty of premature theorizing and attribution of sordid motives, with the stick applied to society rather than the carrot. A colorblind society is likely impossible while it is possible to see differences; perhaps using the internet, we can make those differences invisible, replacing them with images we are all comfortable with.

BlindSpot (last edited 2019-02-04 04:33:25 by KeithLofstrom)