Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Peck of Owls ~ Hidden Assumptions

What are your hidden assumptions?

Here's our next owl in our month of learning what we can do about racism. This one is about challenging our own hidden assumptions or prejudices. What kind of things do you assume about people based on their race, maybe without realizing it?

Do you remember the tension between wizards and goblins in Harry's world, which was largely based on misunderstandings and assumptions about each other? Even the friendly Weasleys, who always sympathized with Muggle-borns, still had prejudices against goblins that showed how there was bitterness and mistrust between them for centuries.

Such prejudices can often lead to racism in our Muggle world too. And though they may be hard to get over, being aware of them in yourself is the first step.

Understanding Prejudice has an online test that will help you discover your own hidden prejudices or assumptions about race and gender. It is called the "Implicit Association Test," and takes about 10 minutes, during which time you'll be presented with words or images and asked to respond as quickly as possible. At the end, your responses will be tallied so that you can see how your score compares to others and to your own expectations. Fair warning - the results may be difficult to take as the test almost always shows a bias of some sort. Kids, please share this with your parents and talk about your results - you may need some help in understanding them. And they may want to take the test as well!

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