@dustin I sometimes wonder if I say or do things wrong (or inappropriately) and don’t even realize.

Well my advice to you as a white man to another white man on the subject of race, is first internalize the realization that even at our most empathetic we will never completely understand what it is like to grow up as a black man or woman. It is like learning a foreign language, no matter how hard you work at it, you will never completely master being conversational until you experience full immersion, but you will never fully experience immersion as a white man.

Second, learn about and identify your own prejudices and instincts when it comes to race. If you are at work and you are in a situation where you need to judge the work of a minority or even a woman, be able to articulate facts about why you like and why you don’t like the work of the person. Use this same criteria to judge other white men. Leave your instinctual reaction aside. Judge on facts and pros and cons. If you can’t articulate why you don’t like the work of an African American or a woman then you may have found a prejudice.

Don’t be ashamed if you have a prejudice, nearly all of us do, it is recognizing that and adjusting our actions accordingly that makes sense.

I have found that I used to have subconscious bias against types of people that are not white male. I favored women over men in terms of UX design. I favored East Asians over others in terms of technical ability and judged them in terms of public speaking. I favored African Americans over others in terms of the pitch but judged them harshly on technical ability. I judged Indians and middle eastern people’s as lazy and dishonest. These stereotypes have been drilled into us and they are very unfair because they are an intellectually lazy way to judge people not considering the individual.

Hope this helps.

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