It seems like we are seeing more and more news and social media stories about people experiencing bias as they go about their daily lives—riding the subway, shopping in a store, dining in a restaurant and hanging out with friends. Indeed, the surge of such stories makes it seem like racism, sexism and other forms of bias and discrimination are becoming more pervasive. Over the past month, we saw someone call the police because five African-American women were playing golf too slowly. We read about a man who attacked a group of five young men with a knife while asking them, “are you American boys?” And a candidate for the U.S. Congress reportedly barged into a bathroom stall of a transgender woman and exclaimed, “There’s a man here saying that he's a lady.”
In the wake of the April 2018 Starbucks incident (a white employee called the police about two African-American men who were waiting for a colleague and had asked to use the bathroom without making a purchase), are bias incidents like these on the rise, or are we just hearing more about them? Are there more stories coming out because there is greater public consciousness about bias or because people are using their smartphones to record these incidents?
In this lesson, students explore implicit and explicit bias, learn about recent incidents of everyday bias and self-reflect about situations in which they have experienced or encountered everyday type of bias.