Monday, May 11, 2015

Rethink Your Bias

I had to chuckle at the recent ads carried by AOL adjuring us to "rethink our biases." One ad features this picture:

The reason I found this amusing is that the ad itself reveals at least two biases on the part of the people who made it. First, it shows a black man with a white woman. There's nothing wrong with this except that, if I may be permitted to play amateur psychologist, it's a subliminal expression of the liberal bias against white men dating black women, a juxtaposition liberals have trouble being enthusiastic about because in their minds it points to some sort of inadequacy among black men, as though they're not good enough to win the affection of the best black women.

The second bias the ad reveals is the preference for male dominance. When two people hold hands the dominant person will always, even if unconsciously, insist on placing his hand on top of the other's. Liberals, who are all about gender equality, of course, would deplore this, but they nevertheless acquiesce to it themselves when they're not thinking about it.

Perhaps you think I'm nit-picking and maybe I am, but the clear intent of the ad is to get people to confront their, perhaps unconscious, biases. Very well, but why did they depict the relationship the way they did? Does it not reflect the unconscious biases of the people who made it? Maybe AOL and the Ad Council, the organization which came up with the ads, ought to rethink their own biases before they presume to pontificate to the rest of us about ours.