By Invitation

Let's face up to our own implicit bias on race

Cultural biases evolved to help human tribes distinguish between familiar kin and possible stranger foes, in split-second discrimination that aided survival. Today, such implicit bias can add up to structural obstacles for minority communities.

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The killing of African American George Floyd by a white policeman in Minneapolis and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests resurrected an interred personal incident.

Years ago, I was in the city of Philadelphia for the annual American Psychiatric Association meeting, which attracted every morning a raucous crowd of banner-waving and whistle-blowing anti-psychiatry protesters outside the conference venue.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2020, with the headline Let's face up to our own implicit bias on race. Subscribe