Our brains are amazing. Our brains do so much without us even realizing it. This helps us with learning and completing tasks every day. But sometimes our brains pick up on connections that aren’t fair and affect how we think about other people without us realizing that we’re thinking it. Let this video explain.
Play the following video [2:26]:
Implicit bias: Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Racism
- What do you think about the content of this video? Do you think the middle schoolers you know are affected by implicit biases? Why or why not? (Accept all reasonable answers. Many students may not have ever thought about it before, but they may have formed some of the biases listed in the video. When this idea is called to our attention, we may be able to identify how it’s played out personally. Others may not recognize it in themselves yet.)
- How do you think media, news, conversation, and education impact your brain regarding biases against others? (Accept all reasonable answers. When you are learning from and about people who mostly have similar backgrounds, or if people who fit a particular description are always being portrayed in the same way or with the same struggles, this paints a picture of what is normal, even if it is untrue or incomplete.)
- Do you think middle schoolers are mostly unaware of their biases or do you see examples of overt biases, too? (Accept all reasonable answers. Many middle schoolers may not recognize their own biases. In other cases, students will know of judgments that they or friends or family members hold or express, whether based on someone’s gender, economic situation, race, ability/disability, etc.)
- Have your biases ever caused you to fear, judge, or exclude somebody? (Accept all reasonable answers. This could be a hard thing to admit to or perhaps think of a specific instance of, but most likely we’ve all done it, with or without thinking about it.)
Today you’ll hear a story about a man who was biased against a woman because of her background or reputation. His thinking was that this type of person shouldn’t be included, couldn’t worship Jesus, and perhaps, wouldn’t truly make a change in her life for the better. This is not unlike our thinking about certain people today. This man’s bias presented itself more overtly, but so did Jesus’ example of inclusion and acceptance.