Do we judge based upon skin colour? Are we judging form or substance? Do we ignore what a person looks like before judging him?
Of course we do! The term “Don’t judge a book by its cover” would not exist unless humans ALWAYS judge a book by its cover.
Our brain sizes people up within seconds. Its part of our fight or flight instinct. Its part of our secret sauce for survival!
You make up your mind within the first seven seconds of meeting a new person. And much of your opinion is predicated on colour. It’s not your fault, its evolution! We were running around in loin clothes not so long ago, and in those days oour odds of survival were tightly correlated with oour aptitude for distinguishing foe from friend on first sighting.
In other words, you had to identify the tribe. My tribe or not my tribe. Smile, shoot arrow or run away.
Insufficient time has passed for us to erase these gene memories, so whether you like it or not you will unconsciously judge people based upon their skin colour.
That’s why anonymous social networks may be a powerful tool for combatting racism.
When your avatar is not who you really are, and the other person in the conversation knows that, your appearance is disregarded (other than what it says about your aspirations!)
You get to know someone through the medium of the social network, mostly via text. You are hidden by the veil of anonymity. You can make friends, laugh at jokes and fall in love without ever seeing the other person.
And then one day you decide to swap real world phone numbers and you meet for a date.
You’re white. She’s black. But it doesn’t matter. Its too late, you already dig her. You know what’s inside, and you like what’s inside or you wouldn’t be there.
In the past you could never get to the point of swapping numbers.
Online, colour is invisible. We have the medium for judging a book by its content, rather than its cover.
Anonymous social networks.