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Unconscious Racism

I have just finished reading 'Dataclysm' by Christian Rudder. It has the interesting subtitle ' Who we are when we think no one is looking'. The book has some interesting reflections on what online data (drawn largely from the online dating data of OkCupid) reveals about our nature. Here is one quote that struck me :
It is no longer socially acceptable to be openly racist. In response to that pressure, there is some portion of the public who have therefore slunk away: if I can't shout hate at some schoolchildren anymore, well, fine, I'll just shout it at the TV. This is not the typical American. Most of us—almost all, in fact—recognize that racism is wrong. But it is still implicit in many of the decisions we make. Psychologists have a name for the interior patterns of belief that help a person organize information as he encounters it: schema . And our schema is still out of step with how most of us know the world should be. By hundreds of small, everyday actions, none of them made with racist intent or feeling, we reflect a broader culture that is, in fact, racist. As we've seen, the pattern is so woven-in that relatively recent additions to our society, Asians and Latinos, have adopted it, too.
Rudder does helpfully show in the book that human beings have an incredible capacity for self deception. For example, when OkCupid users are asked, "Would you consider dating someone who has vocalized a strong negative bias toward a certain race of people?" 84 per cent answer in the absolute negative (choosing "No" over "Yes" and "It Depends"). The only problem is that when the data is analysed two essential patterns of male-to-female attraction are plain: men tend to like women of their own race. Far more than that, though, they don't like black women. Apparently what they think and what they really think are polls apart!

Econometricians will undoubtedly have plenty of questions for Mr Rudder, in relation to how he goes about  his data analysis and the conclusions he draws from it. There are a number of areas where certain "control factors" are not accounted for. But the book does provide some food for thought, not least to the long established truth that we don't know ourselves as much as we think. We are certainly not as smart as we think we are! 

All very depressing of course. But this is why it is good I have read the book over Christmas. It is a comforting to know that there is someone who knows us so well, even the parts we don't know.Jesus knows all about our unconscious racism, yet he willingly chose to come as a man and identify with our dirtiness! Jesus became a human being because he loves every single human being in all our ugliness and sinfulness! No one loves us like Jesus because no one can ever bridge such a gap between sin and perfection! 

Whatever your condition today, the Jesus is the man who answers all our deepest problems! Most importantly, he has done something about it! All who turn to Jesus receives a new life.  Jesus swaps the sinful dirty life with his perfect life. He becomes your very life! It is not that the unconscious racism goes away in totality, that will not happen fully until the new heavens and new earth are inaugurated, but it is that before God, we now stand as if we have no internal contradictions! That is the gift of Christmas!

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