Dear Future President,
My name is Allie Beleford, I am in the 8th grade, At Dewitt School District, and I am writing this letter to you about racism. Unconscious racism is an example of a psychological phenomenon called implicit bias, said David Amodio, an associate professor of psychology at New York University. Often, people's implicit biases aren't based on personal experiences or beliefs, but rather reflect societal messages, such as the images of blacks or other minorities seen in the media, he said.
Researchers began studying implicit bias during the civil rights movement. As that movement progressed, surveys indicated that attitudes toward people of different races in the U.S were improving, and that white people increasingly reported having more favorable attitudes toward black people. Experts reasoned that even if people rejected prejudice, "they might, somewhere in their minds, have strong negative associations with black people or other minorities," he said. Since then, research into brain science and human behavior has shown that implicit bias is a real issue. In the real world, this perception could lead to discrimination, and make it harder for black people to get loans, for instance, during times of economic recession, said Amodio.