Recognizing my own bias or prejudice .....

Posted by ellerbracke @ellerbracke, Aug 31, 2019

I know I am very guilty of classifying people in general, and regarding weight in particular. Living in the bible/heart attack/ diabetes belt, it simply blows my mind how many obese people I see every single day when out and about. Granted, fewer of those at Dillard’s than Walmart. Still, in addition to being concerned, I am also judging those people. I know I should not, but how in the world can someone get that fat? It would take years of dedicated overeating to reach that. No, I really don’t think that all of them have a medical issue, seeing what’s in their grocery carts. Someone help me get a less judgmental attitude when I’ve been semi-denying myself all those chips and cookies and fries for decades?? I live and eat well, but treats should be treats, not daily food.

@ethanmcconkey

@ellerbracke good for you to make such a brave confession of an unwanted prejudice. I'm pleased to see that members treated this topic honestly and respectfully, without judgement, keeping Connect open, respectful and inclusive.

Such unwanted, or in some cases hidden, prejudices are recognized as implicit or unconscious bias. You can read more on Project Insight’s website which is an Harvard founded organization that studies unconscious bias: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/education.html

Recognizing one's unconscious bias is the first step to changing them. @ellerbracke @georgette12, @imallears, @ihtak46 @jakedduck1, when you notice biased thoughts, how do you try to change your judgement or unwanted bias?

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Thank you for your comment/summary? The original post and it’s subject got sometimes hijacked along the way, but that what makes this site interesting. I truly believe nobody is saintly enough not to have grudges, opinions, pre-conceptions, and the one that was foremost in my mind was the most visible one – size-, and the most frequently mentioned in regard to people’s overall health.
Was sort of fun, though, to get sidetracked into chocolate discussions. Not the intent of my post, but entertaining. Even I could not resist with input.

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@lioness

@contentandwell I love the 72% dk chocolate from Trader Joe,s I'm going to try the recipie @parus wrote about

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@lioness
Did you ever see dk chocolate with coconut at Trader Joe’s?
Jake

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@contentandwell

@ellerbracke If you think Godiva is good, try Burdick’s. It’s in a small NH town but they now have shops in NYC, Boston, and Harvard square in Cambridge. They were named as the best chocolate in the country one year by Consumers Reports, and they are decadent, but of course pricey. I’ve been in the Harvard square shop and had hot chocolate. It was an ecstatic experience! They make each cup to order, dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate. Their fame started with their chocolate mice.
https://www.burdickchocolate.com/
JK

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Well, wait until you have had some hand-crafted truffles by Confiserie Spruengly in Zuerich, Switzerland. They cost like $ 2 to $ 4 per piece, meaning tiny bite size. they are works of art, and you can tell that there were at least 4 different work stages that made them perfect. Once every other year my travel schedule takes me close enough.

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@becsbuddy

@ethanmcconkey I do notice that I am biased at times, especially in crowded places where all sorts of people are. Then I kick myself and remind myself I’m not perfect either! As my dad said, it takes all kinds to make this world. Most people are in situations beyond their control. The problem with weight is mostly the high cost of fresh fruit and veggies and the lack of good grocery stores in lower income areas. Known as ‘food deserts.’ Also, food is a sign of love in many cultures. I encountered so many people trying to feed a dying loved one. They just couldn’t understand that food could do more harm than good.
A good example is when we had lunch with a former graduate student that we had sponsored. He is from India, has a masters degree, and now a good job. He mentioned that he would be ok with his parents setting up an arranged marriage. I just couldn’t believe it! Later, my husband and I watched a good movie about Indian arranged marriages in the US. It is such a strong part of the culture and made sense, so there went my bias! Good question, Ethan

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@becsbuddy What good examples of introspection and change in thinking. Thanks, Becky!

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@lioness

@contentandwell I have seen the more conservative in the Northeast and now the Liberal in Calif. But a lot of eastern folks have migrated to here . My daughter in law is of India hertitage and is Muslim so everytime like 911 the Muslim community there houses are egged. Her parents place was everytime . So I think prejudice is all over and different in the areas of the country . Down South it is a different prejudice .

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@lioness. A Trader Joe’s opened in our town last year but I’ve probably only been there about 3 times. I buy a lot of fresh vegetables and meat and those are not things that Trader Joe’s is known for. When I do go there, I end up buying some of their yummy snack foods, and I do not need that!
JK

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@ethanmcconkey

@ellerbracke good for you to make such a brave confession of an unwanted prejudice. I'm pleased to see that members treated this topic honestly and respectfully, without judgement, keeping Connect open, respectful and inclusive.

Such unwanted, or in some cases hidden, prejudices are recognized as implicit or unconscious bias. You can read more on Project Insight’s website which is an Harvard founded organization that studies unconscious bias: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/education.html

Recognizing one's unconscious bias is the first step to changing them. @ellerbracke @georgette12, @imallears, @ihtak46 @jakedduck1, when you notice biased thoughts, how do you try to change your judgement or unwanted bias?

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To be honest – I still can’t quite let go of some bias/prejudices. And some may be confirmed. Aside from fat people etc…. an acquaintance who sometimes works with homeless people in church settings absolutely knows that even if given free food and shelter and access to jobs and medical care, in his experience 80% of those people reached will quit their jobs, junk their lodgings, and go back to living on the street. So should I not consider them street people? Or, not “label” them? Or not be upset, either because they won’t let themselves be helped, or because they live on the streets? About to spend some time in Portland, OR, and that is really challenging to walk downtown. Homeless everywhere, like locusts. Mostly harmless, but still smelly, semi-lucid, side-walk dwelling. Not pleasant.
So, I think I still will always harbor some resentment, or just can’t get why people don’t get available help, or why they don’t help each other more.
How about I will give some 2nd thought before judging? But not a 3rd one, if your buggy is full of pork rinds and chips, and you need a scooter to get them into your basket.

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@lioness

@contentandwell I have seen the more conservative in the Northeast and now the Liberal in Calif. But a lot of eastern folks have migrated to here . My daughter in law is of India hertitage and is Muslim so everytime like 911 the Muslim community there houses are egged. Her parents place was everytime . So I think prejudice is all over and different in the areas of the country . Down South it is a different prejudice .

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@lioness. I’m from the Boston area and with all the strong collegiate presence there it tends to be pretty liberal. Southern NH is getting more liberal because a lot of people from MA have relocated here.
I don’t think that my son-in-law’s parents experienced anything like egging but I don’t know. There are many people of Indian heritage here and I think people do differentiate them from those of Arab heritage. The people I have known from Arab countries are all good people too, but some people generalize of course. My transplant surgeon is from Syria. He’s great and extremely gentlemanly. Going to MGH is like going to the United Nations.
JK

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@contentandwell

@lioness. A Trader Joe’s opened in our town last year but I’ve probably only been there about 3 times. I buy a lot of fresh vegetables and meat and those are not things that Trader Joe’s is known for. When I do go there, I end up buying some of their yummy snack foods, and I do not need that!
JK

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If you’re into cheeses, TJ is one of the very , very, very few stores (at least near me in SC) that ever carry Camembert cheese. If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry. If you do, and can get it locally, good for you.

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@ellerbracke

If you’re into cheeses, TJ is one of the very , very, very few stores (at least near me in SC) that ever carry Camembert cheese. If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry. If you do, and can get it locally, good for you.

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@ellerbracke I’ve bern eating Camembert since I was a child, it was a favorite of my parents. I haven’t had any recently, I tend to serve Brie because more people like it, but I need to check to see if those cheeses are aged enough for me to be able to eat them now that I’m lactose intolerant. I really miss goat cheese on my almost daily lunch salad.
JK

Liked by lioness, Leonard

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@ellerbracke

To be honest – I still can’t quite let go of some bias/prejudices. And some may be confirmed. Aside from fat people etc…. an acquaintance who sometimes works with homeless people in church settings absolutely knows that even if given free food and shelter and access to jobs and medical care, in his experience 80% of those people reached will quit their jobs, junk their lodgings, and go back to living on the street. So should I not consider them street people? Or, not “label” them? Or not be upset, either because they won’t let themselves be helped, or because they live on the streets? About to spend some time in Portland, OR, and that is really challenging to walk downtown. Homeless everywhere, like locusts. Mostly harmless, but still smelly, semi-lucid, side-walk dwelling. Not pleasant.
So, I think I still will always harbor some resentment, or just can’t get why people don’t get available help, or why they don’t help each other more.
How about I will give some 2nd thought before judging? But not a 3rd one, if your buggy is full of pork rinds and chips, and you need a scooter to get them into your basket.

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@ellerbracke I have personally experienced prejudice due to gender/body size/tattoos. To me I look at it as a challenge to hope to show to those people that I am not what they perceive. As to homeless: my brother-in-law is homeless, and has been for well over 20 years. He has been offered a hand up several times, but does not want to follow restrictions like giving up alcohol or drugs. He had a sometimes-job but the company moved, and he refused any assistance. He receives SSI and meal-cards. Several people have suggested to my husband that he should take his brother in, but we know that would not end well, nor would my BIL be happy. He lives sometimes in the riverbed, sometimes in an industrial park. He is not a criminal in the classic sense, but it's criminal the way he let his life go. Just my two cents….
Ginger

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@gingerw

@ellerbracke I have personally experienced prejudice due to gender/body size/tattoos. To me I look at it as a challenge to hope to show to those people that I am not what they perceive. As to homeless: my brother-in-law is homeless, and has been for well over 20 years. He has been offered a hand up several times, but does not want to follow restrictions like giving up alcohol or drugs. He had a sometimes-job but the company moved, and he refused any assistance. He receives SSI and meal-cards. Several people have suggested to my husband that he should take his brother in, but we know that would not end well, nor would my BIL be happy. He lives sometimes in the riverbed, sometimes in an industrial park. He is not a criminal in the classic sense, but it's criminal the way he let his life go. Just my two cents….
Ginger

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@gingerw
You've provided a very thoughtful and interesting perspective, Ginger. I appreciate your insight into the human condition and the differences we all experience.

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@gingerw

@ellerbracke I have personally experienced prejudice due to gender/body size/tattoos. To me I look at it as a challenge to hope to show to those people that I am not what they perceive. As to homeless: my brother-in-law is homeless, and has been for well over 20 years. He has been offered a hand up several times, but does not want to follow restrictions like giving up alcohol or drugs. He had a sometimes-job but the company moved, and he refused any assistance. He receives SSI and meal-cards. Several people have suggested to my husband that he should take his brother in, but we know that would not end well, nor would my BIL be happy. He lives sometimes in the riverbed, sometimes in an industrial park. He is not a criminal in the classic sense, but it's criminal the way he let his life go. Just my two cents….
Ginger

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@gingerw There is definitely prejudice against overweight people. When I was much heavier I felt like some people acted like being fat was contagious! Some also seemed to treat me like they thought that since I was so overweight that I must be of low intellect, and some treated me like they thought was sort of pathetic. Now that I am substantially less heavy (I never think of myself as anything other than overweight, still, although my BMI is only about 26 now) there is a definite difference in the treatment I get.
I was not overweight before I had children, I gained weight with the pregnancies and not only didn't lose it, but being at home caused me to continue to gain weight. As much as I loved my children, I was bored. I should not have quit work entirely but in those days companies were not as accommodating as they are now. I am the type of person who enjoyed the positive feedback I received from a job.
JK

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@jakedduck1

@lioness
Did you ever see dk chocolate with coconut at Trader Joe’s?
Jake

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@jakedduck1 No I never did just the plain old dk. chocolate

Liked by Leonard

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@gingerw

@ellerbracke I have personally experienced prejudice due to gender/body size/tattoos. To me I look at it as a challenge to hope to show to those people that I am not what they perceive. As to homeless: my brother-in-law is homeless, and has been for well over 20 years. He has been offered a hand up several times, but does not want to follow restrictions like giving up alcohol or drugs. He had a sometimes-job but the company moved, and he refused any assistance. He receives SSI and meal-cards. Several people have suggested to my husband that he should take his brother in, but we know that would not end well, nor would my BIL be happy. He lives sometimes in the riverbed, sometimes in an industrial park. He is not a criminal in the classic sense, but it's criminal the way he let his life go. Just my two cents….
Ginger

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@gingerw Out here in L.A. the homeless population is rampant . The cities ,states and counties are trying to find shelter for them but so many just want to live on the street . But there are some that disregard humainity and throw trash all over the place there is a big rodent problem because of it . Rats where even in the state office buildings as trash was around there . a lot of the homeless have mental problems also

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@lioness

@gingerw Out here in L.A. the homeless population is rampant . The cities ,states and counties are trying to find shelter for them but so many just want to live on the street . But there are some that disregard humainity and throw trash all over the place there is a big rodent problem because of it . Rats where even in the state office buildings as trash was around there . a lot of the homeless have mental problems also

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@lioness My brother-in-law "lives" in Anaheim. When he knows he might be meeting us, he cleans up, but it is apparent he is on the street, nonetheless. I am not sure about mental health evaluation for him, I do know he is an alcoholic and drug addict, again all his choice. The homeless community has a violent side, as they scrabble to survive.
Ginger

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