New Jim Crow Sketch

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The Nashville Tennessean Covers Nashville Integration

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Confederate Monuments in Nashville

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Something that we all tend to lack. No one is at fault, really. We are all bound to what we experience in life and everyone’s experience is different. Everyone is unique and has their own story. But that’s it. We need to realize everyone’s story is different from the world that we experience.  In a world full of information we fight to make sense of it all and usually we can’t consciously do that. Our brain has to unconsciously “connect the dots” else we’d be just downright overwhelmed but the brain can only make sense of what it is given; any thing further is just assumptions the brain has conjured. Therefore any assumption we make colors our perception of everyone we meet, every situation we are in, every decision we make. Implicit Bias.

Implicit bias is natural. Everyone has it. Although when it’s applied to social constructs or power systems it becomes dangerously easy to believe these assumptions rather than truth. It’s the classic ‘expectations versus reality’. What are we really lacking if we fall prey to it? Perspective.

Here’s my first attempt at Spoken Word trying to address Implicit Bias as natural and the way to hopefully tone it down with some perspective.

Verses below!

Let’s play a game, guess where I’m from
don’t be shy I won’t get mad if you get it wrong
I’ve done this like a thousand times I’ve heard it all.
Just take a moment and think.
I want you to take a good look inside
and see
where your mind has placed me

You see,
It’s amazing how fast our brains begin to perceive
Believe, just by what we see or hear, a whole world built in a blink
Just like the movie Inception
our perception fills in the context
Within layers of our subconscious
Of the “person” standing before us
No need for tops or totems cause you ain’t dreaming
welcome to our mind, our mental house, our private club
it exists; no reason to fight it or hide it,
because the first rule is we don’t talk about
Fight Club
You see,
in your Beautiful Mind,
This fabrication passing on as your perception
is that glitch in the Matrix you can’t recognize
don’t be surprised
about the Butterfly Effect of assumptions that inform your decisions,
The Sixth sense of your conscience using your Source Code of experience
Singing the Requiem for your Dream- like state
Hear me out, this ain’t explicit or rated R,
It’s E for everyone,
Acceptable for all audiences, it’s implicit.

Implicit bias, the function of the brain to
Connect the dots that we call information
from every past experience
reflecting hidden thoughts and attitudes
it’s somewhat mysterious
just how oblivious
it says things are obvious
assumptions, presumptions, unconscious
choices accepted by our own conscience
Implicit. Bias.
The truth is nobody’s exempt its how we’re wired
There’s no gain for our brain to explain
Every connection that is made
It’s act and react, fight or flight,
Filling in the gaps to put up with
The millions of decisions we make every day
So pray, listen carefully to what I say:
its unintentional, unconscious its our bias.
let me repeat myself
its unintentional, unconscious, its our bias
Inherently neither good nor bad
But when created out of our own lack of experience
it begins to color any other ideology
That is painted internally
Dyeing the colors of race, power and class hierarchy.
We got tinted glasses on, no matter how objective we claim to be
These contacts that put on our context
We only see the world through the lenses that’s been given to us
We don’t see 20/20 what we need is lasik surgery
To remove each speck
Focused rays per speck
Beam of light known as perspective

You see,
Our implicit bias applied to race
Create things like
hearts quickening their pace
When you see a black man walking by with a hoodie
Asians being casted for martial arts scenes because that makes sense
for Latinos to be labelled as immigrants good at cleaning, construction and cooking

You see,
Look it’s not about being a racist,
yet implicit racial bias exists
Yet if you don’t want it to persist
Step out of your comfort zone
And into the shoes
For whose experiences
that you can’t see
Empathize to
realize what our real eyes are lacking
is perspective.

Open your eyes.
I’m sorry the game was over before
you closed your eyes
so what I want to offer you is some perspective
so sit down, relax and
Let me tell you where I’m really from.

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Queer Activists of Color: A Podcast

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The Power of Choice: Reproductive Justice & the United States Eugenics Movement

Below are the three installments of The Power of Choice zines:

A Guide for Action (part three)

A New Movement (part two)

A Complicated Past (part one)

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