Rand Paul speech alludes to unconscious bias

I was impressed at this part of the transcript, widely broadcast today (i.e. I did not watch the speech, I don’t post things on this blog that are political in nature, and this should not be considered an endorsement for any candidate) which alludes to the challenge of unconscious bias in our society today, without actually calling it out.

11:07 if you look at the war on drugs 3 out of four people in prison are black or brown
11:12 but your kids and grandkids aren’t perfect either
11:15 they police don’t come to your neighborhood, you get a better lawyer
11:19 these are some injustices. we have been people been concerned about injustice
11:23 we’ve got to be concerned about people who may not be part of our group here, who may
11:28 not be here today

The research data shows that it’s not just about where police go, it’s about what their brain maps when they see the image of a person who is White versus one who is Black, unbeknownst to them. Note that he speaks about ingroup and outgroup dynamics, whether or not he realizes he is. In addition, the words of the speech may or may not lessen the impact of unconscious bias because they don’t raise awareness of bias and its sources.

Depending on your browser, you may be able to access just these few seconds by clicking on this link: Rand Paul speech at the Freedom Summit C-Span 4/12/14, Start: 11:07,end 11:28

Ted Eytan, MD