SJWs have a problem. Their world-view depends on blaming the problems of black people (and other minorities) on white racism. However, there is very convincing evidence that in reality, racism is a small problem at this point in time. For this reason, it is very common for SJWs to cite historical racism, and through magical thinking, use this as proof that people are motivated by racism today.
However, many remain skeptical that racism is a big problem today, given the paucity of evidence to support it. So, what is a SJW to do….
Fortunately, a major psychological theory comes to their rescue, just when they need it most. The theory is “implicit bias”. According to this theory, even those who say they support non-discrimination, who go through life with the intention of treating everyone equally, can have an unconscious bias against black people, and this can result in discriminatory behavior that the person is completely unaware of.
Not only that, the coup de grace to bolster their claim is an implicit bias test. This test, called the “IAT”, came onto the scene about 20 years ago, purporting to measure a test-taker’s implicit bias. (Although there are several “IAT’s”, we are only talking about the ones focused on racial or ethnic bias.)
Well, millions of people have been aghast to discover that even though they are against racism, there is a naughty little place in their unconscious mind that apparently is racist, outside their conscious control! And they know this because the implicit bias test said so.
What a godsend this has been for the SJWs! Now they have proof of widespread racism, and (it is implied) discriminatory behavior, even though hardly anyone buys into racist belief any more!
There is just one problem. According to the best research that has been done to “test the test”, this test is bogus. It is an out and out fraud. It is bunk.
It probably was not an intentional fraud when it started. The architects of the test may have had the best of intentions. However, now that the evidence is in, there is no longer any justification for paying any attention whatsoever to this test.
There are two ways to measure whether this test measures what it claims to measure. First is test-retest reliability. If you take the same test more than once, will you get a similar result both times? Without getting too technical, the reliability of a test is measured using a variable “r”. If r=1, this is a perfect score. A test is considered reliable with a score of r=0.8 or higher.
However, the IAT racial bias test has not achieved this level of reliability in any reliability study. Results vary from one study to another, but in general, it’s safe to conclude from available evidence that the reliability of this test is somewhere around r=0.42.
Then the second major flaw in this test is in regards to validity: do its measurements actually correlate to discriminatory behavior in the real world? After all, that’s the whole purpose of the test: to prove that there could still be widespread discrimination against blacks, even though most people are not (consciously) racist.
(Although you may have heard that correlation is not causation, which is correct, correlation is a pre-requisite for causation. In a nutshell, we can have correlation without causation, but we cannot have causation without correlation. So an absence of correlation means there is an absence of causation and the test is not valid.)
To find this out, the best studies to look at are “meta-studies”, which examine data from numerous other studies. It turns out that the evidence for the IAT is extremely weak.
The best result, from a study using very poor methodology which biases the results in favor of the IAT test, is 5.5% validity. Using better methodology, the validity is 1%-2%. To be extra generous, maybe we could push it to 3%.
In other words, whatever it is that the test measures only explains about 1%-3% of actual discriminatory behavior.
Even the architects of the test themselves now admit that the test is not recommend to predict individual behavior.
Not only that, there isn’t evidence that using the test produces positive outcomes. One study from Canada even shows that using this test had an adverse effect on communication between ethnic groups.
Bottom line: it is a major fail. Predictably, the architects of the test have resorted to accusing their detractors of—you guessed it—not caring about racism.
If the SJWs at your school are still relying on the IAT, you may want to print out this chapter for them to read at their leisure, or even the whole article that explains in detail. You will be more effective, however, if you do not accuse them of participating in the fraud. They may be completely innocent, simply repeating faulty information that they were given.
Print some extra copies for any bystanders who may be also interested.
Now, here is some evidence for the actual state of racism in this country. Good news: it is very low.
In 1958, only 4% of the country approved of black-white marriages. By 2013, 87% approve! This is an astounding achievement. (For a more detailed exploration of the current state of racism in this country, see our six-part series, Does White Racism Cause Black Under-Achievement?)
Now, SJWs often claim that a vision of a “color-blind society” does not work to rid ourselves of racism.
However, most of the change in attitude that we see in the above polling was inspired by a goal of a “color-blind society”. Martin Luther King’s vision of every person being judged on the content of his character captured the imagination and the will of the nation. Even before that, those working for civil rights were working for equality. This whole business of “white identity privilege” was not even in the equation until the heavy lifting of reducing racism had already been done by the vision of a “color-blind society”.
Even after “white identity privilege” had been concocted, parents who grew up with the MLK vision have been teaching this vision to their children, teaching them to treat everyone as an individual regardless of skin color. Most people are not exposed to SJW theory until they get into high school and college, after their basic views on race have already been formed. So the vision of a “color-blind society” has actually worked and continues to work, despite the protestations of the SJWs.
Now, here’s another very interesting piece of evidence. In 1997, 9 out of 10 black teenagers said that racism was “a small problem” or “not a problem at all” for them in their daily lives. However, 6 out of 10 of those same black teenagers also said that racism is “a big problem”.
What is going on here? If those teenagers were relying solely on their own experience, then only 1 out of 10 would have said racism is a big problem. Is it possible that blacks are being conditioned to believe in an exaggerated sense of black victimhood, by the media and by the education system? It’s something to think about.
In the 20 years since that poll was given, we can see from the polling data on views of inter-racial marriages that actual racism has continued going down, yet today, both blacks and whites are more pessimistic than ever about race relations. Could this be caused by the way the media and the educational system have been dealing with race?
Since the social sciences are controlled by liberals, and SJW theory is mainstream liberalism today, I would not expect to see unbiased research on these questions.
However, if I was going to make a prediction, here it is: I predict that the SJWs will hang onto the IAT until another test comes out, claiming to be more reliable than the IAT at proving that widespread implicit bias exists and causes discriminatory behavior. The SJWs will all jump on the new bandwagon, and it will take another 20 years for the new test to be debunked.
However, it would be foolish to trust the same people who have been fooling us for 20 years. You know the old saying: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
It is a real eye-opener that the SJ crowd is so divorced from reality that they’ve embraced this shoddy IAT test for almost 20 years. And why is it that they are living in la-la land? You’ll find out in the next chapter–and you’ll learn an argument that totally turns their identity-privilege trap around onto the SJWs themselves! Click the link below on the right and find out who really has the power and privilege.