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How to Be a Black Lives Matter Ally

How you can help, bias & how to challenge it, antiracist reading lists and what to watch to support Black Lives Matter.

What is Bias?

Bias is a "predisposition or a preconceived opinion that prevents a person from impartially evaluating facts that have been presented for determination." There are many ways to be biased and no one is truly free of bias. For most of us bias comes from our cultures.

We each belong to many cultures, and have cultures based on things like where we have lived, what schools we have attended, what socioeconomic level we belong to, what our spiritual beliefs are, our age group, our gender, our race, and what other groups and cultures we have interacted with. All of these can change over time. 

But just because we all have bias does not mean that we cannot learn more about other cultures and points of view.  

Confirmation Bias & How to Challenge it

Once you recognize that we all have bias, the next step is to consider confirmation bias. Confirmation bias basically says that we tend to seek out the sources that confirm our existing bias. For instance, we tend to watch just the conservative news, or just the liberal news depending on whether our own beliefs lean toward conservative or liberal.

Not only that, when we view centrist sources, we tend to think of them as leaning to the left or right rather then the center.

Which means we are not getting the whole picture of news and events in our world.

How do you get a more complete picture? Seek out sources that challenge your bias. In other words, get your news from the spectrum of bias: conservative, liberal and centrist sources. Then consider it all and draw your own conclusions.