Baltimore (May 8, 2018)–In an Op-Ed published in USA Today, NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, calls for implicit bias testing and training to be a mandatory procedure for public officials.
“The NAACP is calling for an expansion of the movement to demand mandatory testing for implicit bias, particularly for officials paid with public dollars. For major corporations, implicit bias training must become a part of corporate responsibility rather than [merely] a response to video-taped intolerance.
“This is the beginning of a movement designed to awaken the soul of our nation in ways that not only make us better people, but also a society where we are both accountable for what we know as well as what we are unaware of,” Johnson said in the article.
President Johnson notes that African Americans continue to suffer at the hands of public officials who act on their implicit bias, sometimes fatally, for simply “flying, golfing, driving, walking or drinking coffee ‘while black.'”
“We ask why is our society continually placing training on unconscious and implicit bias into a red box that says ‘break only in case of emergency,’ when we know it’s just a matter of time before another incident is caught on video and made public?” said President Johnson.
The Harvard implicit association test (IAT) is one resource people can use to test their own implicit bias. More than 6 million people have taken it, and it has revealed varying levels of unexpected bias. NAACP implores all public officials and those receiving public dollars to take the test and account for their own implicit bias.