To Be Muslim or "Muslim-Looking" in America: A Comparative Exploration of Racial and Religious Prejudice in the 21st Century
This Essay begins with a confession. In taking implicit association tests ("IATs") designed to measure my unconscious attitude toward two particular demographic groups, I discovered that I, an African-American, harbored a "slight automatic preference" for Europeans over blacks and for "other people" over "Arab-Muslims." Both of these results were contrary to my professed or conscious assertions of neutrality. Why would a pro-integration scholar who seeks to promote cross-racial understanding and inclusion exhibit such implicit biases? And why is it that a majority of others who take these tests register similar implicit biases? The point of my confession is to underscore the fact of widespread unconscious bias. Unfortunately, a large body of evidence from experimental psychology demonstrates such bias on the part of whites and minorities against racial minorities, especially African-Americans. This is in contrast to a dramatic reduction in explicit or reported bias against blacks. Indeed, there is much evidence to support the conclusion that "a nondiscriminatory or colorblind identity is... important to most white Americans."
2 Duke F. L. & Soc. Change 125-139
Scholarly Commons Citation
Cashin, Sheryll, "To Be Muslim or "Muslim-Looking" in America: A Comparative Exploration of Racial and Religious Prejudice in the 21st Century" (2010). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 1691.