In 2005, an American implicit association test revealed my views about black American males. These computer tests infer your ‘implicit’ attitudes by how quickly you link positive or negative concepts with photographs of persons of particular ethnic groups, or ethnic names where these are easily linked to particular groups.
Back in 2005, the conclusion was that:
Your data suggests a moderate automatic preference for white people relative to black people.
One of the things I really did not like about my trip to the US in June was the way I absorbed the racial culture. I quickly fell into the habit of doing quick risk assessments on young black men. I could not recall the precise statistics, but I was well aware that they are massively over-represented in the criminal justice system. Most times I concluded that they were no threat and I never actually found myself in a worrying situation (unlike my first trip to the US in 1992, when I am pretty sure I at least would have been robbed, had not the police arrived and arrested the guy who was harassing me and my friend – they had been looking for him anyway).
I wanted to take a moral shower every time I thought this way, but my self-defence instincts were too strong to stop the thoughts entering my mind.