On Wednesday I had a conversation with colleagues about the upcoming Duke-Syracuse basketball game. Someone brought up Duke senior Grayson Allen, one of the best college basketball players in the nation and infamously known for his dirty play. I didn’t know much about it.
“Go type ‘Grayson Allen’ into Youtube,” a colleague said to me. “You’ll find a highlight reel of all his dirty plays.” So on Friday I did just that, and I was surprised by one thing:
Grayson Allen is white.
Given that the sport is basketball and that the play is dirty I assumed–without thinking–that he would be black. At best, this is called implicit bias. At worst, it’s called racism.
All of us, all the time, hold implicit biases of some sort. They might be about African Americans, women, homosexuals, or people who LARP. They are the reason that “inclusion” is a a problem on college campuses today, including Fredonia’s campus.
Last week I did an interview with Fredonia’s Chief Diversity Officer, Bill Boerner. We talked about personal biases at length, and I’ll be proud to share that article when it’s complete. My last question to him was, “What can I do to help make Fredonia a more inclusive community?”
“Ryan,” he responded, “all I can ask is that you work to overcome your own biases.”