Definitions and glossary of terms

Definitions and glossary terms:


Explicit bias - the person is very clear about individual feelings and attitudes, and related behaviors are conducted with intent.

Implicit bias -
feelings and opinions that are preconceived and/or unreasoned

A Spencerport student described implicit bias as the first thought that comes to mind when introduced to people, groups, ideas.

Here is a 2-minute video from PBS, explaining implicit bias:

Bigotry - a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.

Cultural Appropriation - the adoption of elements of one culture by members of another culture without understanding or respecting the original culture

Discrimination - treating people unfairly because they have different characteristics such as race, religion, gender or ethnicity

Microaggressions - subtle but offensive comments or actions (intentionally or unintentionally) that are perceived insulting and reinforced stereotypes.

* Common microaggressions:
* You're so articulate.
* You don't sound black.
* White privilege doesn't exist.
* All lives matter.
* Can I touch your hair?

Examples of Microaggressions:

  Alien in one's own land. When Americans who look differently from the dominant culture are assumed to be foreign-born. ("Where are you from?" "You speak English very well.")

Ascription of intelligence. Assigning intelligence to a person of color or a woman based on his/her race/gender.("You are a credit to your race." "You must be good in math." "I would never have guessed that you were...")

Color blindness. Statements that indicate that a White person does not want to or need to acknowledge race. ("When I look at you I don't see color." "There is only one race, the human race.") This denies the significance of a person of color's racial/ethnic experience and history.

Assumption of criminal status. A person of color is presumed to be dangerous, criminal, or deviant based on his/her race. (A white person clutches purse or wallet as a person of color approaches. A store owner follows only the customer of color. Approaching a person of color in a gven setting, asking if they are lost)

Denial of individual racism/sexism/heterosexism. A statement made when bias is denied. ("I'm not racist. I have several Black friends." "Are you sure you were being followed in the store? I can't believe it.")

Myth of meritocracy. Statements which assert that race or gender does not play a role in life successes. For example in issues like faculty demographics. ("I believe the most qualified person should get the job." "Men and women have equal opportunities for achievement." "Everyone can succeed if they work hard enough.")

  Unlearning and re-learning

It is critical that our intention matches our impact. Take one of the examples of mircroaggressions from above, and change the statement from a microaggression into a microaffirmation.

Example: "You must be really good at math."
Change to: "Do you have a favorite subject or hobby?"

Prejudice - an unjustified attitude or opinion towards a person based on preconceived ideas about them.

Racism - superior. the use of race to establish and justify a social hierarchy and system of power that privileges, preferences or advances certain individuals or groups of people usually at the expense of others. Racism is perpetuated through both interpersonal and institutional practices.

Non-Racist versus Anti-Racist

Non-Racist - the passive rejection, opposition and disassociation from behaviors, discourses, and ideologies that are considered racist. (White silence - witnessing a racist act and doing nothing. Being "color blind" Saying "All Lives Matter")

Anti-Racist - a conscious decision to make frequent, consistent, equitable choices daily. These choices require ongoing self-awareness and self-reflection as we move through life. (Identifying and interrogating instances of racial disproportionality and changing policies, procedures, and practices accordingly)