The Hot Beat


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Test yourself for racism

The University of Chicago has an online test where pictures of black and white men flash on the screen, either holding guns, cellphones, wallets or cans of Budweiser. You have to shoot the guys holding guns and holster your gun for everyone else, and you have to do it quickly.

At the end it tells you your reaction times. Lots of people, apparently, are quicker to shoot and slower to holster their guns when blacks flash on the screen — by hundredths of a second. (For the record, I was quicker to shoot white guys and slower to holster my gun when a black guy without a gun flashed on the screen. Not sure what that means.)

Now, who knows if this kind of test says anything about racism, but I thought it might be interesting in light of last week’s audit that showed housing bias in Cedar Rapids.

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