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The Implicit Bias of Implicit Bias Theory


This Article’s position regarding implicit bias theory is that implicit bias theory does indeed describe a consequential reality. This author has no quarrel with the cognitive science referenced in the various studies, and I know that the unconscious racism to which it refers is endemic to our society. The problem, however, is that implicit bias theory bears an implicit bias of its own that leaves it fatally compromised in charting the way forward to social transformation. Implicit bias theory misrecognizes the nature of racism and thus underestimates the scale of the breach to be crossed through anti-racist agitation. In particular, implicit bias theory displaces the singular position of black people under racial regime. For this reason, this Article suggests that implicit bias theory is particularly inept in dealing with the racist violence of the law. There is an onto-epistemic structure—the basis of our understanding of existence and knowledge—more fundamental than the dynamics revealed in cognitive science. In other words, scientific inquiry into the nature of racism is itself in fee to the prevailing anti-black image of humanity.