We often hear that race is a social construction. But what does that mean?
A bias is a tendency. Most biases—like the preference to eat food instead of paper clips—are helpful. But cognitive shortcuts can cause problems when we're not aware of them and apply them inappropriately, leading to rash decisions or discriminatory practices.
Race and ethnicity play a pivotal role in our lives, informing how we see ourselves and the world. Communities built around racial and ethnic identity can offer internal sources of resilience. But these parts of our identity may also have adverse social implications, influencing our chances of receiving quality medical care, getting a job offer or a loan, or being wrongly stopped by the police.