Thursday, September 30, 2010

you're STILL colonized

so i just finished taking this test that was linked on a blog forum i get on. it's a test developed at Harvard to supposedly test our individual racial preferences. you can take the test here (the one on the left. and then the first box labeled "race').
interestingly enough, or rather, unfortunately enough, my data suggested i have a "moderate automatic preference for European American compared to African American". there are seven possible outcomes-having a slight, moderate or strong preference for African American; slight, moderate or strong preference for European Americans, or no preference. and while 54% of the participants have either a moderate or strong preference for European American, only 6% have a strong or moderate preference for African American.

in other words-i'm still colonized. i am still mentally enslaved. i'm one notch below a Europhile.
hmmm....unfortunate. disheartening. sad. and a bit overwhelming.

it's even more tragic g when i feel as though i actively work towards self love (the self meaning people of color in general, but blacks particularly), as you can see with this blog....but i guess theres a subconscious level at which we all operate that we don't realize. unfortunately there doesn't exist a 12-step program for de-colonizing yourself. yea....i've a lot of work to do.

comment. think. take the test and let me know what your outcome is and your feelings about it.
photo by Margaret Rowland


  1. what? my results were "a slight automatic preference for European American compared to African American". i don't even know how i came up with such a result.

    personally i don't read much into the IAT, i mean i know who i am and i'd like to think that i'm not still colonized. but in light of what you've said it is still possible that part of me is deeply entrenched in the colonial mentality. i wonder if the fact that i did not grow up within the American construct of race affects my automatic preference in any way...i have no idea. i'd also like to know exactly how the IAT tests come about their results.

    thanks for sharing a link to the test.

  2. thanks for taking the test. wow.
    i think the test is actually testing the amount of mistakes you make when it comes to each category when it's labeled "bad" or "good". making more mistakes when it comes to black/good than with white/good is exactly what they're testing. as well as how easy or fast it is for you to make the connection between white & good and black & bad.
    yea, i would like to know the breakdown on the participants, not only ages and how certain races and people from different countries results came out as....but also whether, like you said, being entrenched in a country like the united states has anything to do with it. i cannot tell you how many social gatherings, clubs, sports teams, dance classes, or social circles i have been in in which i'm the only person of color. there have been too many that saturate my lifetime. were your childhood experiences mostly with black people or white people? what about the media you grew up around, what was that like?
    i remember reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book Infidel and her saying that her mother had never seen a white person until they moved (her mother was in her 30's) to Nairobi, i think, and that her mother thought their skin had been burned off. lol...she would definitely have a "strong automatic preference for African American compared to European American". but i doubt anyone in a colonized country would have an "automatic preference for african americans" unless they were the child of a Black Panther or very conscious parent.

  3. i tried my best not to make any mistakes but they happened anyway. i've found myself in several situations in which i was the only black woman, obviously this happened when i was in England and that time in France but not so much now i'm back in Nigeria.

    i can say that my childhood experiences were an intersection of very different worlds. there was the Nigerian upbringing and at the same time there was the Western, notably white American upbringing due to my exposure to Disney first then Hollywood. i believe exposure to media that portrayed white people as the norm and as living lifestyles that should be envied did affect me in a way. however at the same time living in Nigeria, there was no way i was going to conclude that blackness was not normal. at worst i could have placed whiteness above my own skin and learnt how to white worship but i'm glad that didn't happen to me. i won't say this changed because of the years i spent in England where i was basically forced to acknowledge and accept blackness and all the stuff that come with it. don't know if i'm making much sense...

    when i was younger my cousins and i always said we wanted to marry white men. why? because the only men being romantic and loving on tv were white. when i was asked who my celebrity crushes were, it was always a white American dude. even today a young girl told me she fancied Zac Efron and Justin Bieber even though she's spent all her life in Lagos and hasn't left the country.

    i would say in the case of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's mother, her reaction suggests that the woman must have grown up in a village that did not have access to satellite tv and American shows. i doubt any Nigerian would react the way Hirsi Ali's mother did when meeting a white person. especially those that live in big cities where there are 'white' people everywhere (Nigerians would call any person who doesn't have dark skin 'white' even Asians, Arabs and in some cases African-Americans).

    P.S I found a link that you may find interesting, it's on racist movies from the '60s, Hate Cinema 2