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DISCUSSION GUIDEPhotograph by Gordon Parks / Courtesy The Gordon Parks erican-denial

Table of ContentsUsing this Guide1From the Filmmakers2The Film3Selected Individuals from the Film4Background InformationGunnar and Alva Myrdal and Ralph Bunche4–5What Has Changed, and What Hasn’t?5–6What Is Unconscious or Implicit Bias?7–8A Few Key Characteristics of Implicit Biases8Roots of Racism9The “Obama Effect”9Hierarchy, Racial Control, and Power Structures10–11Topics and Issues Relevant toAmerican Denial12Thinking More Deeply12Suggestions for Action13ResourcesCreditsDISCUSSION GUIDEAMERICAN DENIAL14–1516

Using This GuideCommunity Cinema is a rare public forum:a space for people to gather who areconnected by a love of stories, and abelief in their power to change the world.This discussion guide is designed as atool to facilitate dialogue, and deepenunderstanding of the complex issues inthe film American Denial. It is also aninvitation to not only sit back and enjoy theshow — but to step up and take action. Thisguide is not meant to be a comprehensiveprimer on a given topic. Rather, it providesimportant context, and raises thoughtprovoking questions to encourageviewers to think more deeply. We providesuggestions for areas to explore inpanel discussions, in the classroom, incommunities, and online. We also providevaluable resources, and connections toorganizations on the ground that arefighting to make a difference.For information about the program, visitcommunitycinema.orgNote About FacilitatingConversationsTalking about race and implicit biases may promptchallenging and deeply personal conversations in yourcommunity, and requires sensitivity and building trustwith your audience. Community Cinema’s FacilitatorGuide, available at communitycinema.org screeningtools, provides helpful tips and suggested ground rulesfor fostering an environment where audiences feel safe,encouraged, and respected so that they can open upand engage in productive dialogue with one anotheraround issues that are often emotional and have thepotential to be polarizing.DISCUSSION GUIDEAMERICAN DENIALThere are also professional facilitators trained in thistype of dialogue that could be invaluable resourcesto consider, especially if there are particular localsensitivities or nuances your community is facing.Additionally, the Community Relations Service (CRS) ofthe United States Department of Justice helps addresslocal community conflicts and tensions arising fromdifferences of race, color, and national origin. Learnmore, and find the nearest regional or field office thatserves your area at: s.1

From the FilmmakersLlewellyn SmithProducer/Director,American DenialChristine Herbes-SommersProducer,American DenialKelly ThomsonProducer,American DenialThis film grew out of the research for and making of ourprevious film Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness. MelvilleHerskovits was dedicated to exploring questions of AfricanAmerican identity and in that capacity, had hoped to betapped by the Carnegie Corporation to lead its massivestudy on Jim Crow racism. Instead, “an outsider” — Swedisheconomist Gunnar Myrdal — was chosen. Myrdal’s researchidentified a key and troubling question: How can anation that espouses such forward-thinking, human, anddemocratic vision as embodied in the American Creedjustify the exploitation of its black population? In 1940,Myrdal published his study, titled An American Dilemma.We believed Myrdal’s question would be salient today.The film uses a number of narrative devices to examinethe mechanisms of denial, or cognitive dissonance — theways in which we deny or rationalize biases and practicesthat violate our bedrock beliefs — as well as the disturbinghistoric and contemporary consequences of that denial.We hope this film will encourage viewers not only to reflect on just how weassiduously blind ourselves to recognizing racial injustices, but also to considerdenial as an organizing concept. Our habits of consumption, our religious andgender biases — all fall prey to denial.Our natural instinct most often is to resist confronting our denial. That’s itspower. Our goal was to help make visible what our society often works to keepinvisible — unconscious bias, bigotry, prejudice, and their long, dark consequences.The film is meant to stir conversation — and confrontation of denial.DISCUSSION GUIDEAMERICAN DENIAL2

The FilmIn 1938, Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal was engaged bythe Carnegie Corporation of New York to conduct a studyof the social and economic situation of black people livingin the American South. Seeking to comprehend and evensolve America’s racial problems, the Carnegie Corporation ofNew York chose a non-American, an outsider they felt wouldprovide an unbiased view of the so-called “Negro problem.”Myrdal found a deep contradiction between the valuesthat people espoused — such as freedom, democracy, andequality — and the oppression and discrimination practicedthroughout the South. An American Dilemma was the reportof those findings. American Denial uses Myrdal’s study toask whether racial dynamics have changed since that studywas done.still true today? Individually, each of the experts points outthe ways in which African Americans are still oppressed,such as through discrimination in employment, housing,education, criminal justice, and other domains. It is discussedhow there has been a transfer from a past belief in blackpeople’s physical inferiority to that of cultural inferiority.Acknowledging how biases that used to be explicit havebecome increasingly implicit, scholars in the film assert thatthe “anti-blackness” at the heart of slavery is still with us,but it now exists largely in the realm of the unconscious.Research from the field of social psychology is profiled thatindicates that unconscious associations in our minds (alsoknown as implicit biases) are real, pervasive, and can havesubstantial effects on our behavior.Using archival footage, newsreels, nightly news reports,and rare southern home movies from the 1930s and 1940s,the film provides a graphic portrait of conditions for blackpeople in the early decades of the last century. Myrdal wasshocked by what he saw in the South and struggled toreconcile what he assessed as white people’s espousal ofvalues of equality with their need to oppress black people.He asked provocative questions, which sometimes got himinto trouble. In his own life, he experienced a period ofpersonal crisis when his wife Alva accused him of living thekind of denial and hypocrisy he was studying, specifically,that his belief in women’s equality was not reflected in hismarriage and family life.In American Denial, Myrdal’s inquiry into the UnitedStates' racial psyche becomes a lens for modern inquiryinto how denial, cognitive dissonance, and unrecognized,unconscious attitudes continue to dominate racial dynamicsin American life. Animation, reenactments, test research, andother devices challenge the viewer to consider their ownunconscious associations. In an interview with Gunnar Myrdalin the 1970s, Bill Moyers — referring to Myrdal’s assertion inAn American Dilemma that in the United States almost allthe economic, social, and political power is in the hands ofwhite people — asks, “Will we ever make significant progresstoward solving this problem?” Now, seventy years after thepublication of Myrdal’s study, the question is a long way frombeing answered.A group of experts — historians, sociologists, psychologists,civil rights advocates — grapple with the central questionof the film: Is the conflict Myrdal found in the late 1930sDISCUSSION GUIDEAMERICAN DENIAL3

BACKGROUND INFORMATIONAmerican DenialSelected IndividualsFrom the Film Sissela Bok and Kaj Fölster —daughters of Gunnar and Alva Myrdal Walter Jackson — Gunnar Myrdalbiographer Vincent Brown — Historian, HarvardUniversity john a. powell — Civil liberties scholar,UC BerkeleyGUNNAR AND ALVA MYRDAL AND RALPH BUNCHEKarl Gunnar Myrdal (December 6, 1898–May 17, 1987) was aSwedish economist and sociologist whose major work wasin international relations and developmental economics.CAREER: From the late 1920s to 1967, he held academic posts in Geneva and Stockholm, andthrough the early 1970s, held several visiting professorships in the United States. Michelle Alexander — Legal scholar,The Ohio State University; Civil rightsactivist From 1938 to 1940, he was engaged by the Carnegie Corporation of New Yorkto conduct a major study of the social and economic problems of AfricanAmericans, resulting in the groundbreaking publication of An American Dilemma.Other publications during his career also combined his economic research withsociological studies. Danielle Allen — Political philosopher,Institute for Advanced Study Active in Swedish politics, he was elected to the Swedish senate in the mid-1930sand again in the 1940s. From 1945 to 1947, he was Sweden’s Minister of Commerce. Sudhir Venkatesh — Cultural sociologist,Columbia University From 1947 to 1957, he served as the executive secretary of the United NationsEconomic Commission for Europe. James Sidanius — Social psychologist,Harvard University In 1974, he was co-recipient, with Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek, of the NobelPrize in Economics. Mahzarin Banaji — Experimentalpsychologist, Harvard UniversitySources: Karl Gunnar Myrdal»» Encyclopedia Britannica. 2014. “GunnarMyrdal.” l»» Nobelprize.org. 2014. “Gunnar Myrdal –Biographical.” nobelprize.org/nobel htmlSources: Alva Myrdal»» Nobelprize.org. 2014. “Alva Myrdal -Biographical.” nobelprize.org/nobel L:In 1924, he married Alva Reimer. The couple had three children: two daughters,Sissela and Kaj, and one son, Jan.Alva Myrdal (January 31, 1902–February 1, 1986) was aSwedish sociologist and politician who is known for herdisarmament work in the years after World War II and thefollowing decades.CAREER: Active in social welfare issues in Sweden, she co-authored (with her husband)Crisis in the Population Question, published in 1934. A major focus of her work wasthe promotion of social reforms that would expand women’s liberty and supportfamily life. In 1943, as an active and prominent member of the Social Democratic Party, shejoined its committee tasked with drafting a postwar program. From 1949 to 1955, she held two positions at the United Nations (UN), first ashead of its social welfare section, then as head of the United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO’s) social science section. In 1955, she became Sweden’s ambassador to India. In 1962, she was elected to Parliament, and was appointed Sweden’s representativeto the disarmament talks in Geneva, a post she held until 1973. During this periodshe also served as Sweden’s Minister of Disarmament. In 1982, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, which she shared with Mexicandiplomat Alfonso García Robles.DISCUSSION GUIDEAMERICAN DENIAL4

Ralph Bunche (August 7, 1904–December 9, 1971) was anAfrican American social scientist and diplomat, whoseresume is dotted with a string of “firsts.”»» Biography.com. 2014. “Ralph Bunche.”CAREER: He excelled academically, graduating from UCLA as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.»» Nobelprize.org. 2014. “Ralph Bunche – He was the first African American to earn a doctorate in political science (HarvardUniversity, 1934).Sources: Ralph opsisBiographical.” nobelprize.org/nobel prizes/peace/laureates/1950/bunche-bio.html»» PBS.org. “Ralph Bunche: An AmericanOdyssey: The Man and the Myth: Bunche’sFamily Life.” pbs.org/ralphbunche/mythfam.html At Howard University, where he taught in the late 1920s and early 1930s, he helpedto launch the political science department. His work on race relations included the publication of his 1936 book, A World Viewof Race, and his research with Gunnar Myrdal in the American South. From 1947 to 1949, he headed the peace talks between Arabs and Israelis to settlethe conflict in that region. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950, the first African American and first personof color in the world to receive the award. His diplomatic career continued at the UN through the 1950s and 1960s andincluded helping to settle the 1956 Suez crisis as well as conflicts in the Congo(Zaire), Cyprus, and Bahrain.PERSONAL: In 1930, he married Ruth Ethel Harris. The couple had three children: twodaughters, Joan and Jane, and one son, Ralph Jr.WHAT HAS CHANGED, AND WHAT HASN’T?Using the historical era of Myrdal’s study as a foundation for questions aboutpresent-day racial dynamics, the film and this guide focus almost exclusively onblack-white relations while recognizing that racism, oppression, and social controlare not limited to the experiences of black people.Since the publication of An American Dilemma in 1944, there has been a spate ofSupreme Court decisions and federal laws passed that aimed to end discriminationin housing, jobs, education, and other areas. The civil rights movement of the1960s spurred a number of measures aimed at leveling the playing field forAfrican Americans, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal EmploymentOpportunity Commission, and affirmative action in education. Legal segregationhas been outlawed. Black people hold elective office in cities, states, andcongressional districts across the country, and even the highest office in the land:president. Black poverty has declined dramatically, and college enrollment hasgone up more than sevenfold since the late 1950s (The Economist, 2013).In spite of these advances for African Americans, big differences still exist in thesocial and economic conditions of black and white people in the United States.Statistics we learn in the film illustrate this, including the following: Black men make 76 cents on the dollar compared to white men (U.S. Bureau ofLabor Statistics, 2012). In 2006, black and Hispanic people received subprime mortgages at nearly doublethe rates of white people (Economic Policy Institute, 2008).DISCUSSION GUIDEAMERICAN DENIAL5

Sources: What Has Changed, andWhat Hasn’t?»» Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Officeof Justice Programs, U.S. Department ofJustice. 2003. "Prevalence of Imprisonmentin the U.S. Population, 1974-2001.” bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/piusp01.pdf»» Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Officeof Justice Programs, U.S. Department ofJustice. 2012. "Prisoners in 2011." bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p11.pdf»» Center for American Progress. 2012. "TheTop 10 Most Startling Facts about Peopleof Color and Criminal Justice in the UnitedStates." » Economic Policy Institute. 2008. "SubprimeMortgages Are Nearly Double for Hispanicsand African Americans." epi.org/publication/webfeatures snapshots 20080611»» The Economist. 2013. “Black America:Waking Life.” merica-how-has-it»» Gallup. 2014. “Race Relations.” gallup.com/poll/1687/Race-Relations.aspx»» National Center for Education Statistics.2012. "Digest of Education Statistics: Table112: Number and Percentage Distributionof Public School Students Eligible for Freeor Reduced-Price Lunch, by School Level,Locale, and Student Race/Ethnicity: 12 112.asp»» Population Reference Bureau. 2012. "U.S. HasWorld's Highest Incarceration eration.aspx»» U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2012. "LaborForce Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity,2011." bls.gov/cps/cpsrace2011.pdf Roughly 72 percent of black children are in high-poverty schools (National Centerfor Education Statistics, 2012). The United States incarcerates more people than any country in the world(Population Reference Bureau, 2012). The overwhelming majority are people ofcolor (Bureau of Justice Statistics [BJS], 2012). If trends continue, one in threeblack men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime (BJS, 2003; Center forAmerican Progress, 2012).In addition to the disparities described above, there are marked differences in howmany white Americans view the conditions of life for African Americans. In Galluppolls on race relations conducted in 2013, white respondents were significantlymore positive about opportunities and conditions for black people than were blackrespondents (2014). Some results include: When asked about opportunities for black people in jobs, education, and housing,those responding “yes,” that black people have as good of a chance as whitepeople to: get a good job were 74 percent white, 40 percent black; have theirchildren receive a good education were 80 percent white, 55 percent black; andobtain any housing they can afford were 85 percent white, 56 percent black. Approximately 37 percent of black respondents saw racial discrimination as a majorfactor in black people having on average worse jobs, income, and housing thanwhite people, while 60 percent thought it was due to “mostly something else,”compared to 15 percent of white respondents who saw racial discrimination as amajor factor and 83 percent who thought it was due to “mostly something else.” Generally, around half as many white respondents as black respondents feltracial discrimination was a major factor in lower education levels, lower incomelevels, and lower life expectancies for black people in the United States, and ahigher percentage of black people in U.S. prisons. About one-third as many whiterespondents as black respondents felt that racial discrimination was not a factor inthese issues. Less than half as many white respondents as black respondents feel the justicesystem is biased against black people (25 percent to 68 percent). The percentage of black respondents who say they are treated less fairly instores, restaurants, bars, and other entertainment venues, and in dealing with thepolice in such matters as traffic incidents, is generally two to three times higherthan the percentage of white respondents who think black people receive suchunfair treatment.The results of the Gallup survey raise several questions: Why do these disparitiesand differences in perception persist? How can they be addressed? Are whiteAmericans in a state of denial about the realities of black life in the United States?To what extent might prejudice and discrimination operating on an unconsciouslevel be contributing to these dynamics?DISCUSSION GUIDEAMERICAN DENIAL6

WHAT IS UNCONSCIOUS OR IMPLICIT BIAS?“This is the frightening point: Because [implicit bias is] anautomatic and unconscious process, people who engage inthis unthinking discrimination are not aware of the fact thatthey do it.”— David R. Williams, social scientist, Harvard UniversityUnconscious or implicit bias is a core concept that American Denial explores, andcan be complex to comprehend. The below is a “Primer on Implicit Bias” adapteddirectly from the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity’s publicationState of the Science: Implicit Bias Review 2014.Sources: What Is Unconscious orImplicit Bias?»» Blair, I. V. 2002. “The Malleability ofAutomatic Stereotypes and Prejudice.”»» Dasgupta, N. 2013. “Implicit Attitudes andBeliefs Adapt to Situations: A Decade ofResearch on the Malleability of ImplicitPrejudice, Stereotypes, and the SelfConcept.”»» Essence. 2013. “No, You’re Not Imagining It.”»» Greenwald, A. G., and L. H. Krieger. 2006.“Implicit Bias: Scientific ewcontent.cgi?article 1250&context californialawreview»» Kang, J. 2012. “Communications Law: Bitsof Bias.” -studies/implicit-racialbias-across-law»» Kirwan Institute for the Study of Raceand Ethnicity. 2014. “State of the Science:Implicit Bias Review /2014/03/2014-implicit-bias.pdf»» Nosek, B. A, A. G. Greenwald, and M. R.Banaji. 2007. “The Implicit Association Testat Age 7: A Methodological and ConceptualReview.”»» Project Implicit. “FAQs: 8. Is the commonpreference for White over Black in theBlack-White attitude IAT a simple ‘ingroup’preference?” .html#faq18»» Reskin, B. 2000. “The Proximate Causes ofEmployment 87?uid 3739920&uid 2&uid 4&uid 3739256&sid 21105359807403»» Reskin, B. 2005. “Unconsciousness Raising:The Pernicious Effects of Unconscious Bias.”»» Rudman, L. A. 2004. “Social Justice in OurMinds, Homes, and Society: The Nature,Causes, and Consequences of Implicit Bias.”»» Rutland, A., L. Cameron, A. Milne, and P.McGeorge. 2005. “Social Norms and SelfPresentation: Children’s Implicit and ExplicitIntergroup Attitudes.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15784093»» Steele, C. M., and J. Aronson. 1995.Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding,actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. The key word here isunconscious; these biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorableassessments and associations, are activated involuntarily and without anindividual’s awareness or intentional control (Blair, 2002; Rudman, 2004). Instark contrast to explicit or known biases that individuals are aware of and maychoose to conceal for the purposes of social and/or political correctness, implicitbiases operate outside of conscious awareness yet have a tremendous impact onour behaviors and interactions. Internationally acclaimed social scientist DavidR. Williams (Essence, 2013) emphasizes the real-world impact of this implicitcognitive processing when he states, “This is the frightening point: Because[implicit bias is] an automatic and unconscious process, people who engage in thisunthinking discrimination are not aware of the fact that they do it.”Everyone is susceptible to implicit biases (Nosek, Greenwald, and Banaji, 2007;Rutland et al., 2005). Social psychologist Nilanjana Dasgupta (2013) likens implicitbias to an “equal opportunity virus” that everyone possesses, regardless of his/her own group membership. The implicit associations we harbor cause us tohave feelings and attitudes about other people based on characteristics suchas race, ethnicity, age, and appearance. Early life experiences, the media, andnews programming are often-cited origins of implicit associations (Kang, 2012).Dasgupta (2013) writes that exposure to commonly held attitudes about socialgroups permeates our minds even without our active consent through “hearsay,media exposure, and by passive observation of who occupies valued roles anddevalued roles in the community.”We generally tend to hold implicit biases that favor our own ingroup, or those thatwe perceive as belonging to the same “group” as ourselves. This categorization,ingroup vs. outgroup, is often automatic and unconscious (Reskin, 2000).Notably, research has shown that we can hold implicit biases against our ingroup(Greenwald and Krieger, 2006; Reskin, 2005), which American Denial alsodismayingly reveals. For example, Project Implicit, the multi-university researchcollaboration that Mahzarin Banaji co-founded, reports that for the ImplicitAssociation Test for race, 50 percent of African Americans show an implicit blackpreference while the remaining 50 percent show an implicit white preference. Thisis in comparison to when Banaji states in the film that approximately 75 percentof white Americans show an implicit preference for whites. The film also depictsboth the historical and modern versions of psychologists Kenneth and MamieClark’s famous “Doll Test” from the 1940s, in which young black children displayednegative self-perceptions and associated a black doll with “bad” and a white dollwith “good.”“Stereotype Threat and the Intellectual TestPerformance of African SION GUIDEAMERICAN DENIAL7

The concept of stereotype threat is also explored in the film. Attributed to socialpsychologist Claude Steele, stereotype threat refers to a fear of being viewedthrough the lens of a negative stereotype, or the fear of inadvertently confirmingan existing negative stereotype of a group with which one identifies (Steele andAronson, 1995). Studies have shown that these fears often manifest themselves inlower performance by the stereotyped group, even when the stereotyped groupand nonstereotyped group being compared have been statistically matched inability level (Steele and Aronson, 1995). As seen in the social science researchexplored in American Denial, stereotype threat can cause black students toperform more poorly on tests when they are required to identify their race.Sources: A Few Key Characteristics ofImplicit Biases»» Blair, I. V. 2002. “The Malleability ofAutomatic Stereotypes and Prejudice.”»» Dasgupta, N. 2004. “Implicit IngroupFavoritism, Outgroup Favoritism, and TheirBehavioral Manifestations.” psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2004-95301-004»» Dasgupta, N., and A. G. Greenwald. 2001.“On the Malleability of Automatic Attitudes:Combating Automatic Prejudice with Imagesof Admired and Disliked taGwald. JPSP 2001.OCR.pdf»» Greenwald, A. G., and L. H. Krieger. 2006.“Implicit Bias: Scientific ewcontent.cgi?article 1250&context californialawreview»» Kang, J., Judge M. Bennett, D. Carbado, P.Casey, N. Dasgupta, D. Faigman, R. Godsilet al. 2012. “Implicit Bias in the Courtroom.”uclalawreview.org/?p 3576»» Kang, J., and M. Banaji. 2006. “FairMeasures: A Behavioral Realist Revision ofAffirmative Action.” ol94/iss4/4»» Kirwan Institute for the Study of Raceand Ethnicity. 2014. “State of theScience: Implicit Bias Review /2014/03/2014-implicit-bias.pdf»» New York Times. 2014. “Exposing HiddenBias at Google.” biases-atgoogle-to-improve-diversity.html»» Nosek, B. A., F. L. Smyth, J. J. Hansen, T.Devos, N. M. Lindner, K. A. Ranganath,C. T. Smith et al. 2007. “Pervasivenessand Correlates of Implicit Attitudes andStereotypes.” pages.stern.nyu.edu/ dchugh/articles/2007 ERSP.pdf»» Rachlinski, J. J., S. L. Johnson, A. J. Wistrich,and C. Guthrie. 2009. “Does UnconsciousRacial Bias Affect Trial 07/Rachlinski.pdfA FEW KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF IMPLICIT BIASESThe following has been adapted directly from State of theScience: Implicit Bias Review 2014 by the Kirwan Institutefor the Study of Race and Ethnicity: Implicit biases are pervasive and robust (Nosek et al., 2007). Everyone possessesthem, even people with avowed commitments to impartiality such as judges(Rachlinski et al., 2009). The implicit associations we hold arise outside of conscious awareness; therefore,they do not necessarily align with our declared beliefs or even reflect stanceswe would explicitly endorse (Greenwald and Krieger, 2006; Kang et al., 2012). AsMyrdal reflects in the film, “My general impression of human beings is that theyare very confused in their minds. Their public opinions are certainly not theirprivate opinions.” Implicit biases have real-world effects on behavior (Dasgupta, 2004). In the film,Mahzarin Banaji discusses a study she conducted in Boston with a group of doctorsthat revealed that the unconscious tended to actually be a better predictor of actionthan the conscious. Many sectors have taken measures to examine the effectsof implicit bias in their field. For example, Google launched a series of trainingworkshops for its staff that are based on examining unconscious biases, particularlyas they might influence their hiring processes as well as their culture being moreaccepting of gender and racial diversity (New York Times, 2014). The United StatesDepartment of Justice hosted an implicit-bias training for St. Louis, Missouri policedepartments as part of their Collaborative Reform Initiative after the 2014 shootingof Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2014). Implicit biases are malleable; therefore, the implicit associations that we haveformed can be gradually unlearned and replaced with new mental associations(Blair, 2002; Dasgupta and Greenwald, 2001). For example, some research suggeststhat being exposed to people who counter commonly held stereotypes (e.g.,female construction workers, elderly athletes, male elementary school teachers)can help individuals “reprogram” existing associations (Dasgupta and Greenwald,2001; Kang and Banaji, 2006).»» St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 2014. “Feds BringImpartial Police Training to St. LouisDepartments.” /article 83e2174a-5933-514d-bf35ffe9dc88e422.htmlDISCUSSION GUIDEAMERICAN DENIAL8

ROOTS OF RACISM“History does not refer merely, or even principally, to thepast. On the contrary, the great force of history comesfrom the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciouslycontrolled by it in many ways, and history is literallypresent in all that we do.”— James BaldwinSources: Roots of Raciscm»» Science. 2012. “Roots of aryBLACK EXCEPTIONALISMBlack exceptionalism has beendescribed by Michelle Alexanderas “the high profile, highly visible,examples of black success”that are in stark contrast tothe conditions and lives of thevast majority of black people(Huffington Post, 2012). Alexanderposits that black exceptionalismsupports a system of control inthe United States: “Toda

In American Denial, Myrdal’s inquiry into the United States' racial psyche becomes a lens for modern inquiry into how denial, cognitive dissonance, and unrecognized, unconscious attitudes continue to dominate racial dynamics in American life. Animation, reenactments, test research, and