Three obstacles to racial justice and equality of opportunity:

(1)Confirmation bias. People see what they expect to see. If they have grown up around people who assumed black people were less intelligent and less motivated than white ones, they will look for--and find--evidence of those undesirable qualities in nearly every non-white candidate they see.

(2)Just-world beliefs. People want to think--despite all evidence--that the universe makes sense and life is fair. The possibility that their privileged lives might be the product of good luck rather than merit, or that poverty might reflect oppression rather than lack of effort, upsets their notion of a good god with a perfect plan.

(3)Comfort zones. People who make hiring decisions may look at lots of data, but in the end they tend to go with the comfortable choice. And for the vast majority of those people, their comfort zones are populated with mediocre white men.

IMO the problem isn't computer algorithms. It's the inertia of the status quo and the psychology of the privileged few.

Retired psychologist, wordsmith, teacher, MFA candidate. Buy me coffee:

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