Racial Examination of Conscience by Mark Schmidt

  1. Do I interact with people who are different from me? 
  2. Do I read books or stories written by people of different ethnic or religious heritage than myself? 
  3. Have I taken the time to listen to the voices of others who don’t look like me or have a different background and life experience than me? 
  4. Have I ever said the following phrases or something similar: “she’s pretty for a black girl,” “he’d be handsome if he wasn’t so dark,” “that little girl would be cute if her mom did her hair,” or made other judgments on beauty and acceptance? 
  5. Have I ever asked someone about their heritage or ethnicity by asking “so, what are you?”
  6. Have I ever seen someone on the street and made a judgement based on how they dress, how their hair is styled, how they walk, how they speak?
  7. Have I ever participated in or laughed at jokes or comments that belittle or denigrate people who don’t look like me or practice a different faith than me?
  8. Do I blame the victims who suffer poverty and/or oppression for their plight?
  9. Do I try to come up with excuses for things I do or say that are perceived as racist or harmful by others?
  10. Do I dismiss the concerns or observations of others as simply being “overly sensitive” or being “PC” [politically correct or ”woke”]?
  11. Do I ask someone that I am an acquaintance with, in social or professional settings, to speak for their entire culture?
  12. Do I use a friend or family member who is of a different background than my own to “prove” that I have said or done nothing wrong?
  13. Have I ever said “I’m not racist, but…” Do I always speak to others from different backgrounds with respectful tone and language?
  14. Do I automatically associate negative attributes to an entire group of people?
  15. Do I use dehumanizing language about others, referring to them as “thugs, animals, illegals,” etc.
  16. Do I categorize other ethnicities into groups like “good” and “troublesome”?