How do we become conscious about our unconscious bias? What purpose does our unconscious bias serve? What forms our biases: soul, ego, both? What does Christ have to say about biases?
These are all questions swirling in my mind as Justice Ginsburg lies in state at the US Capitol. She is the first woman and the first person of Jewish faith to lie in state at the US Capitol.
In reading more about Justice Ginsburg’s life, I’ve learned that she believed unequivocally in HUMAN equality- yes, she’s best known for supporting women’s equality, but what many don’t realize is that she also stood up for men who were victims of discrimination as well as people of color and those with disabilities. This quote may not be Justice Ginsburg’s most inspiring or memorable quote, nonetheless, it invites deeper reflection on our own unconscious biases about race, ethnicity, class, gender, and more.
As I change diapers, wipe down high chairs, and play with my 9 month old twins, I think about their development and what I’ve recently learned in Netflix’s “Babies” documentary series about how simple biases begin in the first year of life. Babies develop preferences to familiar faces, certain foods, a particular song, or a favorite toy. All harmless, of course- it’s just part of what makes each little baby so unique and fascinating. As their mother, I ponder my role in the development of their biases: How do I role- model self-awareness, openness, and a healthy willingness to explore their biases? How do I raise them to accept ALL of God’s people, believing in equality while respecting and celebrating our differences? How do I raise my three children to love without bias, like Jesus does?
Tears fill my eyes as I watch her casket leave the US Capitol, and I hold tight to this quote reflecting the legacy she leaves behind.
“To make life a little better for people less fortunate than you, that’s what I think a meaningful life is. One lives not just for oneself but for one’s community.”