I recently took a trip to Jerome, Arizona and I visited a small art gallery.
I was so impressed with the work of artist Janie Layers. I fell in love with and identified with a beautiful sculpture she created of a unicorn.
My instant connection with the unicorn reminded me that oftentimes, my being a conservative black woman in America makes me feel like a unicorn.
Blacks in America are often castigated (often by other blacks) with psychological biases such as anchoring bias. Anchoring bias is the practice of over-relying on the first piece of information obtained and using it as the baseline for comparison.
Examples of anchoring bias are: assuming that because a person is black that they must be a democrat.
Or assuming that because a person is a black female, that she must not be married. When we look at people through a shallow lens, we lose the power to understand the perspective of the individual standing before us.
When the former VP Joe Biden, currently running for president said “If you don’t vote for me, then you ain’t black,” he was applying an anchoring bias.
Because of anchoring bias, people are often not given the freedom and liberty to have thoughts and opinions outside of the group that they belong to. When people use anchoring bias they often without thought or care loudly express their opinions in front of others with the assumption that because a person belongs to a certain group, that they must think a certain way.
In our current woke culture of shutting down countering opinions, anchoring biases make it very hard to come out of the closet as a conservative black woman.
I do not espouse the agenda on the left. I am for school choice and equality in education for all students. I do not believe in the agenda of Planned Parenthood, they kill too many black babies. I support the Second Amendment.
When I share my opinions such as these, I am usually met with anchoring biases and subconsciously asked to retract my opinions and submit to group think.
When we assume that a person’s actions and thoughts depend on what “kind” of person they are rather than on the social and environmental forces that influence them, we make it difficult to get to know and understand others in an authentic unobstructed way.
The next time you see a unicorn, remember that unicorns are unique and that every human being is also unique according to their experiences. Each person wants to be heard and wants to live their story without aggression or fear of being silenced.
I can not speak for all black people, but I can speak for myself. I want to live in a free America. I don’t want to be told how I feel based on “anchoring bias” about me. I really much prefer to tell you my story myself.
We talked about it.
Think about it. Don’t assume. Let’s be the change that we want to see in the world.
Editor’s Note: Conay Huizar is a Scottsdale resident and member of the city’s Human Relations Commission.