Who's to Blame

This is what unconcious racial bias looks like.

You are out for a long run on a Sunday afternoon.

You are running on a narrow sidewalk and up ahead are two young women, tall, with long blonde hair walking abreast. They are both looking at their phones.

You think they will see you coming but you are not sure. There is no room on the sidewalk for you to run by if they don't see you.

Your only option is to jump into the street on a blind corner into oncoming traffic.

You hope they see you. You are almost upon them.

The one on the right, in the space you would use to pass, looks up. You think she sees you.

But she doesn't move to make room for you and instead bends her head to her phone right as you try to run past.

Your shoulders hit. She is taller and heavier than you. You take the hit with your whole left side but keep going.

She grabs her shoulder and screams that you are a bitch. You keep running and hold up a middle finger to acknowledge her.

This is not the unconscious racial bias part.

You are running a few hundred feet down the road after this interaction when a white man on a road bike rides across the car lanes to approach you. He calls you a bitch for hitting the girls while biking by you.

You think this can't be happening. He wasn't even around, you hit only one of them, and he's assumed you are the problem.

"She couldn't be bothered to look up from her iphone!" you say while running looking over your shoulder.  This gives him pause. You can see that he suddenly realizes he doesn't have the full story. He pedals away without comment.

You turn back to the road ahead.  The unfairness causes a surge of adrenaline through your whole body. You want to cry, but you do what you always do - you keep running.