It’s well known that a California government committee is demanding $1.2 million “reparations” payments to qualifying black people. Yet it’s also worth noting that the committee has demanded that all California medical schools implement so-called “anti-bias training.” It’s a clear-cut attempt to make divisive and discriminatory ideology an even bigger part of the Golden State’s medical education system.
The committee’s demands are explicit:
To address discrimination against African Americans in health care, the task force recommends the legislature add the completion of an evidence-based anti-bias training and an assessment based on such training to the graduation requirements of all medical schools and any other medical care provider programs in California receiving state funding.
In addition to doctors and nurses, the list of educators who would be covered includes “mental health professional programs (psychologists, Ph.D, or Psy.D), masters-level programs in psychology or therapy (for counselors, clinicians, and therapists), and programs for clinical social workers.” The committee also wants to extend bias training to dentists.
The problem is that anti-bias training is itself profoundly biased. It is grounded in the idea that white and Asian people are inherently racist and oppressors, while people of other races (especially black and brown people) are inherently victims. This worldview is discriminatory, and in the context of medical education, anti-bias training pushes future doctors to treat people differently based on skin. That’s racist – and wrong.
The most common methods of bias training, such as the so-called “implicit association test,” have been shown to be deeply flawed. Even its creators have acknowledged that it doesn’t work. California should be steering clear of anti-bias training, which is indefensible, ineffective, and deeply insulting to people of all races. It’s one more reason why the state’s reparations committee shouldn’t be taken seriously.
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