1) Full disclosure- I've done these tests before. Many times, actually. They always stress me out! :D I was surprised by the result that I had a moderately high bias in the direction of seeing Native Americans as American and White Americans as foreign. Similarly with Asians, except this bias was only slight. Race and skin tone were both a slight bias towards light-skinned and white. I had a really difficult time labeling some of the words as "bad" though. Like failure. I tend to view many bad things as actually good because of the lessons we often learn from bad experiences. Of course, I'm also wondering if I'm just trying to explain my bias away...
2) Jane Elliot is an amazing human. I've seen some of her talks, including when she appeared on Oprah in the 90s and did this same experiment with the audience. What always surprises me about the classroom experiment is first how that could never be done today... although the middle school I work at does something similar called the Hunger Banquet which addresses issues of income inequality. The second is how quick the oppressed turned into the oppressors the next day. It just illustrates the mob-mentality approach and how difficult it is to be an upstander in situations of oppression. I think right now, since the whole world is standing up and saying Black Lives Matter, it's much easier for people who would normally be bystanders or think it was none of our business are standing up, too.
3) Being white, I feel like I don't relate to any of the videos. I don't feel like I have a culture. Catholicism was big in my great grandparents, but not practiced by my parents, so I didn't have the community experience of religion growing up. I'm part Swedish and part Portuguese; my great grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Portugal. I can remember Portuguese being spoken by my grandparents and great aunts and uncles, but I didn't feel part of that world. I felt white. Portugee was a label that was thrown around in my family, and it was clear that was not a good thing to be. Nothing was said about being Swedish. The closest I feel I ever come to having an identity is being a woman and being queer (although, since I'm bi and married to a man, this is not something that people know about me unless I tell them). I wasn't surprised by anything I heard in the videos except for the part about Native Americans and how they have to prove by blood how "native" they are. It was interesting to contrast that with the one drop rule for African Americans. It saddens and angers me that people grow up in this world not feeling good about themselves. And I think we all experience this to some degree. There are always those that society fetishises (sp) and puts up on a pedestal as one to emulate. Add in race and racism and it becomes a heartbreaking herculean effort towards conformity. By challenging stereotypes and biases we can all move towards a world where conformity is not longer the norm and we are able to fly our freak flags with confidence.
4) In my late teens and early 20s, I went through a period of time when I was convinced that there was no racism- that it all had to do with economics and class. (I never examined the reason why communities of color were often poor in the first place...) I knew that as an individual, if you worked hard and played by the rules, things would happen for you. And then I read the book Backlash by Susan Faludi. I began to see how even though I hadn't experienced being held back or discriminated against because of my gender expression, there were systems in place nonetheless. I'm guessing that this is how I've viewed the work of unpacking white supremacy and systems of institutionalized racism. It just made sense. So the concept of white privilege hasn't felt all that threatening to me. Just like I can look at individual men and know that they themselves are not responsible for the low pay I once received in comparison to my male colleagues, I can accept that I am part of a system whereas my life hasn't been made more difficult simply due to the color of my skin. I'm reading White Fragility at the moment and it's reinforcing how I've often felt when I've been witness to the things she speaks of in the book- the defensiveness and the refocusing of the matter at hand on someone's hurt feelings. I've always just been like, "can't you just shut up and listen? Let the ideas percolate a bit before speaking up?" But then again, I'm an introvert, so I'm practiced at the art of just sitting with my shit. Doesn't mean I haven't had similar reactions at times and made similar excuses in my mind. And there are times when I have completely decided that I don't want to deal with the discomfort. And I can make that choice. That's my privilege. I'm trying to recall a time when I reacted to anything while at conferences etc. (I'm an educator, so this work is done often) Since I don't speak up that often, I've never been given feedback that what I've said or done is racist. I'm imagining, since I'm pretty thin-skinned at times, that it would be hard to hear. But I'd like to think that I would hear it, reflect on it, and change.