Exploration Of Self : Biases & Political Views

Binna Kandola’s Video

This video really helped develop my thoughts concerning a lot of actions and scenarios that happen on a daily bases, yet almost everyone unconsciously disregards or ignores. First of all, Kandola starts by sharing a story regarding an individual who unintentionally introduced him as ‘Tandoori’ – which is originally an Indian dish – only because he’s an Indian citizen. On a personal level, I could easily relate to this situation, because many foreigners suppose that because I am Egyptian, therefore, I probably go to university via camel rides and still live in an ‘underdeveloped’ and ‘backwards’ world. Thus, I entirely understand that given Egypt’s ancient history, many foreigners tend to believe that Egyptian’s haven’t moved forward. On a separate note, Kandola’s experience was different because having someone confuse his name for an Indian dish, proves that people’s thoughts are able to categorize and separate human beings, through bizarre and twisted manners. Lastly, through this example, I’ve learned the importance of filtering my thoughts and thinking consciously/mindfully. Although this can sometimes be harder to obtain, however, it is essential to understand the influence of our thoughts and through a step-by-step process, we can hopefully stop ourselves from making false assumptions or using stereotypes, nonetheless, even comprehending and noticing when we’ve judged someone would still be considered a step forward. 

‘Unconscious but not random and just that self-awareness is an important first step’ is a quote stated by Kandola during the video. Personally, I believe this is significant because it highlights that almost every decision we make is not random, we make decisions based on how comfortable we feel. Kandola gave the example of sitting next to an Asian in a room full of people with different nationalities and that was an unconscious but definitely random choice. That said, I’ve learned the importance of being out going and out there. Due to all the aspects, which easily separate and categorize human beings, it is essential to focus on the aspects that bring us closer together, even if it means feeling  temporarily uncomfortable. Having conversations with people from different cultures, exploring new areas, experiencing different opportunities are all essential for self-growth and regardless of the circumstances, we must try to defy and reform both the psychical and mental existing limitations between human beings. 

(1) IAT Test – Skin Tone

This was the first test I completed and I was pleased to see that my thoughts before taking the test exactly corresponded to my results on the test. Furthermore, before taking the test I’ve always treated people the same, regardless of their skin color, because I don’t  believe that this should indicate how I feel towards an individual. Yet, this test involved very difficult questions in order to comprehend the different human thoughts, through playing the game at the end to differentiate between people with different skin tones using ‘bad’ and ‘good’ words and quickly replying to the questions, in order to avoid any fabricated answers. After taking this test, I was happy to formally acknowledge that I ‘do not have an automatic preference regarding people with different skin tones’.

(2) IAT Test – Disability 

Moderate automatic preference for for Disabled Persons over Abled Persons’ was the result I received after taking the disability test. I was surprised when I received the results, because I thought I wouldn’t differentiate between people, hence, I thought of my result negatively. However, I later took the time to think and critic my results and ended up thinking of them through a positive lens actually: The fact that I am capable of differentiating between Disabled or Abled people based on their looks isn’t a bad thing at all as long as I don’t categorize them or treat them differently. On a separate note,  if anything this can be considered as a positive aspect because this way I can treat people based on their needs or their areas of weaknesses, thus, I can help others while also providing a space for growth and improvement in any community. This test really helped expand my spectrum of thought because I blamed myself at first, then I thought of all the different ways that this can actually bring good to the world, only if I think consciously and mindfully, which instantly reminded me of Kandola’s wise words.

(3) IAT Test –  Sexuality

Once again, my thoughts before taking the tests were the same as the results of the test. That being said, I ‘do not have an automatic preference regarding straight or gay people’. Furthermore, before taking this test, I’ve always stated that I do not have a concrete opinion concerning this topic of discussion as each situation differs, therefore, my thoughts regarding the topic depend on the different scenarios. This test also involved a lot of tricky questions, which in one way or another, categorize people. However, I was happy to see that I was able to positively implement my thoughts through a positive form and avoided differentiating between distinctive groups of people.

The Political Compass

I’ve never really thought about my political standing…don’t get me wrong, of course I know what I agree and disagree with and I have distinctive perspectives regarding each situation, however, what I meant is that I can’t clearly and ultimately define my political standing, because in the world we live in today…with all the attacks and situations occurring my thoughts regarding the political world can change on a daily basis. However, something such as basic human rights always stay the same, regardless of the situation. Therefore, after taking the test I was surprised to see the result, because the outcome was more Liberal than Conservative, and that surprised me because I’ve never really thought of myself as a Liberal or the type of peaceful, free spirit. Yet, I’ve always put the needs of humans first and have always been opinionated when it comes to basic human rights -regardless of the situation- which is why I believe my result revolved around the Liberal criterion.

Furthermore, I feel like my result was more or less accurate, yet, I still wouldn’t label myself in a specific social standing because I believe any extreme opinion can lead to a misguided outcome sometimes. Although I study and strongly enjoying reading, comprehending and acknowledging what the political field has to offer, I prefer to do this without any emotional strings attached to my opinions, this way I can understand various perspectives and understand the rights from the wrong doings. Additionally, this is why I believe that the desire for basic human rights is important, because regardless of the individual’s view of the state or the economy, human rights will usually be any individual’s first priority and collective aim.



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