What does cognitive dissonance mean when it comes to Racism?

I'm supposed to write an essay about Cognitive Dissonance and how it relates to racism and I have writers block not knowing what to write...

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One Answer to “What does cognitive dissonance mean when it comes to Racism?”

  1. nannini says:

    It means that people will generally feel uncomfortable when their ideas about race conflict with their experience, and they will need to rationalize the conflict somehow. A common example is when someone is unapologetically racist, by has friends of a different race. This happens more often than you’d expect. People learn to think of people they know as exceptions, so they can continue to stereotype an entire race. I knew one white man who claimed that black people were all criminals, and yet had black friends who he both liked and trusted. If you asked how that made sense he said something like “oh, I don’t mean her”. Stereotypes will always end up conflicting with reality sooner or later, people either give them up or learn to justify them.