In 2016, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump famously proclaimed: “I am the least racist person you have ever met.” That statement could, of course, be an outright falsehood. But it could also be an example of a prideful man who is motivated to lie to himself.

New research points to a third possibility. It finds that a lot of people underestimate their inherent racism and sexism because they never developed the mental skills required to recognize their own prejudices.

“Egalitarianism can be conceptualized as a skill, or type of confidence,” write Keon West of the University of London and Asia Eaton of Florida International University. Looked at in that way, avoiding racism and sexism “is not merely a matter of willingness, but also a matter of ability.”….

Pacific Standard Magazine