Stop. Think about your opportunities. And compare them to those of people around you. Do you think you’re better off?
A new campaign from MTV asks you to “Look Different.”
For nearly the last year, MTV has been closely studying millennials’ perceptions of subjects like fairness, equality, privilege and discrimination — with a special emphasis on race. And in response to the results, the channel is prescribing new on-air programming, social media reach, innovative digital tools, celebrity engagement and much more with its “Look Different” campaign.
To combat biases, MTV will kick off its campaign with initiatives like the upcoming “Untitled Whiteness Project,” a documentary-style program that will explore how millennials navigate diversity and what it means to be a young white person in America in 2014. Also, starting Wednesday (April 30) are PSAs throughout the day dealing with microagressions, which are small indignities and everyday insults used between different races.
On May 7 at 11:30 p.m. ET, the night before the 2014 NFL Draft, MTV will follow two openly gay football players as they struggle to come out to their teammates and families in “True Life: I’m a Gay Athlete.”
Here’s what MTV found in their study with millennials:
1. 64% of young whites believe having a black President demonstrates that people of color now have the same opportunities as white people
2. 65% of young people of color feel white people have more opportunities than racial minority groups — a 26 point difference from young whites (39% agree)
3. 9 in 10 believe that everyone should be treated the same, no matter what their race
4. In addition to the three facts above, this subject also breaks along ideological lines, as 68% of those who identify as Democrats believe whites have more opportunities vs. just 40% of those who identify as Republicans
5. Further, 36% of young whites believe the gains people of color have made in recent years have come at the expense of white people
6. 58% of respondents believe that as their generation moves into leadership roles, racism will become less and less of an issue
7. 3/4 of young whites believe it’s never fair to give preferential treatment to one race over another, regardless of historical inequalities (65% for young people of color)
8. 58% of respondents — including 63% of young whites and 52% of young people of color — believe people of color use racism as an excuse more than they should
On Bias & Microaggressions
9. 94% of those surveyed see bias — defined as “treating someone differently, and often unfairly, because they are a member of a particular group” — in their lives
10. 8 in 10 say they know someone who is biased, yet 59% deny they are personally biased;
60% say they have worked hard to eliminate their biases
11. 9 in 10 believe small examples of bias can add up to major problems for society
12. Further, more than half (53%) believe “bias is a serious problem, but it is mostly hidden”
13. 8 in 10 believe bias is at the root of a lot of the problems facing the world today
14. 61% of respondents have been the target of bias, with those most affected including LGBT (85%), people of color (69%) and women (64%)
15. Half of young people of color feel that “individual microaggressions, when added up, have had a serious effect on me”
16. 60% of young people of color — including 74% of young Asian Americans — are often asked about their ethnic background vs. just 19% of young whites
On Equality & Solutions
17. Nearly 3 in 4 millennials (73%) believe that we should talk more openly about bias and that “having more open, constructive conversations about bias will help people become less prejudiced”
18. However, a majority of respondents — 54% — feel “it’s hard to have respectful conversations about bias.” Most millennials (52%) say they never or rarely talk about it and only 20% are very comfortable discussing the subject
19. 78% believe that everyone has a responsibility to help tackle bias; 65% wish they knew more about how to address bias when they see it
An executive summary and the full study are available at research.lookdifferent.org.
More “Look Different” Features
The Implicit Bias Quiz features some of the biggest names in pop culture and asks users to pair the artists’ photos with words like “joy,” “peace,” “terrible” and “hurt.” The test has a tendency to reveal automatic associations that are quite surprising — and can be unsettling.
You can do a Racial Bias Cleanse, a seven day “de-biasing” regimen that delivers scientifically grounded, daily exercises to help people unlearn biases that have built up over years.
When you visit LookDifferent.org, you’ll be tested to a feature called Snap Judgment, where you’ll be challenged to your assumptions about who is a CEO, immigrant, mayor, Harvard Law School grad, hip hop dancer or mathematician.
MTV has convened a world-class coalition of expert partners to help steer the “Look Different” campaign, including the Anti-Defamation League, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Council on Contemporary Families, Define American, GLAAD, GLSEN, Kirwan Institute, NAACP, National Council of La Raza, National Partnership for Women & Families, Project Implicit, Southern Poverty Law Center and The Trevor Project.