full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Jennifer L. Eberhardt: How racial bias works -- and how to disrupt it

Unscramble the Blue Letters

When my eldest son was 16 years old, he doeesivcrd that when white people look at him, they feel fear. Elevators are the worst, he said. When those doors close, people are trapped in this tiny space with someone they have been taught to associate with dgnear. My son sneses their discomfort, and he smiles to put them at ease, to calm their feras. When he speaks, their bodies raelx. They breathe easier. They take pruesale in his cadence, his dotiicn, his word choice. He snudos like one of them. I used to think that my son was a natural extrovert like his father. But I realized at that moment, in that conversation, that his smile was not a sign that he wanted to connect with would-be strangers. It was a tmaialsn he used to protect himself, a survival skill he had honed over thousands of eatveolr rides. He was learning to accommodate the tension that his skin color generated and that put his own life at risk.

Open Cloze

When my eldest son was 16 years old, he __________ that when white people look at him, they feel fear. Elevators are the worst, he said. When those doors close, people are trapped in this tiny space with someone they have been taught to associate with ______. My son ______ their discomfort, and he smiles to put them at ease, to calm their _____. When he speaks, their bodies _____. They breathe easier. They take ________ in his cadence, his _______, his word choice. He ______ like one of them. I used to think that my son was a natural extrovert like his father. But I realized at that moment, in that conversation, that his smile was not a sign that he wanted to connect with would-be strangers. It was a ________ he used to protect himself, a survival skill he had honed over thousands of ________ rides. He was learning to accommodate the tension that his skin color generated and that put his own life at risk.

Solution

  1. pleasure
  2. sounds
  3. talisman
  4. discovered
  5. fears
  6. elevator
  7. relax
  8. senses
  9. danger
  10. diction

Original Text

When my eldest son was 16 years old, he discovered that when white people look at him, they feel fear. Elevators are the worst, he said. When those doors close, people are trapped in this tiny space with someone they have been taught to associate with danger. My son senses their discomfort, and he smiles to put them at ease, to calm their fears. When he speaks, their bodies relax. They breathe easier. They take pleasure in his cadence, his diction, his word choice. He sounds like one of them. I used to think that my son was a natural extrovert like his father. But I realized at that moment, in that conversation, that his smile was not a sign that he wanted to connect with would-be strangers. It was a talisman he used to protect himself, a survival skill he had honed over thousands of elevator rides. He was learning to accommodate the tension that his skin color generated and that put his own life at risk.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
racial profiling 4
black people 3
black student 3
add friction 3
police departments 3
police officers 2
student misbehaves 2
curb racial 2
asked users 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
black student misbehaves 2
curb racial profiling 2

Important Words

  1. accommodate
  2. associate
  3. bodies
  4. breathe
  5. cadence
  6. calm
  7. choice
  8. close
  9. color
  10. connect
  11. conversation
  12. danger
  13. diction
  14. discomfort
  15. discovered
  16. doors
  17. ease
  18. easier
  19. eldest
  20. elevator
  21. elevators
  22. extrovert
  23. father
  24. fear
  25. fears
  26. feel
  27. generated
  28. honed
  29. learning
  30. life
  31. moment
  32. natural
  33. people
  34. pleasure
  35. protect
  36. put
  37. realized
  38. relax
  39. rides
  40. risk
  41. senses
  42. sign
  43. skill
  44. skin
  45. smile
  46. smiles
  47. son
  48. sounds
  49. space
  50. speaks
  51. strangers
  52. survival
  53. talisman
  54. taught
  55. tension
  56. thousands
  57. tiny
  58. trapped
  59. wanted
  60. white
  61. word
  62. worst
  63. years