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Unconscious Bias: A Conscious Confession

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  “The Origin of Love”, Anna Hopkinson 2019. Yesterday, something happened to me that has not happened before. I had to part ways with an editor on moral grounds. The person in question objected to my explicit reveal that the protagonist and his nemesis were conjoined twins in a former life. The reason? Apparently, two pairs of conjoined twins in one story “stretched credulity” and raised distracting questions about “who gets to move the limbs etc.” Couldn’t they just be normal twins or best friends? No, they couldn’t. I felt honour bound to say these comments sounded prejudiced, and I couldn’t accept the edits. I’m sure this editor did not intend to be prejudiced. It was unconscious bias. * This morning, I watched David Harewood’s documentary for the BBC, “Why is Covid Killing People of Colour?” It contained some shocking statistics; not least the grossly disproportionate number of Pakistani people living in deprived areas (something particularly relevant to my home town of Bradford).