Sleeping makes you less racist, according to the Daily Mail

That’s right, you aren’t seeing things, according to the Daily Mail, sleep can make you less racist. This is an actual story, posted on the Mail Online.

Just imagine what was going on at the Daily Mail HQ the day this was published. Everyone is gathered around for the morning briefing, sipping their first cups of coffee of the day, throwing about the usual Daily Mail headline ideas. “How about we write about how sitting down can give you cancer?” the first writer chirps. “I know” says another, “how about we talk about how immigrants are stealing all of our jobs?” This goes on for a while, then one writer stands up and the room goes silent. “I’ve got it guys”, he says, chest pumped full of confidence, “sleeping makes you less racist.” He drops the mic and the crowd goes wild.

I know the Daily Mail and Mail Online are hardly pillars of journalistic integrity, and regularly post cringe and/or laughter inducing headlines, but this one takes the biscuit.


But before you stop reading and run over to the Mail Online to bombard their comments section with abuse, let me hit you with some science. Hot, fresh science.

According to some scientists, it is possible to “unlearn” racial and gender prejudice while you’re having a snooze. Basically, these scientists showed people female faces with words linked to maths or science, then black faces linked with pleasant words. During this time, two sounds were played, one to be associated with the gender pairs and one with the race pairs. Then they took a sleep, and once they entered a deep sleep, one of the sounds was played repeatedly. Once they woke up, their racial or gender prejudice had decreased. Or, they’d started thinking women could be good at maths and science and black people are pleasant. So basically, they’d started thinking like normal human beings.

So there you have it, sleep can make you less racist and/or sexist.

Or, you know, you could just not be a racist or sexist in the first place? Surely that’s simpler. You could just treat everyone equally and not care about what gender someone is or what colour their skin is? Just a thought? Surely that would be easier than going through some weird sleep experiment, right?

It’s funny, science. If you do an experiment, as you do, and display your results in the right way, you can make it seem like any two random things are linked. Simple correlations, that may have no real link to each other outside of this experiment, can be read by people as scientific fact. It’s like that story that came out a while ago saying that science had proved that people who like grilled cheese sandwiches have more sex. Yep, this is another story that actually happened. Like grilled cheese sandwiches? You must be having all the sex then. Good for you.

Looking back at this Mail Online story, I wonder if some people would just briefly read the headline and run straight off to bed to sleep their racism away. People who are secretly racist suddenly start taking unexpected naps. Or maybe you’d have some full blown racists vowing to never sleep again. Picture the scene. Britain First start to feel real anger, putting out yet another ludicrous Facebook status – “YOU CAN’T STOP US EXERCISING OUR RIGHT TO BE RACIST, YOU STUPID SCIENTISTS. WE’LL NEVER SLEEP ANOTHER DAY IN OUR LIVES IF WE HAVE TO. JUST YOU WATCH” – before going back to posting weird, irrelevant, racist memes and generally making fools out of themselves.

Britain First Facebook 1

I think the moral of this story is that people can make “science” appear to prove whatever they want. Also, the Mail Online will never learn, and will keep publishing ridiculous articles that can barely be classed as news. And finally, just don’t be racist, it’s not big, it’s not clever, it’s not cool. The colour of someone’s skin has absolutely zero effect on you or your life, so just give it a rest, yeah?

And if all that fails, go and have a nap. It may not make you less racist, but it’ll keep you from bothering the rest of us with your backwards nonsense.