This high school grad's Obama joke revealed something powerful about unconscious bias.

A high school valedictorian played a joke on his classmates that revealed a larger truth about the implicit biases we can all experience.

Like most valedictorians, Ben Bowling said he wanted to share something inspiring with his classmates. So he offered up the following quote, which he attributed to Donald Trump: "Don't just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table."

The crowd of students, family, and friends reportedly erupted into applause.


Then Bowling revealed a twist about the quote: "Just kidding. That was Barack Obama."

It was a funny moment, but the audience response was telling.

Bowling says he was just making a harmless joke. However, the loud applause he initially received became much more muted when he correctly attributed it to Obama.

"I just thought it was a really good quote," he said. "Most people wouldn't like it if I used it, so I thought I'd use Donald Trump's name."

To some people that might seem like a stinging rebuke to political bias from conservatives. But the truth is, there are plenty of examples of people across the political spectrum making the same mistake.

These moments of bias are not limited to one group or one political party.

For instance, in May, several progressive political influencers on Twitter posted an image of a child being detained by border officials and placed the blame squarely on Trump. But the photo had been taken in 2014, when Obama was president.

Some people deleted the tweet while others doubled down saying they were still right even if they were technically wrong. Unfortunately, that enabled partisans on the other side, including Trump himself, to deflect from the real issue and instead turn it into a "gotcha" moment.

It was awkward, but the main takeaway of these kinds of situations is that things are often complex. And when we let our partisan instincts take over, we can lose sight of the actual issue.

Unconscious bias is a real thing, and it can affect all of us.

It affects how people view others in terms of race, gender, sexuality, age, ability, class, and more — even if we're not aware of it. Becoming more aware of our own biases can help us look at each other and the world in more honest and constructive ways.

Even if in this instance Bowling was making a lighthearted joke, he ended up revealing a larger truth about how people filter reality through their own embedded biases.

It might be uncomfortable to realize how we can selectively see the truth of the world around us, but getting to know — and hopefully work past — our own prejudices is an educational opportunity worth getting schooled on.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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