Children and Racism

Do you have children? Particularly small children? Are they racist? No? Are you sure? New studies coming out say that small children often exhibit racism even when their parents are not overtly racist. Read more on Change.org.

What can parents do? Talk to their children openly about skin color, racism, how skin color does not change how smart or pretty someone is, and don’t praise lighter-skinned individuals to the exclusion of darker-skinned individuals.

These are hard conversations to have. I was raised to believe that it was enough just not to mention the color of someone’s skin, and but I now realize that it is not true. We need to talk about it. Racism will not go away as long as skin color is the elephant in the room.

It’s a difficult balance, one I’m not sure I always strike. But I think it’s better to talk about it than not, better to raise the ideas, than to ignore it and hope racism just goes away. As long as we aren’t talking, racist people can believe that everyone thinks as they do.

Please, share your perspective in the comments. They are moderated, so don’t worry if yours doesn’t show up right away, it hasn’t gone away.

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12 Comments

  1. great article which caught my eye. this is something that both my wife & i feel more strongly about then any other subject, we abhor racism. you are either nice or not colour has no bearing on this. Our children have so many friends from all different cultures and have been brought up together this way from as early as nursery that it means nothing to them, people are people full stop

    Reply
  2. I think we should teach children to respect every human being. thats what my father taught all of us when we were just babies- he said it in such a way that it stayed.

    Reply
  3. http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/06/05/poetry-awards-4-week-21-participants-and-fresh-poets/

    three poetry awards,
    two general awards.
    Happy Saturday!
    Thank you for attending and leading!

    Happy Saturday!

    Reply
  4. I have two kids,
    they have friends of all kinds…
    no problem!

    Reply
  5. http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/lets-send-love-2-viola-and-ibok-today/

    Please help send hugs and good wishes to Viola and Ibok…
    thanks a ton!
    :)

    Reply
  6. First of all thanks for stopping by my blog and for your comments.

    I saw this special on TV. I was absolutely shocked. Great article and advice. But I agree, parents should definitely have this talk with their children. We all have to talk about these things. Once it’s out in the open it takes away the hold it has on us.

    Reply

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