Author Topic: KIDS AND RACE - The price of your silence  (Read 3627 times)

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Offline George

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KIDS AND RACE - The price of your silence
« on: September 10, 2009, 09:08:20 PM »
This story was in our local free paper.

Tampa Bay Times 09/08/2009, Page T022
By Meredith Simons

Most Americans want their children to grow up to be “colorblind” when it comes to race. As a result, many parents, particularly white ones, don’t discuss race with their children at all. But research demonstrates that babies as young as six months can recognize racial differences. And as they get older, kids start mentally categorizing people based on their race, whether they’ve been taught to by their parents or not.

In fact, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, the authors of the book NurtureShock (now No. 24 on Amazon. com’s bestseller list), argue that parents’ silence on the question may be exacerbating the problem.

When researchers asked 100 white kids between the ages of 5 and 7 about their attitudes on race, they found that even those raised by parents who professed “colorblindness” were far from colorblind themselves. What’s more, 14 percent of them said their parents didn’t like black people, and 38 percent said they didn’t know how their parents felt about black people.

The researchers believe parents’ self-imposed silence on race created a space in which kids could draw their own (and often wrong) conclusions about their parents’ attitudes and race in general. But talking to kids about race in concrete terms changed children’s attitude on skin color significantly and quickly. [end]

My comments:  Obviously, talk to your children about race relations and you can teach them to be colorblind.  If you don't talk to them, then someone else will and that person could teach them to be prejudiced.  Don't rely on others to do what you should do as a parent.  Doing nothing is not an option as a parent.  Don't let the schools handle it.  What if their grandparents or their friends are prejudiced?  You don't want your kids to learn to be prejudiced do you?  Teach your kids your values and don't leave it up to someone else.  That's good advice for almost any topic or situation. [I'm patting myself on the back for that free advice! LOL!  ;D ]
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