Young Children Doing Racism: A Newsweek Analysis Misses the Big Picture

The recent issue of Newsweek has an interesting article by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, award-winning science journalists, on some psychological research on children and racial matters, apparently an excerpt from a new book NurtureShock.

The psychological studies cited provide revealing data, yet they and this Newsweek article are written substantially from a white frame. Physical science and social science writers and researchers often seem to have trouble in seeing the larger context of systemic racism and its white racial frame as they assess even research findings on racial matters. The model of society implicit in most mainstream research on racial issues assumes we live in a basically healthy society where racial “prejudices” are just a “problem” that is matter of individual frailties and modest remedial actions.

The Newsweek article begins with a description of research at the Children’s Research Lab at the University of Texas, in liberal Austin, Texas. There researcher Birgitte Vittrup recruited 100 white families with children 5-7 years old. She first asked the children questions about “How many White people are nice?” and “How many Black people are nice?” (and similar questions with other adjectives), with options from “almost all” to “none” offered to children. Then she split the group into thirds. One parental group was asked to show multiculturally themed videos to their children. Another group was asked to show these videos and then talk with their children about interracial friendships using a checklist of points. The third group was given the checklist and asked to talk with their children for several days, but with no videos.

One surprise happened immediately:

Five families in the last group abruptly quit the study. Two directly told Vittrup, “We don’t want to have these conversations with our child. We don’t want to point out skin color.” Vittrup was taken aback—these families volunteered . . . . every parent was a welcoming multiculturalist, embracing diversity. But according to Vittrup’s entry surveys, hardly any of these white parents had ever talked to their children directly about race. …

Very revealing data. Most parents wanted their children to be color blind, but they were not in her testing.

Asked how many white people are mean, these children commonly answered, “Almost none.” Asked how many blacks are mean, many answered, “Some,” or “A lot.” . . . . Vittrup also asked all the kids a very blunt question: “Do your parents like black people?” Fourteen percent said outright, “No, my parents don’t like black people”; 38 percent of the kids answered, “I don’t know.”

And other negative views of black Americans. Very likely, the kids have learned by observing parental actions, and from their peers, but this is not discussed in the article. The writers note that the three groups of children tested much the same in racial attitudes, and the researcher found no significant effects from the different parental teaching conditions. However, studying the parent diaries revealed that the parents did not use the checklist much and actually only gave vague instructions to the kids about “everyone being equal.” The writers conclude that parents fear that talking about race will highlight it for the children and make them see racial differences. They then ask

The question is, do we make it worse, or do we make it better, by calling attention to race?

A rather naïve way of putting it. Denial of racism is never a way to solve it. But these data show that that even liberal white parents do not talk much about racial matters with their children. And then these writers go to make an assertion about our era, and cite some more interesting research:

The election of President Barack Obama marked the beginning of a new era in race relations in the United States—but it didn’t resolve the question as to what we should tell children about race. ….. For decades, it was assumed that children see race only when society points it out to them. However, child-development researchers have increasingly begun to question that presumption. They argue that children see racial differences as much as they see the difference between pink and blue—but we tell kids that “pink” means for girls and “blue” is for boys. “White” and “black” are mysteries we leave them to figure out on their own. . .. Within the past decade or so, developmental psychologists have begun a handful of longitudinal studies to determine exactly when children develop bias. Phyllis Katz, then a professor at the University of Colorado, led one such study—following 100 black children and 100 white children for their first six years. She tested these children and their parents nine times during those six years, with the first test at 6 months old. . . . When the kids turned 3, Katz showed them photographs of other children and asked them to choose whom they’d like to have as friends. Of the white children, 86 percent picked children of their own race.

Interesting data from Katz suggesting clearly that there is no “post-racial society.” These writers show here a naïve and white-framed notion about Obama bringing a new era. And here is another sentence toward the end of their piece:

Over the course of our research, we heard many stories of how people—from parents to teachers—were struggling to talk about race with their children.

Clearly they mean white parents here. Indeed, African American parents have to talk substantially with their children about race as a matter of course, and survival.

Moreover, sociologists like Debi Van Ausdale and me, among others, have at least since the 1990s shown very clearly that children as young as 3-4 years old have very substantial understandings of racial matters. Such data clearly reveal that children see “race” without it being pointed out formally to them. For example, we show in our research that young white children know how to use the N-word, and can explain what it means. They also show much knowledge that “white” means power and privilege. White children learn the white racial frame from parents and the media, but they learn perhaps most from each other in children’s groups and networks, the latter not mentioned in this article. We found that children are quite active actors in their own networks in making and using white-racist ideas and terms, that they are not just little mirrors of what they see adults doing. There is no mention in this psychologically oriented article of the structural and group realities in which these children live and learn–and indeed that this research is now at least a decade old. There is nothing new here.

Certainly, a structural and systemic analysis is very necessary to understand how children learn racist views and racist framing in this society. A structural analysis is required that sets young children in the larger family, peer group, community, regional, and national contexts where there is still systemic racism in every major nook and cranny of society. One is hard pressed to find any significant part of this society where white racism, individual and institutional, is not significant or widespread. This is true for children like everyone else.


  1. ellen says

    Fascinating post. Just a few notes here about how one white family{ours} addressed the race issue.
    We live in a mostly white neighborhood. We’ve lived here for 23 years. All the children basically grew up together..which is what happens when you stay in a neighborhood this long. There is a black family 2 houses down from me. There is another black family 5 houses down from me. My children{ and all the other white kids that my kids played with} literally grew up with the 2 little boys and 1 girl in these black families. They were Great Kids! Everybody liked them. They came to play/sleepovers/barbecues at our home. Our kids and adults went to play/sleepovers/barbcues at their homes.
    Now, I have to say, that there were some White Kids in the neighborhood who were usually in some kind of trouble. I did not allow my kids to hang around them because they were into shoplifting and stealing hubcaps. {yeah..raise two a little! lol}
    Anyway, I think the fact that my kids played with black kids when they were little had an effect on their choice of friends as teenagers and through college. They both {a boy and a girl} had mostly white friends with some black friends as teenagers. They certainly seemed to feel the same affection/comfort level with both races.
    What’s the point? I think in my case, it was about individual family values. If the parents of the kids raised the children to be kind and honest..fine with me! Those were the type of kids I wanted my kids to associate with.
    However, would I allow my children to play in my city’s public housing projects? I’m being honest: No. Why? Because a great deal of crime occurs in the public housing projects in our city. It’s just dangerous. Period. I would Never have felt safe “dropping them off” at anyone’s dwelling in these neighborhoods. The housing projects have a reputation for drug dealing and violence in the particular city where I live.
    My kids do not make racist jokes. They are now adults, and still maintain friendships with both blacks and whites. We did speak with them about racism when they were in elementary school, mostly to tell them never to join in the laughter that some people make after telling a racist joke. We would say, “Our friends so-and-s0 would be hurt if they heard mean things like that. It’s not fair to them is it? How would you feel if someone spoke that way about you?”
    As adults and teenagers, I’ve had obviously more serious discussions about race with my children. They seem to genuinely judge people by their character. They both voted for Obama by the way. My daughter is an especially hard-line Lefty {she hates that gays can’t marry in some states!} My son tends to be more middle of the road politically.
    All comments welcome. Not the most original story {I know..Yawn} but that’s what we did.

  2. This is off-topic but if you ever want to investigate racism in graduate schools, I think it could be a rich topic…

    Macon D of stuffwhitepeopledo recently stated “whenever white people congregate these days, high concentrations of racial homogeneity are just pure coincidence.” …

    I am a graduate student at a major biological “research institution” in New York City. You wouldn’t know this is a graduate/research program if you stumbled on campus. This exclusive, highly maintained campus feels more like Sandals resort with all of the young upper-middle class white or white male/asian female couples roaming around hand-in-hand during the evenings. Groups of white or white-and-asian students roam with tennis rackets on their way to the on-campus court. Or they congregate in packs at the on-campus student lounge with a personal bartender. Or the white and asian students have parties in the hotel-like student lounge of the dorms.

    Most of the groups of people you see dotted around campus are all-white or white-and-asian. The campus is mostly white with a substantial number of asians but has a serious dearth of black or latino students–and I almost never see the other black students.

    You wouldn’t believe the amounts of implicit racism I’ve experienced here. Twice while coming on campus I’ve been stopped in a hostile and condescending manner by newly-hired guards who, having seen my ID, told me that I am ‘ok’ since I was a groundskeepers or a day worker for the animal facility whose staff is mostly black and latino.

    Coming to my dorm, almost every six months someone gives me a hostile look in the foyer as if I’m some intruder. When I attend lectures, I meet the same hostility until I ask a serious academic question of the lecturer.

    When someone new comes to my lab, they’ll automatically either intentionally ignore me or attempt to condescend to me. Scientific sales reps will intentionally ignore me and proceed to the white guys who are also just students. Believe it or not, this one white girl who rotated in the lab would speak to me in a passive-aggressive/patronizing manner. And almost everyone in the lab, despite my being there for years and attempting to form working relationships with them, never come to me casually or attempt to have conversations (work or otherwise) with me unless I initiate the conversation and never at the casual or intelligent level they have with each other.

    I noticed the other two black guys, who are accomodationists (and overrepresented with respect to the real dearth of black students on campus), also attempt to have conversations with the white people in the lab but they are always the ones to initiate the conversation.

    After five years of being here, the only thing I’ve learned is that white and asian people are the only people competent enough to be scientists.

    A maintenance staff guy wrote an article in the student rag praising the university’s president in light of the great hall of European philosophers like Kant and Hume and the great European scientific tradition. Additionally, the sense of ownership and privilege among other students is just incredible.

    I’m beginning to think that biomedical science is almost a white supremist enterprise by default. Science is supposed to be a collaborative endeavor with a free collegial exchange of information and support, but when people are constantly patronizing or condescending to you, such is a psychological assault informing you that you are inconsequential, “tolerated” or unwelcomed. I read a report somewhere that around half of black graduate science students drop out of their programs. If they meet the same kinds of hostility or implied white supremacy I meet, small wonder.

    I’ve especially felt a sort of patronizing attitude right off the bat from many of the white female students on campus. White women, with the help of affirmative action, have made great gains in both scientific student bodies and faculty, but you would still be wont to find black faculty and only a little more lucky in locating black students in scientific graduate programs across the country. That aside, most of my interactions with white females on campus has been unnecessarily hostile and patronizing.

    There are two other black male students who happen to be in my lab; they’re very sycophantic towards the white male students, which surprised me. They’re always kissing up, laughing nervously, you know that trying to court your attention laugh, around these other white males who are just graduate students like them. They prick up their minds and attempt to engage the se white guys with crisp, intelligent conversation. They’ll go to the white guys equally whenever they have a problem as if they are the fount of knowledge, (I’ve never seen them approach any of the white girls or the Indian guy when they have problems, but they will approach them for prick-up-your-mind ‘casual’ conversation, more than they give me [or each other]). When explicitly in the company of the white guys (which never seems to be together with each other), they intentionally ignore me or will attempt to condescend to me. It’s irritating to watch white guys no better than the average black guy get their egos stroked day after day by white girls and sycophantic blacks while they also slap themselves on the back. It’s not like they’re especially brilliant or that this science is just so difficult that only superiorly intelligent white supremists like James Watson can do it.

    I don’t even want to get into the student listserve conversation I had to observe in the wake of James Watson’s comments back in 2007. Some of them practically endorsed the man with statements like “science is about objective data, not political correctness” or “what does giving a writing prize for his autobiography have to do with him making statements that any old man would make”?

  3. distance88

    Thanks for this post, Joe. I read this article a few days ago and was hoping that it would be discussed here. And while the usual claptrap about the election of Obama and how it was supposed to lead to some post-racial utopia made me roll my eyes, I did like some of the discussion/research regarding how taking a ‘colorblind’ approach to race is really detrimental–admittedly nothing new, except I don’t usually see articles like this in the MSM.
    While it wasn’t one of the main themes of the article/research, it did show that liberal, boilerplate, colorblind mantras such as “all men are created equal” and “skin color shouldn’t matter” are way too general to have any positive impact (especially among children) and are really just excuses to avoid having honest discussions about race and the existing racial hierarchy. Perhaps Joe (or anybody else) could direct me to other social science research that examines this whole colorblind theme (and its consequences) among whites?
    I also found it interesting (but sadly, not really surprising) that the families of color involved in the study were 4-5 times more likely to have frank discussions about race with their children than the white families were.


    Ellen, I was one of those children that lived in the “housing projects, and played with mostly black children growing up. Now, I don’t want to disrespect what you are saying, but I have to say this because most of the people that live in those housing projects are poor. It’s been my experience that “It’s not a crime, at least, I don’t think it’s a crime to be poor, yet”. The housing projects of today, however, are a lot different then the housing projects of yesterday. The fact that your children played with black children was because those black people that lived in your neighborhood were apart of your social economic class. If those people did not have the money to be in your neighbor chances are your children would not have played with those black children period. Now, with that being said, the reason my children are more prone and accepting of different cultures was because of my experience living within those very same projects that everyone thinks are drug ridden, infested with crime, and are viewed as the low lives of society, which certainly is not true. In fact, I have more respect, and listen to the people that live in the projects then most of the NARCISSIST that run our country today. I have 3 boys, one of which has many friends from a variety of cultures, another son who is the medical profession, and another son who will hopefully, find a solution, to help all of mankind because of his field of study, and hopefully, before capitalism corrupts his mind. All three of them have the simple value that I’ve drilled into their heads from a very early age, which is “respect” for the lives of all human beings. I often wonder how something so simple could be so complex. I am very grateful that I taught this simple value to my children, so that my children may pass this on to their children. I really have a lot to say on this topic, but enough said. Thanks, MOM:)

  5. ellen says

    @ MOM:
    I understand what you’re saying. I must tell you that, like you said, the housing projects of today {In the City Where I live} are much different than the housing projects 30 or 40 years ago. In my city, the housing projects have 2 types of citizens:
    1.Law-abiding people who fear for their safety each and every day from their own neighbors.
    2. Substance abusers and gangs/individuals who engage in criminal activity.
    A year and a half ago, 2 police officers were killed responding to a call in one of these areas. The call was a ‘set-up’ because the officers had recently arrested a gang member. As soon as the officers stepped out of their car, they were ambushed and shot.
    You’re right. It’s not a crime to be poor. And I would certainly have allowed my children to play with kids in these projects If The Area Had Been Safe. However {and these are newspaper statistics} most of the crime in our city occurs in low-income or housing projects neighborhoods where All Races are afraid to walk at night.
    The law abiding residents of these areas keep asking for more police surveillance, but there aren’t enough to keep these areas safe. In a recent survey I saw on the internet, our city was one of the highest ranked for per capita murder.
    You’re also right that my children played with the black kids in my neighborhood because {this certainly can’t be over-looked} those kids were in the same socio-economic class as my kids. Their parents were professional people.
    However, my kids did play with children whose parents worked for my husband’s business. These parents were not well educated, but they lived in safe neighborhoods out in the country. Some of them were high school drop-outs in fact. But they were kind Christian people whose values reflected mine.
    What’s my point? My criteria for who my children played with was not based on income of the parents Or education of the parents. It was based on:
    1.Shared value systems.
    2. Safety in regard to where their home was located.
    Hope this helps you to better understand my post. Thanks.

  6. ellen says

    @ MOM:
    So much crime today is drug-related. If you removed drugs from the equation, I believe crime would be reduced in our country by 50%. I believe 50% of the blacks incarcerated today would not be there if you removed illegal drug use from the equation.
    By the time I went to college, many students were ‘casually’ experimenting with drugs. The entire “era” of massive drug abuse has spawned generations of children/adults who get caught up in this horrible trap and go downhill very quickly.
    I don’t think the negative effects of illegal drug use in America can ever be under-estimated. The sad thing is that the people who deal these drugs in the above mentioned housing projects And the kids in the suburbs are actually at the bottom of the drug economic chain. It’s a deathly business and has ruined thousands and thousands of American lives. Read below:

    ” One might readily argue that teenage drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions on some college campuses and high school facilities. Alcohol – one of the most misused drugs today – is also one of the most popular and readily available of all types of drugs and controlled substances found on high school campuses.
    Waking in a stupor after the previous night’s party, missing classes, falling behind and ultimately losing whatever funding may have accompanied one’s higher education is but a single representation of how drugs and/or alcohol can detrimentally impact one’s academic experience. Many teens think college is just one big party now that they are on their own at school. However, the soiree does not last long once parents find out the extent to which their teen children have detrimentally impacted their scholastic rating by skipping class, failing to complete assignments and generally neglecting their scholastic responsibilities.

    There was once a time when college students represented some of America’s most ambitious and energetic population. However, the teenage drug abuse and alcohol abuse of today has severely tarnished that image. “…Attitudes toward society among college students today have changed beyond recognition” (Stockwell, 2001). Being that college and high school is one of the most stressful of all periods in a person’s life, students claim that removing their ability to blow off steam has proven even more detrimental than the activities caused by drinking. “When the Man comes along and denies students the right to have fun (like tailgating at Munn field) they’re going to be pissed off. It’s like taking away some people’s purpose in life. It’s sad to think that it’s the only thing that people do, but that’s what’s important to them and they’ll fight for it” (Alcid, 1998, p. PG). ”
    This is a provocative thought. Just about when the Civil Rights Movement began, the entire Drug Culture in America began. Just when blacks were starting to be heard in America, drugs were being pumped into this country by the truck load. Instead of people ‘relaxing’ by drinking, they started doing hallucinogens and cocaine. My thoughts: if drugs had been taken out of the equation except for ‘milder’ ones such as marijuana, I wonder if poor,struggling black citizens would be Much Farther Along socio/economically than they are today. Illegal drug use has crippled the lives of so many poor blacks. Even though whites use drugs just as much, they have been better able to surmount the negative effects of these substances {better health care, re-hab etc}.
    What’s my point? Did drug trafficking coming into this country illegally at a crucial point in Black History have a detrimental effect on Black Progress? Ruminate on this concept: Just when Afro-Americans are starting to make real progress, America enters the age of the Drug Culture. All comments welcome.

  7. ellen says

    Also: Unfortunate twist of fate: at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, just when prospects for Black Citizens began improving, recreational drugs become Mainstream America:

    “A drug subculture involving the use of marijuana and other hallucinogenic drugs began to emerge in mainstream American society in the late ’60s.

    ” Drug use, including heroin use, was very prevalent among soldiers during the Vietnam War and many of them returned addicted. Since that time, the recreational use of drugs, particularly marijuana, has been a constant aspect of youth culture in all social classes.
    “In the ’70s cocaine began to emerge as a fashionable new drug among professionals. Its high cost and allure fueled a major drug trafficking link between the United States and Latin America. Its popularity diminished when its addictive properties became more understood but a cheaper and more addictive form of cocaine, “crack” cocaine, began its scourge of America’s poor neighborhoods in the ’80s.”


    I just wanted to thank you for straightening me out about your approach. Like I said before, I didn’t want to disrespect you in any way. I happen to think you are a wonderful person and have exceptional humanitarian efforts. There should be more people like you, and I say this with the deepest sincerity. However, you are touching on topics that I am very informed about, regarding, drugs that get into “the projects” The people that live in the inter city projects of today and yesterday are not responsible. Who do you think has been supplying these people with drugs? I have done extensive research about drugs and inter city projects. That facts are real and unbelievable. I don’t want to say too much more about it because is upsets me too much..However, there are certain people that would love to do away with all the “dregs” of society, and it has nothing to do with these human beings that live in those conditions, but unfortunately are victims of a higher order of corruption that goes on in this country. As I said before, I have a lot to say about this topic, but enough said. Thanks MOM

  9. ellen says

    MOM said: “Who do you think has been supplying these people with drugs?”
    I can read between the lines Mom. And that was primarily the purpose of my post #8.
    Like I said. 1.Civil Rights Movement 2. Illegal drug use becomes mainstream. Bizarre twist of fate indeed.
    Thanks for the post! 🙂

  10. MOM@Ellen

    @ Ellen- I’ve been reading a lot of the posts Jess had written and came across a very interesting article about the US census. White, Non-White, Black, Hispanic..WOW! Never really thought about it like that.. I was also wondering about how inter-racial people identify themselves on the US Census..I know this is getting way off the topic, but now, that I’ve been reading about it, how do inter-racial people identity themselves? Humm. Now, with this thought, I have to take a look a biology. According to the biologist your genetic make-up, in general, is more of your “Father’s” then your Mother’s. This means that if you Father was “black” and your Mother was “white” that your genetic dominance is “black”…Then I have to take a look at this from a different angle. If you Father was “black” and you Mother was “white”, but you were raised in a dominate “white” environment then you would have of a more white approach to life. That would also hold true if you were raised in a predominately black culture. I guess my question would be how do these people identity themselves on the US Census without knowing the very basics of genetic makeup. My Father was Indian and my Mother was Italian. I was raised in an Italian environment. I cook, clean, and have also practice Italian customs, as well as my Father, but I was raised like an Italian. ( My sauce is the best). This is what I’m trying to get at. Now, the post I read from Jess stated that the US Census should be changed.. I agree. It should be more specific, regarding ethnic race or maybe, HUMAN would be the best choice. LOL Lots to think about…MOM:)

  11. ellen says

    @ MOM:
    This gets “curiouser and curioser” as it was stated in Alice in Wonderland. My Mom was Polish and Italian. My maternal grandmother was Italian and spoke Italian to me since I was a baby. I understood everything she said..but couldn’t speak Italian myself. She would cook big family meals where we’d all enjoy her homemade pasta.I remember her making the dough and putting it through this machine where the dough would become long thin noodles. God, she made great ravioli! She also had a garden in the back and made rhubarb pie! My Dad was Hungarian.

    Anyway, this racial identity thing is worth thinking about cause, as you know, the population will be predominantly “non-whites” by 2050. Probably mixed marriages will be more prevalent. That’s the prediction. If this is the case, the US Census will of necessity have to be re-worded.

  12. JDF

    Anyone see Bronson on Campbell Brown’s show last night? In line with Joe’s take, the MSM is decidedly unable and/or unwilling to discuss this issue unless it does so thru the lens of the white racial frame. Despite important findings in his study, Bronson did say that once in high school we self-segregate, which conveniently shifts the blame away from whites for creating such a social structure and putting the onus on non-whites.

  13. MOM@Ellen

    Hi Ellen,
    I agree. I’ve been doing my own “little tiny” study, on how blacks and white people interact with each other at work.. I’m telling you it’s amazing.. I had lunch today with a two females and found myself for some strange reason being more sensitive around the “Black” female, concerning racial issues. I had to wonder do I always do that? On the other hand, I don’t want anyone walking away from a conversation they are having with me feeling bad, unless of course, it’s someone I truly dislike as a human being. However, I was the one that was able to maintain and hold the discussion with both people. It was like I was having a private lunch with two different people at the same table…I knew both woman from previous cases, and truly enjoy their company, but what struck me was they were not able to communicate towards each other.. I’ve also watched were “people” sat during training and results were the same.. Apparently, people, in general, feel more comfortable with their own race. I really don’t care who I sit with because I am known to talk to everybody around me with an EAR. LOL Anyway, I wish there was a way to break barriers down between race because maybe that would be the start of a “healing” process between race. I wonder how that could be done without hurting anybody feelings. Thanks, MOM:)

  14. MOM@Ellen

    Ellen, about the US census, which I have to identify, myself as “white” and sometimes, I put Native American. However, let me tell you, not only am I Italian, but southern Italian, and my skin color is very dark in comparison, to a lot of black people walking around especially, in the summer months.. I am not “IRISH WHITE”. Again, I don’t understand why I would be considered white. I don’t look anything like the Irish, Dutch, Sweeds, Scotts, or English. I think, that I am starting to grasp this concept a little better. Thanks, MOM:)

  15. mom@Ellem

    Ellen, Have you ever heard of the Move-on-org? I keep getting these emails from them, but I’m a little concerned about identifying myself.. And is this Democratic? They keep asking me to sign petitions for Obama, and I would, but don’t really know who they are never heard of them before, and I don’t know how they got my email, either… Thanks, MOM:)

  16. However, would I allow my children to play in my city’s public housing projects?

    I will have to read the original post again. I honestly do not know what this has to do with the topic.

    children as young as 3-4 years old have very substantial understandings of racial matters. Such data clearly reveal that children see “race” without it being pointed out formally to them.

    I have been making this point for some time to people who want to believe that children are blissfully ignorant about race and racism until they are much older. Some are. But many are not.

  17. ellen says

    Hey Mom! Honestly, I would not sign anything via the computer since your personal computer is so subject to viruses. I’ve never heard of this organization myself.
    This ‘threatening Obama’ issue is getting worse and worse. I think this country is falling apart. The divide between the affluent and the very poor is lengthening every day. Everybody’s scared. I’m worried about money in the treasury for Medicare when I will definitely need it.

  18. MOM@PRP

    @PRP Don’t mean to get off target has nothing to do with what’s being discussed, however, please understand that I’m trying to garp this concept ,and I go off the topic because I have so many real life expericenes as well as questions.Thank you in advance for your understanding. Mom:0)
    @Ellen I had read this article when it came out on MSN. The indept study also suggested that they gave the children different shirts to wear. When these children were asked which team was “better” they all choose the kids wearing their color T-Shirts. Now, I am not sure if the children that were wearing the same T-Shirts were a mixed group or not. However, as mentioned above in the artical the “white” parents were having a difficult time talkig to their children about “race” where as the “black” parents were more prone to talk about different “race” because it was a matter of survival..I don’t understand that sentence. Are the black parents also making their children “fear” white people? Don’t kown the answer because they were not specific. However, I do know and as mentioned above that we as parents not only need to talk to our children of race, but I would think, that what is discussed with them should not make them afaird of a certain race over the other. Just like lunch the other day, that I had with one black and white female they did not or was not able to communicate with each other. What II am finding out just reading some of these post that both races really need to start breaking down the barriers, so that maybe there would be someking of “healing” process between race. Also, I’ve been thinking about all ethnic groups in general. Most ethnic groups, in general, stick with their own ethnic group. Like I said before we segreated by ethnic groups i.e Itanlian, Irish, Polish. etc. These are the kind of neighborhoods that we had when I was growing up..This has nothing to do with black and white at all. This has something to do with “people” in general feeling more comfortable with their own ethics groups. I don’t feel there is anything wrong with being proud of your heritage. However, I do believe, that it’s important to teach you children that everyone has the right to do the same. Thanks, MOM:)

  19. ellen says

    MOM Said: “However, as mentioned above in the artical the “white” parents were having a difficult time talkig to their children about “race” where as the “black” parents were more prone to talk about different “race” because it was a matter of survival.”
    I’ve seen several interviews of black women who stated they spoke to their children about racism to prepare them for potential subtle and not-so-subtle racist remarks/attitudes from whites. If I were a black mother, I’d do the same. I’d tell the child not to let these attitudes affect you..although there’s No Way the kids will not be affected. It must be very hard for black parents to send children into a racist world. I don’t think it has anything to do with ‘fearing’ whites..I think it’s about reality and expectations.
    I also think whites have a difficult time speaking to their children about racism because many white children can’t remotely relate to having ‘black friends’. Thus, it’s as if the parents are educating their children on how to behave toward extra terrestrials for pete’s sake. There’s just no connection or point of reference.

  20. MOM@Ellen

    @ Ellen were are you finding this information out? I mean between the afluent and very poor, and the information concerning Medicare? I just looked at the video on the other post about that crazy minister’s threats, regarding, OBAMA and abortions, but I don’t see anything pretaining to what you saying regarding afluent , poor ,and medicare. Please advise where I could find out this infor. Thanks, Mom:)

  21. MOM@Ellen

    Funny you should say that because even though I’m considered white by the US Census, and now we are getting more technical about this, and it has to do with ethnic background.. I have been called by “pure whites”, because I’m so olive skinned: ginney, whop, inside out black, grease ball, ginker, and this list goes on.. Don’t think for one minute that those remarks didn’t effect me as a “human being”/child. And, these are the first words that still fly out of some peoples mouths today. So, like I said, until people in general start talking to their children about all cultures and races in a positive way there will always be conflict. I would think, that would at least start in the home and there also should be a segment in school about the celebration of different ethnic backgrounds..Thanks, MOM:)

  22. MOM@Ellen

    Ellen, re-read your post. “Racist WORLD, indeed”! It may take a cataclysmic event for “people” to wake up. Let’s look at the 9/11 and Katrina for instance. I didn’t see too many other countries coming over to help out the US..Wonder why? We need to get it right for the sake of all people in this country first. I know this topic is about racism, but racism not only exists between black and whites, but white on white. In other words, white people, and I using that term loosely can’t get along with each other. I don’t know the answer about all the different kinds of subtle racism, but at least, I’m trying to understand, which is a start..I guess, what I’m suggesting is to simple for such a complex issue, so enough said. Thanks, MOM:)

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