A new study based on the infamous Doll Test from the 1940’s shows an unsettling amount of bias against blacks in children. The study done by CNN paints a clear picture of the amount of time spent by Black parents preparing their children for school settings and experiences in general, while white parents in the study admit to never discussing race with their children.
This is reported via CNN, so keep the journalistic viewpoint in perspective.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
When asked who the smart child is, she points to a light-skinned doll. When asked who the mean child is she points to a dark-skinned doll. She says a white child is good because “I think she looks like me”, and says the black child is ugly because “she’s a lot darker.”
After watching her daughter answer the questions, the mother is brought to tears.
Her daughter is taking part in a new CNN pilot study on children’s attitudes on race and her answers actually reflect one of the major findings of the study, that white children have an overwhelming bias toward white, and that black children also have a bias toward white but not nearly as strong as the bias shown by the white children.
What do you make of this? Is this something that we should be paying attention to? Are we as a society encouraging this type of thought through our actions? We have discussed race many times in our home, especially after lessons that touch on slavery and the civil war are taught in school. Each time I am surprised by my children’s insight and interpretation of what they have been told. Our neighborhood school is very racially diverse, so they are used to seeing Black, Asian, White, East Indian, Russian, and Jewish children playing together and not making a big deal about it.
I have had varying experiences with children’s attitudes toward my kids, which are part and parcel to the upbringing that they receive at home. This is a very dicey subject dealing with two very important subjects: race and children. As I have written and spoken openly that I don’t consider my race to be a determining factor in my success, I am treading softly here, but the subject matter needs to be addressed.
Conservatives are incorrectly perceived to be racists. In order to move past this false meme, a direct confrontation of race as an issue must be initiated and seen through to the finish. This means that all parents should openly discuss the past, present and future of our relationships with people. We must go beyond slavery and the civil rights movement. This may lead to a self examination of sorts; a closer look at why there is still a great deal of segregation in America.
I am in no way suggesting that we abandon freedom of association, yet there is a need to explore and allow ourselves to engage people of other races. I direct these statements to Blacks as well. It behooves all of us to interact and spend time together. Knitting together the fabric of “One Nation, under God, indivisible” is tough worthy work that cannot be done in a vacuum. America just can’t afford to be sensitive about this topic any longer, not if we ever expect to move past race.
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