Gotta start with those kids early! A writer over at the Carlos Slim’s blog wonders: Are We Raising Racists?
The consequences are serious. When we don’t talk honestly with white children about racism, they become more likely to disbelieve or discount their peers when they report experiencing racism. “But we’re all equal” becomes a rote response that actually blocks white children from recognizing or taking seriously racism when they see it or hear about it. This is at best.
I note that only white children need to be spoken to about racism. Minorities are never racist, children, remember that.
At worst, the consequences are akin to what happens when you breathe in polluted air. Not realizing the pollution is there doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect you. White children are exposed to racism daily. If we parents don’t point it out, show how it works and teach why it is false, over time our children are more likely to accept racist messages at face value. When they see racial inequality — when the only doctors or teachers they see are white, or fewer kids in accelerated classes are black, for example — they won’t blame racism. Instead, they’ll blame people of color for somehow falling short.
Minorities also never fall short–which is why we’ve had to scrap literacy tests for teachers in order to get more minority teachers.
We have better models. Parents of black and Latino children have long made thoughtful choices about when and how to engage in difficult and nuanced discussions about difference. Studies show that such parents are two to five times more likely than whites to teach their children explicitly about race from very young ages to counter negative social messages and build a strong sense of identity.
Which group is more like to have a chip on their shoulder about race? Might it possibly be because yo mama told you that pinky’s out to get you and pointed at every possible instance and example of this?
After telling her daughter that George Washington was a horrible person, the writer concludes:
It’s always risky to tell other people how to raise their children, and I don’t want to imply that I’m some kind of perfect parent. On top of that, our children and families are all different and there are many distinct ways to have conversations about race with our children. But however we talk about it, we need to talk about racism now more than ever.
Liberals have this bizarre black and white sort of thinking. We can’t say that George Washington as a good person because he owned slaves and therefore was a bad person. We can’t tell our children that “we’re all equal” because if we’re equal then we must be equal in every way possible thus nothing bad happens to other people that doesn’t happen to us. Sorry, but George Washington, just like every person ever, had good and bad qualities. Also he freed all his slaves. (I know, I know, it was after his death so he didn’t tear his new nation apart and start the Civil War early. What a jerk.) I can be equal to you, and I can also have problems that you don’t have. Are you ignoring my Nixon-only problem, you vile bigot?
My parents raised me to be a not-racist. They failed because the culture around me kept saying over and over “you’re a white person; white people are racist; why aren’t you noticing how racist you are, you racist?” When you try to shove something down someone’s throat, the gag reflex kicks in. The only thing that’s creating more racists, is YOU who won’t shut up about racism.