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freemanjud
Posts: 23

Readings:

Wait a minute: wasn’t it just recently that we were talking about the problem of the definitions of race and ethnicity and the arbitrary nature of these categories? Holy moley, how did we get here?

As we saw with the children in Anderson Cooper’s 2010 piece on skin color preferences when asked to judge what skin color young children preferred, the general sense was that they preferred lighter skin to darker skin. The question of whether adults preferred a particular skin color again, according to the children interviewed, seemed to be that, “Yes, they do. They prefer the lighter skin colored people.”

Now granted, Cooper’s study was not scientific and therefore could easily be questioned, but it is a quasi-recreation of an study done by Kenneth and Mamie Clark in 1940-1941, a study that was at the core of the arguments made in favor of the plaintiff in the landmark Brown v Board of Education case that led to desegregation of the nation’s public schools after the Supreme Court ruled in 1954. A summary of that study by the Clarks in the link as the reading above. It’s essential that you read it!

So what explains why the children feel the way they do? Does Paul Bloom’s article offer any explanation? Is Mahzarin Banaji’s research helpful in this context? In other words, are there factors that affect the growth and views of children? Offer your thoughts on this and support them with specific, clear evidence. In other words, take a thoughtful post taking a position on these questions, reflecting what you learned from the three readings and what you saw in the Anderson Cooper video.

Be sure to respond to the comments of at least two people who precede you (or follow you) in this discussion.

[BTW, in case you were not in class on Wednesday, the URLs for the various pieces we watched in class are:

part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cWgV5sigbQ (5:27)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQACkg5i4AY (5:18)

part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xh1dkE7yn8 (2:00)

part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll9O9Inohnc (1:15)

Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture, 2012:

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPVNJgfDwpw (9:29)

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OKgUdQF-Fg (6:25)

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malden22giants
Posts: 6

What The Word With Racist Kids

The racial preferences among children can be attributed to a great number of influences, but mainly the pressures enforced upon them by society, especially suggested by parents or others of authority. This pattern of detecting approval begins at a very young age, and continues to grow as children see little or no consequences to this manner of developing their beliefs and morality. Such is clearly depicted in the article regarding qualities of babies in different scenarios, and the various types of babies that emerge from these situations. While the examples utilized to demonstrate this characteristic of babies in the study are rather naive and harmless, when these same children mature and encounter more difficult beliefs, it is impossible for them to fight what has been taught.

Such is explored in greater depth in the article by Kenneth B. Clark, when he publishes detailed results of a survey meant solely to expose racial biases in African American children. The results indicate an alarming sense of widespread inferiority among children of color, and discover that a good deal of them would prefer to be white, and that their skin color is a flaw and disadvantage. Also, it became clear that these subjects were often biased towards favoring their race, but still ended up selecting the white dolls for positive traits, and commonly associating negative attributes with dolls of a darker skin tone. However, the article in the Boston Globe provides a glimmer of hope in asserting that such biases may possibly be unlearned, but only if serious reform is enacted in our society’s educational, political, and economic sectors. It highlights that the transformation will be immensely tedious, but is possible as long as cooperation exists between all parties involved and all remained focus on the goals at hand.

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freemanjud
Posts: 23

Thinking about you, malden22giants...

Originally posted by malden22giants on October 11, 2017 20:55

The racial preferences among children can be attributed to a great number of influences, but mainly the pressures enforced upon them by society, especially suggested by parents or others of authority. This pattern of detecting approval begins at a very young age, and continues to grow as children see little or no consequences to this manner of developing their beliefs and morality. Such is clearly depicted in the article regarding qualities of babies in different scenarios, and the various types of babies that emerge from these situations. While the examples utilized to demonstrate this characteristic of babies in the study are rather naive and harmless, when these same children mature and encounter more difficult beliefs, it is impossible for them to fight what has been taught.


That's interesting, why do you think the examples cited were naive and harmless?

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Carr13
Posts: 9

What's Up With Racial Preference Among Children?

Multiple studies have proven a racial preference among children. In Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s doll test from 1950, they discovered that in both the north and south of America the majority of young black children would rather play with the white doll and thought that they were nicer. Even sixty years later in Anderson Cooper’s study 70% of older black children and 61% of the younger black children revealed white bias. White children, as a whole, mostly gave positive responses to the white pictures of children and negative to the black ones. When asked which color adults prefered, most of the children did not hesitate to point to the white color. One girl even said they have had experiences with adults that would not allow them to play with their kids because of their skin color. The people with the most influence in their lives are the parents who teach them morals and values they see fit. Even the subtle messages they may be unaware that they are sending (known as implicit bias by Dr. Melanie Killen) also affect the way their children view skin color. Another source of their conscience comes from teachers and even TV. When young girls and boys witness more heroic white characters, whom are considered attractive, than African American characters, they begin to believe that the lighter skin tone a person is, the more superior. According to Paul Bloom’s article “The Moral Life of Babies”, most infants punished the “naughty” puppet which implies an instinct for justice we humans have. As we grow and learn about differences in people and listen to the bias in our communities, this sense of justice becomes more complex and opinions are used to warrant ways around it. A Harvard University psychologist, Mahzarin Banaji, states that if children are exposed to different groups of people coexisting as equals their chances of thinking biasly decreases. For parents who avoid this interaction or discussing the fault of these race ideals, they are failing to raise their kids to judge others without bias.
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malden22giants
Posts: 6

Originally posted by freemanjud on October 11, 2017 21:35

Originally posted by malden22giants on October 11, 2017 20:55

The racial preferences among children can be attributed to a great number of influences, but mainly the pressures enforced upon them by society, especially suggested by parents or others of authority. This pattern of detecting approval begins at a very young age, and continues to grow as children see little or no consequences to this manner of developing their beliefs and morality. Such is clearly depicted in the article regarding qualities of babies in different scenarios, and the various types of babies that emerge from these situations. While the examples utilized to demonstrate this characteristic of babies in the study are rather naive and harmless, when these same children mature and encounter more difficult beliefs, it is impossible for them to fight what has been taught.


That's interesting, why do you think the examples cited were naive and harmless?

The examples cited in the studying involving characteristics in babies did not revolve around pressing matters in today's society, and dealt with trivial exercises such as blocks. The correlation to significant matters such as racial bias develops as the children mature and learn to understand these matters but cannot shake this method of thinking.

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coconut
Posts: 11

Moral Foundations

Paul Bloom mentions in his article that babies possess moral foundations despite their young age. They possess qualities Bloom described as “naive psychology” and “naive morality”. But note the terminologies Bloom uses, “foundation” and “naive”, implying that babies have only a limited understanding of things that are as especially complex as morals, which some adults even neglect to have. Bloom says that our “initial moral sense appears to be biased toward our own kind, for instance, 3-month old babies favored the faces of those most familiar to them. At a very young age, we already display bias, and if this bias is still nurtured via family members and society in general during the critical developing stages, it will exacerbate into full on racial bias and prejudice. Bloom also mentions that “socialization is critically important” and if these racial prejudices are displayed by close members, it’s without a doubt that children grow up with this injustice embedded in their minds.


I think that the main cause for children, such as those in the study who associated black as bad and white as pretty, is mainly due to social interactions especially by those closest to them and most familiar with because they are the ones young children look up to and follow. Babies and children mimic their surroundings, good or bad, and so it is crucial that we understand our role as the older people, and to nurture their moral foundations rather than gradually replacing it with immoral values.

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coconut
Posts: 11

Originally posted by Carr13 on October 11, 2017 22:02

Multiple studies have proven a racial preference among children. In Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s doll test from 1950, they discovered that in both the north and south of America the majority of young black children would rather play with the white doll and thought that they were nicer. Even sixty years later in Anderson Cooper’s study 70% of older black children and 61% of the younger black children revealed white bias. White children, as a whole, mostly gave positive responses to the white pictures of children and negative to the black ones. When asked which color adults prefered, most of the children did not hesitate to point to the white color. One girl even said they have had experiences with adults that would not allow them to play with their kids because of their skin color. The people with the most influence in their lives are the parents who teach them morals and values they see fit. Even the subtle messages they may be unaware that they are sending (known as implicit bias by Dr. Melanie Killen) also affect the way their children view skin color. Another source of their conscience comes from teachers and even TV. When young girls and boys witness more heroic white characters, whom are considered attractive, than African American characters, they begin to believe that the lighter skin tone a person is, the more superior. According to Paul Bloom’s article “The Moral Life of Babies”, most infants punished the “naughty” puppet which implies an instinct for justice we humans have. As we grow and learn about differences in people and listen to the bias in our communities, this sense of justice becomes more complex and opinions are used to warrant ways around it. A Harvard University psychologist, Mahzarin Banaji, states that if children are exposed to different groups of people coexisting as equals their chances of thinking biasly decreases. For parents who avoid this interaction or discussing the fault of these race ideals, they are failing to raise their kids to judge others without bias.

Your remark about the time lapse is very eye-opening; that sixty years later, and even to this day really, racial prejudice is still evident. Racial prejudice is probably one of the most persistent and impregnable pests in mankind. What has been feeding this pest that it still lingers on centuries later? I blame society. I agree that family members bear the most influence on young children without them even realizing it, and planting among them this idea that specific colors are associated with positive or negative attributes.

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Ikasu
Posts: 6

Are kids born racist?

There are many factors why the children in these studies are racist. The environment they are raised in can affect them. If an adult took them or they witness that an adult favors whites over blacks, they are more incline to be the same. Paul Bloom's article is very informative in the minds of a child and how they think. The idea that a child is more interested in something paired with the idea of racism makes a bad combination. Another factor could be social media like children shows. When you think of good and evil, what do you think of? You normally think of a white holy man and a black evil man. This idea could be a factor as well since evil usually portrayed as dark and black. When I was re watching the YouTube videos, I noticed that no children chose the middle child for any of their answers, all answers were mainly to the extreme choices. I think that children under teen age are still naive and I even think that people under 25 years old are also naive. Growing up I didn't have much of a biased to race. My school was diverse with Whites, Blacks, Asians, Latinos, and Indians etc. Though there were more Asians, every other race was considered cool by me. There are a lot of factors that need to be looked at before giving a perfect conclusion on this topic.

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coconut
Posts: 11

Originally posted by malden22giants on October 11, 2017 20:55

The racial preferences among children can be attributed to a great number of influences, but mainly the pressures enforced upon them by society, especially suggested by parents or others of authority. This pattern of detecting approval begins at a very young age, and continues to grow as children see little or no consequences to this manner of developing their beliefs and morality. Such is clearly depicted in the article regarding qualities of babies in different scenarios, and the various types of babies that emerge from these situations. While the examples utilized to demonstrate this characteristic of babies in the study are rather naive and harmless, when these same children mature and encounter more difficult beliefs, it is impossible for them to fight what has been taught.

Such is explored in greater depth in the article by Kenneth B. Clark, when he publishes detailed results of a survey meant solely to expose racial biases in African American children. The results indicate an alarming sense of widespread inferiority among children of color, and discover that a good deal of them would prefer to be white, and that their skin color is a flaw and disadvantage. Also, it became clear that these subjects were often biased towards favoring their race, but still ended up selecting the white dolls for positive traits, and commonly associating negative attributes with dolls of a darker skin tone. However, the article in the Boston Globe provides a glimmer of hope in asserting that such biases may possibly be unlearned, but only if serious reform is enacted in our society’s educational, political, and economic sectors. It highlights that the transformation will be immensely tedious, but is possible as long as cooperation exists between all parties involved and all remained focus on the goals at hand.

I find your point, Paul Bloom's point really, interesting and contradictory; about how younger children are more inclined to favor their own race, but still have negative perceptions of their own race, that is the black children. Do young children really tend to have bias favoring their own race if some black children themselves are displeased with their color to the extent that the young girl we saw in Anderson Cooper's video wanted to have a lighter skin tone?

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Ikasu
Posts: 6

Originally posted by Carr13 on October 11, 2017 22:02

Multiple studies have proven a racial preference among children. In Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s doll test from 1950, they discovered that in both the north and south of America the majority of young black children would rather play with the white doll and thought that they were nicer. Even sixty years later in Anderson Cooper’s study 70% of older black children and 61% of the younger black children revealed white bias. White children, as a whole, mostly gave positive responses to the white pictures of children and negative to the black ones. When asked which color adults prefered, most of the children did not hesitate to point to the white color. One girl even said they have had experiences with adults that would not allow them to play with their kids because of their skin color. The people with the most influence in their lives are the parents who teach them morals and values they see fit. Even the subtle messages they may be unaware that they are sending (known as implicit bias by Dr. Melanie Killen) also affect the way their children view skin color. Another source of their conscience comes from teachers and even TV. When young girls and boys witness more heroic white characters, whom are considered attractive, than African American characters, they begin to believe that the lighter skin tone a person is, the more superior. According to Paul Bloom’s article “The Moral Life of Babies”, most infants punished the “naughty” puppet which implies an instinct for justice we humans have. As we grow and learn about differences in people and listen to the bias in our communities, this sense of justice becomes more complex and opinions are used to warrant ways around it. A Harvard University psychologist, Mahzarin Banaji, states that if children are exposed to different groups of people coexisting as equals their chances of thinking biasly decreases. For parents who avoid this interaction or discussing the fault of these race ideals, they are failing to raise their kids to judge others without bias.

For your point about "if children are exposed to different groups of people coexisting as equals their chances of thinking biasly decreases", I can understand it, but how do you suggest we makes this happen? You can't exactly forced like 30 white students into a school of mainly colored and minorities. What would you do to make this happen?

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chrysanthemum
Posts: 10

Racial Preference among Children

It was very disheartening to see the results of Anderson Cooper's piece in the videos. What struck me the most was when one of the little girls pointed at her own skin color is said, "this is the color that people don't like because it isn't light". Something else that stood out to me were the kids who did not pick one of the choice and instead answered that the color of a person's skin does not affect their judgement of a person's character. These two results showed me how children feel the way they do by the influences around them. They are affected by the people around them, by what they hear and see on any type of media, and by the environment that they are exposed to.

The articles further explained how children are not born with prejudices embedded in their heads. For example, in "The Moral Life of Babies", Paul Bloom's experiments showed that babies have a sense of morality, that they know the difference between a wrong action and a right action. In the puppet experiment, the little boy knew that one of the puppets was in the wrong and punished it. If the kid were to see a real life stimulation of this he would still know right from wrong. The race of the people would not matter. If the kid showed bias towards a race it would only prove that kids are taught to prejudice.

Mahzarin Banaji's research is helpful in this context because it explained why even the younger kids held biases. Her research is also parallel to the Kenneth and Clark's Doll Test because they both showed how young children held biases. Whatever they have been exposed to in their life have already embedded in their heads that a lighter skin tone is more acceptable. This most likely comes from the adults around them. For white children it could be their parents who have the greatest affect on them. It could also be because white children who live in rural areas are less exposed to children of color because statistically there are more children of color in urban cities, and because they are not exposed to diversity, they are clouded by the stereotypes that are being spread around them which them leads to their prejudices. For colored children, their parents are also a huge factor in the way they think. The parent of the child might say to them that they should expect different treatment from people because of their skin color. In my opinion, for colored children, the biggest contributor for their biases is the way they get treated in their environments. In schools, daycares, playgrounds, and basically everywhere, seeing how people treat white kids differently from colored kids impact kids the most because the evidence is concrete. They are seeing the prejudices right infront of their eyes.

Contrary to this, kids can also be positively affected by their environment. If a kid was taught many racist things and was exposed to a very diverse environment, the kid can still stray away from the things he was taught. Ideas are easily embedded into kid's minds and there are many ways that they can be affected. Depending on the situation, the kid could stay with those prejudices taught or stray away from them.

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chrysanthemum
Posts: 10

Originally posted by coconut on October 12, 2017 16:31

Paul Bloom mentions in his article that babies possess moral foundations despite their young age. They possess qualities Bloom described as “naive psychology” and “naive morality”. But note the terminologies Bloom uses, “foundation” and “naive”, implying that babies have only a limited understanding of things that are as especially complex as morals, which some adults even neglect to have. Bloom says that our “initial moral sense appears to be biased toward our own kind, for instance, 3-month old babies favored the faces of those most familiar to them. At a very young age, we already display bias, and if this bias is still nurtured via family members and society in general during the critical developing stages, it will exacerbate into full on racial bias and prejudice. Bloom also mentions that “socialization is critically important” and if these racial prejudices are displayed by close members, it’s without a doubt that children grow up with this injustice embedded in their minds.


I think that the main cause for children, such as those in the study who associated black as bad and white as pretty, is mainly due to social interactions especially by those closest to them and most familiar with because they are the ones young children look up to and follow. Babies and children mimic their surroundings, good or bad, and so it is crucial that we understand our role as the older people, and to nurture their moral foundations rather than gradually replacing it with immoral values.

I completely agree that children are mainly affected by the social interactions closest to them. Yes, it is crucial that we should nurture moral foundations and shape non-prejudiced adults, but what do we do with the people who are purposefully spreading the prejudice? Like Don Black and David Duke? Their children were greatly influenced by their views and we can't expect every child to have a change of heart like Derek Black did.

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chrysanthemum
Posts: 10

Originally posted by Ikasu on October 12, 2017 16:43

There are many factors why the children in these studies are racist. The environment they are raised in can affect them. If an adult took them or they witness that an adult favors whites over blacks, they are more incline to be the same. Paul Bloom's article is very informative in the minds of a child and how they think. The idea that a child is more interested in something paired with the idea of racism makes a bad combination. Another factor could be social media like children shows. When you think of good and evil, what do you think of? You normally think of a white holy man and a black evil man. This idea could be a factor as well since evil usually portrayed as dark and black. When I was re watching the YouTube videos, I noticed that no children chose the middle child for any of their answers, all answers were mainly to the extreme choices. I think that children under teen age are still naive and I even think that people under 25 years old are also naive. Growing up I didn't have much of a biased to race. My school was diverse with Whites, Blacks, Asians, Latinos, and Indians etc. Though there were more Asians, every other race was considered cool by me. There are a lot of factors that need to be looked at before giving a perfect conclusion on this topic.

What factors do you think should be looked into? Is every situation circumstantial then? I also found it interesting how none of the children picked the middle choice. I think it's because when race is in play, white and black are the main choices that is focused on, but then in society anyone who isn't completely white is treated like that are completely black.

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winteriscoming1916
Posts: 11

Originally posted by Ikasu on October 12, 2017 16:43

There are many factors why the children in these studies are racist. The environment they are raised in can affect them. If an adult took them or they witness that an adult favors whites over blacks, they are more incline to be the same. Paul Bloom's article is very informative in the minds of a child and how they think. The idea that a child is more interested in something paired with the idea of racism makes a bad combination. Another factor could be social media like children shows. When you think of good and evil, what do you think of? You normally think of a white holy man and a black evil man. This idea could be a factor as well since evil usually portrayed as dark and black. When I was re watching the YouTube videos, I noticed that no children chose the middle child for any of their answers, all answers were mainly to the extreme choices. I think that children under teen age are still naive and I even think that people under 25 years old are also naive. Growing up I didn't have much of a biased to race. My school was diverse with Whites, Blacks, Asians, Latinos, and Indians etc. Though there were more Asians, every other race was considered cool by me. There are a lot of factors that need to be looked at before giving a perfect conclusion on this topic.

Your opening sentence is really interesting to me; however reluctant I am to call children racists, I know that it may be true in this case. It is deeply disheartening to call a child a racist and realize that he/she is not as pure and innocent as you thought. Your point about children always choosing opposites, black or white, never the middle child, is a critical one. It is fascinating that people with only a white or only a black skin tone are stigmatized in the good/bad way that children do in these studies. I would love to figure out more about that.

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helena71
Posts: 9

Racial Preferences

I think that a lot of the time, we don’t actually realise how much babies and younger children can retain. We treat them like they aren’t real people with real minds, thoughts, and prejudices. This can turn into a major problem because of how much children look up to the adults in their lives. Most children will idolize their parents and will think that everything they say or believe in is right, which makes perfect sense. How is a young child supposed to formulate his or her own opinions if they only have been hearing those of their parents? I think that Paul Bloom’s article is helpful in that it talked a lot about the morality of babies and whether they are just “perfect idiots” or if they are somewhat smart. It was interesting to see the inherent sense of right and wrong, good or bad, or nice and naughty that these babies had. This is really important because if parents show their children what they believe to be good or bad, those babies will retain and use that information for a very long time. I also thought that Banerjee's research was quite eye opening because it shows that “children exposed to racism tend to accept and embrace it as young as age 3, and in just a matter of days”. This is almost unbelievable, and it needs to be addressed. Parents can no longer just say things that may be somewhat racist or act in a way that excludes a group of people from their lives because their children will act like sponges and soak up whatever information is being told to them. I also thought that the study done by Kenneth and Mamie Clark was quite shocking because even black people held prejudices against their own race. This just goes to show how much of an impact that segregation and racist ideas can have on children. This was very upsetting because these children who think that white people are the ‘ideal race’ must not have self confidence or pride which is so unfair and it’s our society’s norms that have created this. We need to do something about this because it’s definitely not going to stop, especially now that our country is so evidently divided.
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