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freemanjud
Posts: 42

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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champagnesugarcube
Posts: 18

The Future of Our World

It’s crazy to believe that “ 3- and 4-year-olds demonstrate the same level and type of bias as adults. This tells us that children ‘get it’ very, very quickly, and that it doesn’t require a mature level of cognition to form negative biases.’’ This was a direct quote from the Boston Globe article titled “Racism Learned” including research from Mahzarin Banaji. He supports my belief that children are easily influenced by their surroundings, if their parents are racist, then they are more likely to have the same characteristics of the parents. This is scary. Children are bred as racists from the day they are born. The article is also saying, adults have the same mentality as children, in regards to this topic, I think it is true.

Mentioned in class, aside from a parent’s influence, children are surrounded by racist ideas in their everyday life. The lack of representation of people of color in children’s cartoons is a prime example. In the New York times article by Paul Bloom, explains that babies have preferences within the boundaries of race, food, and language. The study shows that even a 3 month old baby has bias. This is extremely problematic and shows that we need to break this cycle. This is a crucial piece of information and Mr. Bloom hits the hammer right on the nail. If this is the case, then children, as young as 3 months old, need to be exposed to many different people, food, and language, so they don’t build this barrier around their mind.

It comes down to whether or not as the children grow up, these ideas can be controlled. Taken right out of the Boston Globe article, if parents talk to their children about racism and are able to make an effort to stop ideas that were implemented in their children’s head at such a young age, the problem can be solved gradually over time as the child grows up. Some parents are afraid to talk about racism, but it needs to be addressed, leaving the topic untouched gives children the idea that it isn’t important, when it is one of the most important issues in our world today. Children only know what they are told, and that can be easily controlled.

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chefcurry
Posts: 17

Watching these videos did not surprise me as it may have others. It certainly was appalling but in no way surprising because I know there are influences in the world that makes the children this way. What makes children this way is partly innate but also from outside influences coming from the media, their own family, or the environment in which they live. One video I watched which was not on the list but was still done on CNN was about how babies are in fact born with implicit biases. The study done in this video proved that babies even at the young age of 3 months favored a specific type of person. This preference however was not based on physical traits but if people liked the things they liked. When the puppet took the cereal that the baby took, they tended to choose that puppet over the puppet that chose the other cereal. This shows that although people think babies are born without biases that is certainly not the case. This implicit bias in babies may be one of the causes that lead them to have racial preferences as well.

In my opinion the biggest influences on these children have to be their parents. When you are young you are very impressionable and you believe your parents are right about everything they say and you trust them blindly. If the parent has something against the opposite race it will mostly likely reflect in the kids response. Evidence to support this is in one of the videos the interviewer asks a few of the children why they wouldn’t want to be friends with someone of the opposite race. Both of the children said it was because their parents wouldn’t be okay with it.

What is contradictory to the statement that parents are the main influence of their children's views is the fact that even the black children sometimes stated that their skin was ugly or bad. The reason this is contradictory is because no black parent is going to tell their child that their skin color is inferior to the white skin color. What’s influencing these children is mainstream media. One example that we talked about in class is the dove advertisement and how a black woman transforms into a white woman making her “clean”. Ideas like this give children the idea that black skin is dirty. It is not only in the United States that there are ads like this. I’m pretty sure it was an ad from China where there was an asian lady and a black man who was painting her house. He tries to woo her but she sticks laundry detergent in his mouth and sticks him in the laundry machine. He then comes out an asian looking man with “clean” skin. This show that it’s not just in America where blacks are viewed as “dirty” to some people. Ads like these poison children's minds into thinking certain ways.

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chefcurry
Posts: 17

Originally posted by champagnesugarcube on October 12, 2017 19:20

It’s crazy to believe that “ 3- and 4-year-olds demonstrate the same level and type of bias as adults. This tells us that children ‘get it’ very, very quickly, and that it doesn’t require a mature level of cognition to form negative biases.’’ This was a direct quote from the Boston Globe article titled “Racism Learned” including research from Mahzarin Banaji. He supports my belief that children are easily influenced by their surroundings, if their parents are racist, then they are more likely to have the same characteristics of the parents. This is scary. Children are bred as racists from the day they are born. The article is also saying, adults have the same mentality as children, in regards to this topic, I think it is true.

Mentioned in class, aside from a parent’s influence, children are surrounded by racist ideas in their everyday life. The lack of representation of people of color in children’s cartoons is a prime example. In the New York times article by Paul Bloom, explains that babies have preferences within the boundaries of race, food, and language. The study shows that even a 3 month old baby has bias. This is extremely problematic and shows that we need to break this cycle. This is a crucial piece of information and Mr. Bloom hits the hammer right on the nail. If this is the case, then children, as young as 3 months old, need to be exposed to many different people, food, and language, so they don’t build this barrier around their mind.

It comes down to whether or not as the children grow up, these ideas can be controlled. Taken right out of the Boston Globe article, if parents talk to their children about racism and are able to make an effort to stop ideas that were implemented in their children’s head at such a young age, the problem can be solved gradually over time as the child grows up. Some parents are afraid to talk about racism, but it needs to be addressed, leaving the topic untouched gives children the idea that it isn’t important, when it is one of the most important issues in our world today. Children only know what they are told, and that can be easily controlled.

I definitely agree with you in the fact that parents need to talk to their children about these issues. If parents took the time to solidify ideas of equality and acceptance in their children’s brains at a young age, their children will listen since the are the role models in their life.

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Mantis
Posts: 10

Black and White

So, apparently, Mahzarin Banaji’s research “suggests that even though they may not understand the ‘why’ of their feelings, children exposed to racism tend to accept and embrace it as young as age 3, and in just a matter of days.” This in itself is already a problem. It is true that children are influenced very easily, and so children often feel it is natural to have thoughts of racism, or at least distinction between skin colors. While this study does show some bias that children naturally seem to have, it is not necessarily an absolute indicator of it. According to the study, children were asked to identify whether the people in the picture looked happy or angry. While the results immediately showed that children thought that white faces were more happy and black faces were not, despite facial expressions, this may not directly be related to race. I feel that Banaji’s research does not provide the type of evidence necessary to suggest racial biases in children, as there may be influence it the test itself, such as which people are displayed.


This brings me to an important point that is mentioned in Paul Bloom’s article: “...we tend to associate morality with the possibility of free and rational choice; people choose to do good or evil.” As shown in his studies, even as babies, only a few months old, humans are able to distinguish between good and bad actions, and are naturally inclined towards the people that are doing the good, or “right” thing. As this is the case, it can be argued that humans naturally considered lighter creatures and characters to be more benevolent than others. This is often displayed in the television shows that they watch, with a large majority of the characters being white children. In many cases, even in the real world, white is considered a sacred and holy color, while black is filthy and impure. Take the dove, for example. The dove is the same as a pigeon, with its only feature that makes it different being its color, white, and yet, the dove is widely recognized as a symbol for peace, whereas the common pigeon is ignored. Despite children being able to distinguish the difference between good and evil, they are also influenced by what they see, which often ends up displaying the white child as a good person.


Lastly, there is the study of Kenneth and Mamie Clark. Of course, there is the obvious bias of having more test subjects of color, but the data gathered from the study makes the point relatively clear; Children are aware of the connection between skin color and race. Though they may not completely understand what it has to do with themselves, they seem to have a collective bias where lighter skin color is better. As for what causes this bias, whether they perceive it instinctively or are influenced by the others around them, It paints a pretty clear picture of how much discrimination has been ingrained into human nature, where a different skin color is enough to change everything.

Originally posted by champagnesugarcube on October 12, 2017 19:20

He supports my belief that children are easily influenced by their surroundings, if their parents are racist, then they are more likely to have the same characteristics of the parents. This is scary. Children are bred as racists from the day they are born. The article is also saying, adults have the same mentality as children, in regards to this topic, I think it is true.

I wouldn't necessarily say that adult and children have the same types of mindsets. One of the most important things to note is that while the children understand there is something that makes them different from another child, they aren't actually aware of what this "something" is. Children aren't aware of race, they only know what their parents act like. If a parent is racist, the child can't really tell what being "racist" is, as there is no preconceived notion of this race, and simply view this racism as what their parent thinks it is, and assumes it to be the way the world works.

Originally posted by chefcurry on October 12, 2017 20:19

In my opinion the biggest influences on these children have to be their parents. When you are young you are very impressionable and you believe your parents are right about everything they say and you trust them blindly. If the parent has something against the opposite race it will mostly likely reflect in the kids response. Evidence to support this is in one of the videos the interviewer asks a few of the children why they wouldn’t want to be friends with someone of the opposite race. Both of the children said it was because their parents wouldn’t be okay with it. What is contradictory to the statement that parents are the main influence of their children's views is the fact that even the black children sometimes stated that their skin was ugly or bad. The reason this is contradictory is because no black parent is going to tell their child that their skin color is inferior to the white skin color.

Yes, I'd agree with you about how parents are the biggest influence on their children. On the other hand, the argument made between the two statements doesn't really have a connection. The notions of race and color of the skin are ultimately decided by the child themselves, and while the parents may never say that their skin is inferior to others, they generally don't make the point that their skin color is significant, or that they should be proud of it. Since the children never are made clear about it, it becomes a decision they make themselves.

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clairvoyant.
Posts: 21

My Mother Told Me My Skin Was Ugly, Therefore I Believed It.

My 4 year old nephew once told me that he wanted to be White, he didn’t wish to have his dark skin. When asked why, he responded, “OH IT’S UGLY!” And that broke my heart. That meant, not only did he at age 4 think he himself were ugly, but he also thought that everyone else in his family with darker skin were ugly as well. By saying just those 3 words, he managed to insult his entire family. But of course, it’s not his fault.

In Haitian culture it is very common for typically females (rarely males) to bleach their skin with certain lotions and soaps to get a lighter complexion. However, we don’t bleach to the point where we have white skin but only to the point where we can be described as “rouge (red)”, “jaune (yellow)”, or “clair (clear/light/bright)” because then it is move convincing to others outside of our culture that we were born with that lighter skin tone. My sister, the mother of my 4 year old nephew, began bleaching at 10 years old in Haiti. In fact, she began bleaching at such a young age that for the longest time I had no clue that it wasn’t her natural skin tone and formed a theory that she was adopted or switched at birth or something like that. Therefore she has been feeling this self-hate for her dark skin developed early and eventually led to her son’s self-hate. My nephew repeats whatever is told to him so at one point in his short life, his mother must’ve mentioned something about a darker skin tone being ugly and a lighter skin tone being beautiful or else he would have never thought of it. At a young age, my nephew already had branded in his brain what skin tones were more desirable than others regardless of exposure to different children just like the doll study and Anderson Cooper video. Children are most influenced by the adults they grow up around. All of my mother’s morals at one point became my morals and I am allowed to change them now with a better understanding of the world but children are too naive. Children do just take what they are told, negative or positive, as mentioned in the Boston Globe article and supported by Mahzarin Banaji, because they are told that they don’t know anything and therefore anything they say can be invalidated by an adult.

To further enhance this racial preference among children, the stereotypes of black people vs. white people on tv or social media make children want to especially feel negative towards black people. According to the Moral Life of Babies article, supposedly babies have morals and judgement so a baby watching a show with misrepresentation could already relate malice or maliciousness to black people and therefore form a bias against black people and grow with that bias. On social media, it is so easy to promote concepts (such as hate in particular as we’ve mentioned before) and to convince others to take in your different perceptions so a child on social media could be influenced to have biases in this way as well.

On social media, the white race and white skin is usually perceived as more beautiful, more intelligent, and more dependable which would allow for babies and children to develop positive thoughts about them and a preference. For example, recently there have been edited photos of Rihanna going around twitter where her skin is extremely lightened and she is given blue or lighter eyes. People are suggesting that she is more beautiful which then gives the mindset to children who look like the photos that they are beautiful and superior. Meanwhile the photos are degrading to Rihanna and children with her color of skin do not feel as beautiful nor desired anymore.

The Moral Life of Babies says that babies prefer to see faces closer to what they’re faces look like but as you can see in the case of my nephew and the black children from the Doll study and Anderson Cooper video, as babies grow, that changes. We can infer that this is because of what opinions and biases they pick up in their environment as they develop and gain influence.

Because we created this horrible social construct that is race, to-- what I believe-- give us identity, we have also then assigned certain races different roles in global society. It seems like the race with whatever lighter skin tone gets to glorified and dominant and the benefits lessen with every shade down. Thus, our beliefs about races and correlating skin tones are passed down to younger generations who form biases and hold racial preferences. We humans lack sympathy for each other when we keep handing down our own racial preferences.

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clairvoyant.
Posts: 21

Originally posted by champagnesugarcube on October 12, 2017 19:20

Some parents are afraid to talk about racism, but it needs to be addressed, leaving the topic untouched gives children the idea that it isn’t important, when it is one of the most important issues in our world today. Children only know what they are told, and that can be easily controlled.

I definitely agree that people are afraid to talk about racism but it's more White people (from what I've seen) than others. I tend to see Black people more ready to jump onto the subject of racism than White people and I think it's because White people don't like to think of what's going on because then they look bad and they don't like to hear about the flaws in their own race. Of course, I am speaking generally. A lot of White parents are afraid to tell their children about racial views and preferences because they don't want them to have be exposed to such negativity or gravity so early and because they are afraid of change and what happens after there is change so they don't want to contribute to any change. Maybe they think by remaining neutral they are helping the situation. I remember someone mentioned in class, older generations claim not to be racist but then don't want their children intermingling with different races because it makes them "uncomfortable." I think it is pretty hard to get people to stop thinking that the races should have divisions.

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champagnesugarcube
Posts: 18

Originally posted by chefcurry on October 12, 2017 20:19

Watching these videos did not surprise me as it may have others. It certainly was appalling but in no way surprising because I know there are influences in the world that makes the children this way. What makes children this way is partly innate but also from outside influences coming from the media, their own family, or the environment in which they live. One video I watched which was not on the list but was still done on CNN was about how babies are in fact born with implicit biases. The study done in this video proved that babies even at the young age of 3 months favored a specific type of person. This preference however was not based on physical traits but if people liked the things they liked. When the puppet took the cereal that the baby took, they tended to choose that puppet over the puppet that chose the other cereal. This shows that although people think babies are born without biases that is certainly not the case. This implicit bias in babies may be one of the causes that lead them to have racial preferences as well.

In my opinion the biggest influences on these children have to be their parents. When you are young you are very impressionable and you believe your parents are right about everything they say and you trust them blindly. If the parent has something against the opposite race it will mostly likely reflect in the kids response. Evidence to support this is in one of the videos the interviewer asks a few of the children why they wouldn’t want to be friends with someone of the opposite race. Both of the children said it was because their parents wouldn’t be okay with it.

What is contradictory to the statement that parents are the main influence of their children's views is the fact that even the black children sometimes stated that their skin was ugly or bad. The reason this is contradictory is because no black parent is going to tell their child that their skin color is inferior to the white skin color. What’s influencing these children is mainstream media. One example that we talked about in class is the dove advertisement and how a black woman transforms into a white woman making her “clean”. Ideas like this give children the idea that black skin is dirty. It is not only in the United States that there are ads like this. I’m pretty sure it was an ad from China where there was an asian lady and a black man who was painting her house. He tries to woo her but she sticks laundry detergent in his mouth and sticks him in the laundry machine. He then comes out an asian looking man with “clean” skin. This show that it’s not just in America where blacks are viewed as “dirty” to some people. Ads like these poison children's minds into thinking certain ways.

Post your response here.

I definitely agree that parents are the biggest influence in their children's lives, parents shouldn't be able to control who their children are friends with and explicitely tell them they are not ok with them being friends with a child of a different race. I never thought about ads similar to the ones Dove portrays existing in other countries, it would be interesting to see what other places are sending out to the public regarding race in media.

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EverythingIsOk
Posts: 12

Unfortunately, like chefcurry, I was not surprised by these videos and the readings did nothing more than support my belief that parents are truly the base of this racism from a very young age. I really liked their statement about how “when you are young you are very impressionable and you believe your parents are right about everything they say and you trust them blindly” which is absolutely true. Children know no better than what their parents say when they are babies, and later on, media and their close environment.

Paul Bloom’s article can be perceived as a way of saying that in everyday life, people of color are considered bad because of the misrepresentation they get in everyday situations, and young children cannot comprehend that they are not actually bad. This then plays on their extreme notion that the world is only “black and white” (no pun intended. Sorry.) and their lack of understanding which makes them grow up with the misconception that people are “bad” just because of their race. This idea has been and is very prevalent because of the neglect to explain to children that people are “bad” because of their actions, not because of how they were born or their differences. This ties into Banaji’s experiment of how children describe the faces of people of different races and how the white children who took it described most non-white faces as angry. Their ignorance is what is leading to this belief, and because they don’t interact with people of color as much, they assume they are “bad guys”. (The whole idea of “stranger danger”, but amplified).

The fact that the experiment conducted by the Clarks and Cooper were so similar and had similar turnouts did upset me, as did clairvoyant’s statement. It is relatively easy to see someone explicitly say that they don’t love themselves because of the way they were born, but reading clairvoyant’s story and really understanding what was happening was mind-boggling. It is a disgrace that people are not celebrated for who they are and instead feel the need to lighten their skin, although it is their body that makes them unique and special. It has been almost 80 years since that experiment, and the numbers are so similar, it is repulsive.

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champagnesugarcube
Posts: 18

Originally posted by clairvoyant. on October 12, 2017 21:16

My 4 year old nephew once told me that he wanted to be White, he didn’t wish to have his dark skin. When asked why, he responded, “OH IT’S UGLY!” And that broke my heart. That meant, not only did he at age 4 think he himself were ugly, but he also thought that everyone else in his family with darker skin were ugly as well. By saying just those 3 words, he managed to insult his entire family. But of course, it’s not his fault.

In Haitian culture it is very common for typically females (rarely males) to bleach their skin with certain lotions and soaps to get a lighter complexion. However, we don’t bleach to the point where we have white skin but only to the point where we can be described as “rouge (red)”, “jaune (yellow)”, or “clair (clear/light/bright)” because then it is move convincing to others outside of our culture that we were born with that lighter skin tone. My sister, the mother of my 4 year old nephew, began bleaching at 10 years old in Haiti. In fact, she began bleaching at such a young age that for the longest time I had no clue that it wasn’t her natural skin tone and formed a theory that she was adopted or switched at birth or something like that. Therefore she has been feeling this self-hate for her dark skin developed early and eventually led to her son’s self-hate. My nephew repeats whatever is told to him so at one point in his short life, his mother must’ve mentioned something about a darker skin tone being ugly and a lighter skin tone being beautiful or else he would have never thought of it. At a young age, my nephew already had branded in his brain what skin tones were more desirable than others regardless of exposure to different children just like the doll study and Anderson Cooper video. Children are most influenced by the adults they grow up around. All of my mother’s morals at one point became my morals and I am allowed to change them now with a better understanding of the world but children are too naive. Children do just take what they are told, negative or positive, as mentioned in the Boston Globe article and supported by Mahzarin Banaji, because they are told that they don’t know anything and therefore anything they say can be invalidated by an adult.

To further enhance this racial preference among children, the stereotypes of black people vs. white people on tv or social media make children want to especially feel negative towards black people. According to the Moral Life of Babies article, supposedly babies have morals and judgement so a baby watching a show with misrepresentation could already relate malice or maliciousness to black people and therefore form a bias against black people and grow with that bias. On social media, it is so easy to promote concepts (such as hate in particular as we’ve mentioned before) and to convince others to take in your different perceptions so a child on social media could be influenced to have biases in this way as well.

On social media, the white race and white skin is usually perceived as more beautiful, more intelligent, and more dependable which would allow for babies and children to develop positive thoughts about them and a preference. For example, recently there have been edited photos of Rihanna going around twitter where her skin is extremely lightened and she is given blue or lighter eyes. People are suggesting that she is more beautiful which then gives the mindset to children who look like the photos that they are beautiful and superior. Meanwhile the photos are degrading to Rihanna and children with her color of skin do not feel as beautiful nor desired anymore.

The Moral Life of Babies says that babies prefer to see faces closer to what they’re faces look like but as you can see in the case of my nephew and the black children from the Doll study and Anderson Cooper video, as babies grow, that changes. We can infer that this is because of what opinions and biases they pick up in their environment as they develop and gain influence.

Because we created this horrible social construct that is race, to-- what I believe-- give us identity, we have also then assigned certain races different roles in global society. It seems like the race with whatever lighter skin tone gets to glorified and dominant and the benefits lessen with every shade down. Thus, our beliefs about races and correlating skin tones are passed down to younger generations who form biases and hold racial preferences. We humans lack sympathy for each other when we keep handing down our own racial preferences.

Post your response here.

You did an excellent job with the examples you provided in your response. It is crazy to see how often companies like dove, and even people on twitter remain ignorant to racism in media, how are they so oblivious regarding their own actions? Who would even think of calling Rihanna more beautiful if she had lighter skin, this just shows that these people grew up in an environment in which racism was never frequently talked about. We can't let this happen to the generations after us, which is why educating people on topics that have been important in the past, present, and future is so important.

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clairvoyant.
Posts: 21

Originally posted by chefcurry on October 12, 2017 20:19

What is contradictory to the statement that parents are the main influence of their children's views is the fact that even the black children sometimes stated that their skin was ugly or bad. The reason this is contradictory is because no black parent is going to tell their child that their skin color is inferior to the white skin color. What’s influencing these children is mainstream media.

I get what you mean, here with "no black parent is going to tell their child that their skin color is inferior to the white skin color" but in different cultures of Black people, lighter skinned is encouraged among families and maybe a mother doesn't tell their child directly but they do imply it indirectly. I forgot to mention in my own post but in Haiti, I knew a girl who had very dark skin and she was called "Kaka Tout Bet" which means "the waste [poop] of all animals" because of it and even my family that took her in called her the name. Although, me and my sister being less ignorant decided that we would not. She had accepted the name however because she was well aware of her dark skin and how undesirable is it in Haitian culture. Not only in Haitian culture though but also in Dominican culture I hear of how darker Dominicans are made fun of and aren't even considered Dominicans, they're considered Haitians that must've crossed the border. Dominicans don't even like to accept that they are AFRO-Latino sometimes. So this self-hate is prominent in multiple cultures, a black parent could well make their child feel bad about their skin. But you're definitely not wrong about mainstream media either, I mentioned that in my post as well. Mainstream media likes to deteriorate the image of Black people.

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person123
Posts: 21

Black & White

Watching the videos and reading the articles was very eye-opening to me. Paul Bloom’s study proves that babies have a moral compass- but that they also show racial preference. The study “found that 6- and 10-month-old infants overwhelmingly preferred the helpful individual to the hindering individual. This wasn’t a subtle statistical trend; just about all the babies reached for the good guy.” We can easily understand that babies are not as dumb as we all thought. They understand good versus evil and the difference between helping and hindering. As proven in the article, babies also show preference and reward justice to those who help and do positive actions. But just as young humans overwhelmingly show preference for “good” behavior, those as young as “3-month-old prefer the faces of the race that is most familiar to them to those of other races.” Since children prefer others that look like themselves, this leads us to wonder whether children believe different races are inferior to them.

Anderson Cooper’s study, however, shows two different answers to that question. When both white and black children were asked to identify with positive attributes, most choose the lighter of the skin tones. When asked to identify negative attributes, children mostly chose the darker skin tones, regardless of their skin color. This is a very different finding than that of Paul Bloom’s study, where babies showed preference among those most similar to them. Within only a few years of living, young humans “learn” that blackness is associated with negativity. But why is this?

In one of the shorter videos by CNN, a white mother watches as her white daughter takes the doll test. The child does not stray from the trend and chooses the white doll for positive attributes, proclaiming, “she looks like me.” And then, when the interviewer asks to identify the mean or ugly child, the girl unhesitantly points to the dolls with the darkest skin. The screen then pans to the mother, in tears and in obvious distress, and admits, “We’ve never really talked about race.” In a contrasting video we see a black child pointing to a dark skin tone when asked “what color skin do you want?” When asked to point to the skin tone that most teachers think look bad on a girl, the girl says “I don’t really think it matters. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, it matters what you look like on the inside.” Once again, the camera pans to the father, this time a proud and grinning parent, and he says “she’s my child”, but also pointing out that they talk a lot about race.

This definitely proves the fact that if parents and guardians speak to their children about race, then the child will become more open-minded and accepting to those that look different to them. As one of the videos mentioned some white parents believe that talking about race will just lead the child to see more differences, and therefore be less accepting. However, as proven in Paul Bloom’s study, children show racial preference as early as 3 months old (crazy!). Therefore it is inevitable for children to notice differences between skin shades. Nevertheless, what is not inevitable is the negative effects of racial preference. As said in the video, black parents teach their children about race from a VERY early age, so as to expose them to it and warn them to the danger they could possibly be faced with for having darker skin. It is crucial though, to make sure that white parents also do the same and try to teach their children about race form a very early age. As someone who was categorized as “white” on one the identity cards I received, I can say that my parents never talked to me about race when I was a child. As Ms. Freeman says, race is a fiction but also a fact. Race is a part of our everyday lives, whether we want it to be or not. It is just as important for white children to be exposed to race too. By exposing children to the differences of humanity, children will then be able to understand, acknowledge, and discourage racial preferences in others.

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person123
Posts: 21

Originally posted by chefcurry on October 12, 2017 20:19

What is contradictory to the statement that parents are the main influence of their children's views is the fact that even the black children sometimes stated that their skin was ugly or bad. The reason this is contradictory is because no black parent is going to tell their child that their skin color is inferior to the white skin color. What’s influencing these children is mainstream media. One example that we talked about in class is the dove advertisement and how a black woman transforms into a white woman making her “clean”. Ideas like this give children the idea that black skin is dirty. It is not only in the United States that there are ads like this. I’m pretty sure it was an ad from China where there was an asian lady and a black man who was painting her house. He tries to woo her but she sticks laundry detergent in his mouth and sticks him in the laundry machine. He then comes out an asian looking man with “clean” skin. This show that it’s not just in America where blacks are viewed as “dirty” to some people. Ads like these poison children's minds into thinking certain ways.

I agree with your statement saying that media is the most harmful influence on a child's racial bias. I think it's very insightful of you to also include other culture's views on skin color and how they relate to America's. In this case, they're the same in that our society has created a very harmful stigma around black skin and the need to "clean it". I wonder if this is the same all around the globe?

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person123
Posts: 21

Originally posted by EverythingIsOk on October 12, 2017 21:34

The fact that the experiment conducted by the Clarks and Cooper were so similar and had similar turnouts did upset me, as did clairvoyant’s statement. It is relatively easy to see someone explicitly say that they don’t love themselves because of the way they were born, but reading clairvoyant’s story and really understanding what was happening was mind-boggling. It is a disgrace that people are not celebrated for who they are and instead feel the need to lighten their skin, although it is their body that makes them unique and special. It has been almost 80 years since that experiment, and the numbers are so similar, it is repulsive.

I agree with this 100%. It is so awful and disgusting that there has not been a lot of progress made in regards to racial preference. Wouldn't people learn that talking about race and fair and equal representation in the media would have a positive influence over racial preference? It really is true that if you don't learn from your history you are condemned to repeat it.

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Francis
Posts: 16

Racism in develeopment

According to Bloom, children are born with some kind of moral sense. This means that they know right from wrong in a very basic way. Babies start out by preferring people that look like them because they do not have much to go on except for a sense of familiarity, but, at some point into their toddler years, they begin to form their own opinions about people. According to studies including the Doll study, these opinions are largely based on the way people look. I think that there could be a few reasons for this development. In the recreation of the Doll study, which was only administered on black children, both white and black children were shown children with different skin colors. Most white children said the darker skinned children were "the bad children" or "the ugly children." This could possibly a result of the white children seeing a child who looks different from them, but I think there is often a factor of children being exposed to racism at some point, whether it is overt or subtle. This comes into more focus regarding the Doll study and its recreation surveying black children. Most black children also said that the darker skinned children were "the bad children" or "the ugly children." This is not a result of lack of exposure. This is someone or something hammering the notion that being black is a negative quality into the heads of children. It might not be the overt intentional racism seen in the 20th century, but something is showing children racial biases. We know that children are born with rudimentary morals, not a sense of race. So, as evidenced by these studies, between their infancy and toddler years, kids are exposed to a society that favors white people.

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