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kwameture
Posts: 13

Originally posted by Torino on November 04, 2018 10:29

Good Morning!


Boston is not a normal city. We are a blue city with a underlying conservatism and racism. Massachusetts consistently votes for Democratic candidates, in 2016 there were 1,995,196 people who voted for Hillary Clinton, and 1,090,893 who voted for Donald Trump. So it was an approximately 60%-30% respectively. This is actually quite surprising for me because I thought that Massachusetts was a very liberal state. I then went and did research on my own about how racist Boston is and I found an article on boston.com featuring a segment from the daily show about how racist Boston actually is. It turns out that it is 54% unwelcoming to black people, more unwelcoming than Charlotte, North Carolina, the city where the first major white nationalist rally was held. Bostonian's think that they aren’t racist and are a very liberal city, but in fact, we are not.

I want to tell you a story from my childhood when I was growing up as a white kid I didn’t have very many friends from my neighborhood because I grew up in a primarily black and Hispanic neighborhood. The reason that I didn’t have any friends was that I think that my parents are afraid of our neighbors, it's not like they are overtly racist or anything, but they did make an active decision of making my friends only JP or Westie kids. I was a member of the JP tot lot group which was primarily white kids, my first school was a primarily white private school where I struggled, and in third grade, I transferred to a much more diverse public school.

I remember one time I was playing in my backyard alone when I was probably 7 or 8 and still in that private school, a young black girl came from the neighbor's house into my backyard, she had lost her ball in my yard apparently. I was surprised since I had never seen this girl before, and yelled at her something like “Get off my property!” I remember telling my parents about this and the fact that they were angry, they made me apologize to this girl because I had yelled at her and because I was racist. However, I never remember learning about race from them and they never talked about this incident again.

I had an understanding of race at a very young age, as most children do which was shown by the studies done by Anderson Cooper, Paul Bloom, and Mahzarin Banji’s research. I never really understood why I spoke out at that girl, was it just fear and distrust or was there an underlying current of racism in that fear and in that distrust. It seems to me that pretty clearly the main reason racism is pervasive in this country is that parents, particularly white parents do not want to talk about racism as an issue. They say as is so commonly said in America “I am color blind,” or “I don’t see race,” or “Racism isn’t real”, or “Racism died when we elected our first black president,” even “My kids don’t see race.” All of these statements are very untrue, kids see race, racism is still a huge part of our society, and you should probably get your “color blindness” checked out.


Thanks,

Torino

I agree immensely with the point about Boston secretly being a conservative city. I think that impacts the biases of children very much. If they grew up around liberal ideas in their homes and schools, they most likely wouldn’t have these racial preferences. Their surroundings mold who they are until they are ready to form their own opinions and the fact that Boston has a lot of underlying racism that people are scared to talk about contributes to the ideas of kids in this city. Boston is also very segregated, so kids only spend time with people who look like them and that’s also a problem

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Latin'sLiability
Posts: 27

Originally posted by Shelly on November 04, 2018 19:47

Hi all,


After watching the videos, reading the articles and generally talking about race with you all, I feel like Mrs. Freeman is right- it’s all both a bunch of crap and one of the large things that defines a person.


Now onto what I am really supposed to be talking about…


Children will always follow the examples of parents, friends, television, and other sources that are capable of teaching them how to act. The children in all of these studies are simply mirroring something that someone has taught them. Ever since day one of a child’s life, they are being taught right from wrong. Media and the parents of today's youth can indirectly teach their children to have prejudice through their actions.


The media of today has a huge impact on how children view race. For instance, Disney. Most of the Disney movies (with humans in them) have an overwhelmingly white cast. When children see that the only people that get to be Disney princesses, and savers of the world are white, these children begin to believe that white people are the only people that deserve these roles. White children, as a result then believe that they have some sort of power over the others, while the children of other races begin to think that they are for some reason inferior. Don’t get me wrong, there have been Asian, Black, Pacific Islander, and Native American Disney princesses. I just feel like there should definitely be more representation so that the children of the future have a lot less bias about race simply through what they watch in movies. Children are extremely impressionable, and when they see racist behaviors in characters (Even when it is not supposed to be) they can pick up on these behaviors. I was not immune to adopting the behaviors of characters in movies or television either. Through the many, many hours of Spongebob Squarepants that I watched as a child (as many of you have too), I began to pick up on the annoying behaviors of Spongebob, and the whatever attitude towards life like Squidward.


Children can also be impressionable when it comes to the behaviors of parents too. Throughout all of the videos and studies that we watched where we saw children’s views on race, there were an outstanding number of children who said that their parents “would not want to be friends with children of the other race”. These parents may simply be trying to protect their children from race related problems such as bullying, or other things, this may be hurting these children even more. In the schools that were all white, there was a lot more racism there, rather than in the schools that were mixed race or majority minority. Children need to be exposed to other races so that they will then learn that they are similar to them. This will help these children not have as much racial bias. The parents would never blatantly say this, but through how they never showed their children other races, they probably figured out that black children are bad. Paul Bloom’s article helps prove that babies and children are constantly learning from their parents behaviors because of how he states, “But the new studies found that babies have an actual understanding of mental life: they have some grasp of how people think and why they act as they do.” Here, he tells the reader that babies very much understand how adults behave, and later, he goes on to describe that they mimic these behaviors of their parents and other adults. These fundamental behaviors that babies watch help contribute to their personality. Bloom helps give us a small window into the mind of an infant, and he helps us realize that even around beings that can barely sit up or speak English, we need to set a good example. Along with exposing their children to other races, parents can also help avoid spreading racial bias. When parents talk about perpetuate racist stereotypes, their children listen and learn too. Actions speak louder than words, and the horrible actions of parents are teaching racial bias to their children.


The way children feel about race, and how they learn about race are both connected. They can either make or break a child’s sense of bias. Children should be raised to know that race is a thing that exists, and that this thing should be embraced. Parents should tell their children that it is impossible for everyone to be exactly the same, and that our differences between race, height, weight, sexuality, and gender should not ever separate people. Maybe then, people would treat others like people. Maybe we could end the horrors of the past. Maybe one day genocide, ethnic cleansing, and racism will all be some distant memory. The only way to get there though is to teach our children, and our children’s children that it is OK to be different. We all need to be the generation that starts this movement.


Thanks for reading, and I hope to receive some comments.

-Shelly

Post your response here.

I agree with all you had to say. There are many problems with the way the world that surrounds children approaches the topic of race, which therefor contributes to the racial biases ingrained in all if not most children. At the same time I think that all of this is systematic and small changes in the way children are raised can not make the difference between a society founded on racism and one where racism will be a distant memory. Yet the movement to try and save our country from itself started a long long time ago. Nevertheless it is important that we continue to push for this movement that is at the moment being suppressed. I appreciate the way you confront this subject.

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Latin'sLiability
Posts: 27

Originally posted by Torino on November 04, 2018 10:29

Good Morning!


Boston is not a normal city. We are a blue city with a underlying conservatism and racism. Massachusetts consistently votes for Democratic candidates, in 2016 there were 1,995,196 people who voted for Hillary Clinton, and 1,090,893 who voted for Donald Trump. So it was an approximately 60%-30% respectively. This is actually quite surprising for me because I thought that Massachusetts was a very liberal state. I then went and did research on my own about how racist Boston is and I found an article on boston.com featuring a segment from the daily show about how racist Boston actually is. It turns out that it is 54% unwelcoming to black people, more unwelcoming than Charlotte, North Carolina, the city where the first major white nationalist rally was held. Bostonian's think that they aren’t racist and are a very liberal city, but in fact, we are not.

I want to tell you a story from my childhood when I was growing up as a white kid I didn’t have very many friends from my neighborhood because I grew up in a primarily black and Hispanic neighborhood. The reason that I didn’t have any friends was that I think that my parents are afraid of our neighbors, it's not like they are overtly racist or anything, but they did make an active decision of making my friends only JP or Westie kids. I was a member of the JP tot lot group which was primarily white kids, my first school was a primarily white private school where I struggled, and in third grade, I transferred to a much more diverse public school.

I remember one time I was playing in my backyard alone when I was probably 7 or 8 and still in that private school, a young black girl came from the neighbor's house into my backyard, she had lost her ball in my yard apparently. I was surprised since I had never seen this girl before, and yelled at her something like “Get off my property!” I remember telling my parents about this and the fact that they were angry, they made me apologize to this girl because I had yelled at her and because I was racist. However, I never remember learning about race from them and they never talked about this incident again.

I had an understanding of race at a very young age, as most children do which was shown by the studies done by Anderson Cooper, Paul Bloom, and Mahzarin Banji’s research. I never really understood why I spoke out at that girl, was it just fear and distrust or was there an underlying current of racism in that fear and in that distrust. It seems to me that pretty clearly the main reason racism is pervasive in this country is that parents, particularly white parents do not want to talk about racism as an issue. They say as is so commonly said in America “I am color blind,” or “I don’t see race,” or “Racism isn’t real”, or “Racism died when we elected our first black president,” even “My kids don’t see race.” All of these statements are very untrue, kids see race, racism is still a huge part of our society, and you should probably get your “color blindness” checked out.


Thanks,

Torino

Post your response here.

I really admire this response. You were very honest with the racial experience that you have been exposed to, in contrast to many who try and act that they were always this understanding when it comes to race. I completely agree with the fact that Boston is much more racist than its inhabitants choose to acknowledge. I think the problems in Boston run so deep that we as Bostonians don't even see them, or rather we see what can not be missed, for example Boston's segregated neighborhoods. Even though we refuse to see ourselves as racist there are states and groups out there that do, and rightfully so. Like you I believe that people should stop pretending they don't see color, especially white people.

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Tagaros
Posts: 14

The "Other" vs Us

As can be seen in Paul Bloom's articles, there does seem to be an explanation for bias, at least when it comes to skin color. In his on, where he examined the morality of babies, he discovers that, while babies do have some basic form of morals (such as the sense of right and wrong, and punishing the bad and rewarding the good), they also start out with a bias towards people, in terms of how alike they are to the baby. From skin color, language, and even the color of clothes, babies prefer those that are most similar to their own, and will support those who share those traits. This, to me, is the result of evolution. Long ago, before we could be scientifically labeled as human, our ancestors were in their own groups, their own "packs." They lived together, hunted and gathered together, and had families in these smaller groups. By reproducing in these groups, similar traits are passed down, and the people within these groups tend to look like their other group members. But, as can be seen in other species, different groups will fight over resources. This, over time, likely resulted in groups perceiving others as threats, and if you had the same traits as those in the other groups, you were one of "them," and are a threat. This, like basic moral principles, were passed down genetically over time. Babies would inherit a basic understanding of this, and their parents would reinforce it, allowing this conception of "other=bad" to continue, up to the present day. The concept of race, I believe, was a result of this, and so too is racism.

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Rainier
Posts: 18

Originally posted by greengrape on November 05, 2018 07:22

Originally posted by Rainier on November 04, 2018 23:04

"Tabula Rasa" means blank slate in latin. It is a concept, first seen in work of Aristotle and later of John Locke, that compares the human mind to a blank slate that is to be written on as events in one's life affect it. While I think that it's very true that a child life, such as their morality, is changed by the events that transpire in one's life, I think that Bloom's article proves that babies and humans are born with a sense of morality. I think this morality comes from observing and understanding the world around them through patterns. While their brains are still developing, Bloom argues that babies "use their knowledge from Day 1, not for action but for learning". I agree with this statement and I think that one of the first few things that I baby will understand is a basic understanding of morals. This is due to an instinctive moral lining in all people, which I believe could be attributed to a genetic or biological trait, almost a survival instinct. One tends to pick the choice that is "good" and not "bad" because that ultimately helps oneself more. But this trait is more fully developed as one gets older, leading Bloom to call it "a synthesis of the biological and the cultural, of the unlearned, the discovered and the invented". I agree with underhill when they say that it makes sense to have a preference to those that resemble oneself and that it is only a problem when they negatively view other groups based on this generalization but I don't believe that Bloom's article has no value in it. He is not arguing that babies are ignorant, in fact he is arguing against that statement. In his writing, he does not compare babies to sociopaths, but he is simply referencing an article by the Onion, which is a satirical news website. And in the next lines he explains how this statement is a wrong. Also I disagree with the fact that babies don't have a moral compass. After reading Bloom's findings, I see that there is, although not complex, a basic moral compass that allows them to distinguish the "good" from the "bad".

As the trait of a moral compass is not complex at the beginning, the trait develops as one gets older, relating to the theory of tabula rasas. This is why I think that racism is a trait that is learned not something that someone is born with. I think that people are influenced by all kinds of events that transpire around them. From social media, news, advertisements, movies, and more. The article by Burnett quotes the researcher in saying that "“It is not the fault of the children that they grow up to see a majority of power and influence concentrated among one race’’". And this is very true, it is not their faults. This unbalance is everywhere, white people dominate media and all types of exposure that children may get. They may start to develop a preference to what they are exposed to most and in what setting they see them. This preference is natural and I don't think can be prevented but what we must do is make sure that this preference does not lead to racial bias. Like Burnett says in his article, this bias can be changed by acting in their lives and showing them this imbalance and it's context. This is a need for more discussions about race. What we have been doing in Facing History has opened my eyes even more, and even though I thought I had a proper grasp on my own bias, having the discussions we are having in class have taught me more and these are the kinds of discussions that I think more people need to be having.

I think that Shelly is right to say that the behavior of a child's parents is very impressionable. They are the ones that are always with their children and their moral views are sure to be imprinted on them. While I don't think many parents outright say to their kids "the darker your skin, the badder a person you are", I think that racism can be learned through parents. They might talk about what kind of people to stay away from, or what places you shouldn't go to and while this isn't deliberate, it contributes to how they may view certain groups of people.

The experiments of the Clarks and Anderson Cooper were very interesting since it showed that racial bias in children is ever present. I don't think that any of the kids in that experiment were bad kids, I think that it just proves even more that we need to do more in teaching younger kids about bias and making it more aware. I want to see what would happen if children now participated in a similar experiment and to see if the results would change. But I think in both cases, you can see less of a racial bias in the older children which leaves us with a hope that, even though it can be present in younger kids, racial bias can change.

Post response:

As the trait of a moral compass is not complex at the beginning, the trait develops as one gets older, relating to the theory of tabula rasas. This is why I think that racism is a trait that is learned not something that someone is born with.

I disagree that babies are born with a moral compass, but I do agree that one does develop as you say here. I think babies are born with a blank slate, as you have also suggested but I think it is impossible for them to have opinions after they come out of the womb.

I think that you are right that it is impossible for them to have opinions right when they are born but the moral compass that I refer to is not quite opinions but rather a sense of what is good and what is bad. For example if you were to take food away from a baby, they would be able to see that as as a bad action to them.

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Torino
Posts: 35

Originally posted by ilovechocolate on November 04, 2018 13:06

Originally posted by Torino on November 04, 2018 10:29

Good Morning!


Boston is not a normal city. We are a blue city with a underlying conservatism and racism. Massachusetts consistently votes for Democratic candidates, in 2016 there were 1,995,196 people who voted for Hillary Clinton, and 1,090,893 who voted for Donald Trump. So it was an approximately 60%-30% respectively. This is actually quite surprising for me because I thought that Massachusetts was a very liberal state. I then went and did research on my own about how racist Boston is and I found an article on boston.com featuring a segment from the daily show about how racist Boston actually is. It turns out that it is 54% unwelcoming to black people, more unwelcoming than Charlotte, North Carolina, the city where the first major white nationalist rally was held. Bostonian's think that they aren’t racist and are a very liberal city, but in fact, we are not.

I want to tell you a story from my childhood when I was growing up as a white kid I didn’t have very many friends from my neighborhood because I grew up in a primarily black and Hispanic neighborhood. The reason that I didn’t have any friends was that I think that my parents are afraid of our neighbors, it's not like they are overtly racist or anything, but they did make an active decision of making my friends only JP or Westie kids. I was a member of the JP tot lot group which was primarily white kids, my first school was a primarily white private school where I struggled, and in third grade, I transferred to a much more diverse public school.

I remember one time I was playing in my backyard alone when I was probably 7 or 8 and still in that private school, a young black girl came from the neighbor's house into my backyard, she had lost her ball in my yard apparently. I was surprised since I had never seen this girl before, and yelled at her something like “Get off my property!” I remember telling my parents about this and the fact that they were angry, they made me apologize to this girl because I had yelled at her and because I was racist. However, I never remember learning about race from them and they never talked about this incident again.

I had an understanding of race at a very young age, as most children do which was shown by the studies done by Anderson Cooper, Paul Bloom, and Mahzarin Banji’s research. I never really understood why I spoke out at that girl, was it just fear and distrust or was there an underlying current of racism in that fear and in that distrust. It seems to me that pretty clearly the main reason racism is pervasive in this country is that parents, particularly white parents do not want to talk about racism as an issue. They say as is so commonly said in America “I am color blind,” or “I don’t see race,” or “Racism isn’t real”, or “Racism died when we elected our first black president,” even “My kids don’t see race.” All of these statements are very untrue, kids see race, racism is still a huge part of our society, and you should probably get your “color blindness” checked out.


Thanks,

Torino

Torino - I think it is very interesting how you bring your own account into your post. It really furthers the Clark's point that children are racially aware. I think it's harsh to label yourself, a young child, as racist. I think you made a racially discriminatory mistake. You seem to say that you had little guidance from your parents about race, expect for when they had you apologize to the young girl. I wouldn't place blame on you for that incident, for it is others responsibility to educate the young. However (this is not @ Torino, just a general statement) there is a point in a childs life, where it does become their responsibility to be racially and socially aware.

Yes I completely agree. Although I was the one who said the "racially discriminatory" remarks, and I should have some part of the blame in this indecent. I have striven to not be racist, and I wanted to share this story because I wanted to show how my experiences mirror the children in the study done by Anderson Cooper. If I were a child in one of those studies I would have been very racially discriminatory, and I probably would have chosen the things that the white kids chose when I was there age. I think I have matured, although I have yet to apologize to the girl formally.

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Torino
Posts: 35

Originally posted by Orange Juice on November 04, 2018 21:39

Originally posted by Torino on November 04, 2018 10:29

Good Morning!


Boston is not a normal city. We are a blue city with a underlying conservatism and racism. Massachusetts consistently votes for Democratic candidates, in 2016 there were 1,995,196 people who voted for Hillary Clinton, and 1,090,893 who voted for Donald Trump. So it was an approximately 60%-30% respectively. This is actually quite surprising for me because I thought that Massachusetts was a very liberal state. I then went and did research on my own about how racist Boston is and I found an article on boston.com featuring a segment from the daily show about how racist Boston actually is. It turns out that it is 54% unwelcoming to black people, more unwelcoming than Charlotte, North Carolina, the city where the first major white nationalist rally was held. Bostonian's think that they aren’t racist and are a very liberal city, but in fact, we are not.

I want to tell you a story from my childhood when I was growing up as a white kid I didn’t have very many friends from my neighborhood because I grew up in a primarily black and Hispanic neighborhood. The reason that I didn’t have any friends was that I think that my parents are afraid of our neighbors, it's not like they are overtly racist or anything, but they did make an active decision of making my friends only JP or Westie kids. I was a member of the JP tot lot group which was primarily white kids, my first school was a primarily white private school where I struggled, and in third grade, I transferred to a much more diverse public school.

I remember one time I was playing in my backyard alone when I was probably 7 or 8 and still in that private school, a young black girl came from the neighbor's house into my backyard, she had lost her ball in my yard apparently. I was surprised since I had never seen this girl before, and yelled at her something like “Get off my property!” I remember telling my parents about this and the fact that they were angry, they made me apologize to this girl because I had yelled at her and because I was racist. However, I never remember learning about race from them and they never talked about this incident again.

I had an understanding of race at a very young age, as most children do which was shown by the studies done by Anderson Cooper, Paul Bloom, and Mahzarin Banji’s research. I never really understood why I spoke out at that girl, was it just fear and distrust or was there an underlying current of racism in that fear and in that distrust. It seems to me that pretty clearly the main reason racism is pervasive in this country is that parents, particularly white parents do not want to talk about racism as an issue. They say as is so commonly said in America “I am color blind,” or “I don’t see race,” or “Racism isn’t real”, or “Racism died when we elected our first black president,” even “My kids don’t see race.” All of these statements are very untrue, kids see race, racism is still a huge part of our society, and you should probably get your “color blindness” checked out.


Thanks,

Torino

It is very interesting that you tied your own experience with the articles and videos we examined to "colorblindness." I very much agree that people should see race and recognize it as a continuous problem we face, even in "liberal" states like the one we live in. Children see race from a very young age, as shown in the experiments in the articles and from your own experience, and it is very important for parents to do their job in raising their kids in an environment exposed to race. Children copy the actions of their parents and in order for any change to occur, parents have to start seeing color.

Very true. If and when I have children I want to educate them in how society works from a young age. I don't want to shy away from the topic of race and the ideas that are so very relevant to our society. I want to have children that understand the concept of race and understand why it is so important to society. But I know that might not be a possibility, I may be to afraid to talk about that or even too forgetful. I have high expectations for my children but I know that some of those expectations might not be possible.

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Torino
Posts: 35

Originally posted by kwameture on November 05, 2018 07:23

Originally posted by Torino on November 04, 2018 10:29

Good Morning!


Boston is not a normal city. We are a blue city with a underlying conservatism and racism. Massachusetts consistently votes for Democratic candidates, in 2016 there were 1,995,196 people who voted for Hillary Clinton, and 1,090,893 who voted for Donald Trump. So it was an approximately 60%-30% respectively. This is actually quite surprising for me because I thought that Massachusetts was a very liberal state. I then went and did research on my own about how racist Boston is and I found an article on boston.com featuring a segment from the daily show about how racist Boston actually is. It turns out that it is 54% unwelcoming to black people, more unwelcoming than Charlotte, North Carolina, the city where the first major white nationalist rally was held. Bostonian's think that they aren’t racist and are a very liberal city, but in fact, we are not.

I want to tell you a story from my childhood when I was growing up as a white kid I didn’t have very many friends from my neighborhood because I grew up in a primarily black and Hispanic neighborhood. The reason that I didn’t have any friends was that I think that my parents are afraid of our neighbors, it's not like they are overtly racist or anything, but they did make an active decision of making my friends only JP or Westie kids. I was a member of the JP tot lot group which was primarily white kids, my first school was a primarily white private school where I struggled, and in third grade, I transferred to a much more diverse public school.

I remember one time I was playing in my backyard alone when I was probably 7 or 8 and still in that private school, a young black girl came from the neighbor's house into my backyard, she had lost her ball in my yard apparently. I was surprised since I had never seen this girl before, and yelled at her something like “Get off my property!” I remember telling my parents about this and the fact that they were angry, they made me apologize to this girl because I had yelled at her and because I was racist. However, I never remember learning about race from them and they never talked about this incident again.

I had an understanding of race at a very young age, as most children do which was shown by the studies done by Anderson Cooper, Paul Bloom, and Mahzarin Banji’s research. I never really understood why I spoke out at that girl, was it just fear and distrust or was there an underlying current of racism in that fear and in that distrust. It seems to me that pretty clearly the main reason racism is pervasive in this country is that parents, particularly white parents do not want to talk about racism as an issue. They say as is so commonly said in America “I am color blind,” or “I don’t see race,” or “Racism isn’t real”, or “Racism died when we elected our first black president,” even “My kids don’t see race.” All of these statements are very untrue, kids see race, racism is still a huge part of our society, and you should probably get your “color blindness” checked out.


Thanks,

Torino

I agree immensely with the point about Boston secretly being a conservative city. I think that impacts the biases of children very much. If they grew up around liberal ideas in their homes and schools, they most likely wouldn’t have these racial preferences. Their surroundings mold who they are until they are ready to form their own opinions and the fact that Boston has a lot of underlying racism that people are scared to talk about contributes to the ideas of kids in this city. Boston is also very segregated, so kids only spend time with people who look like them and that’s also a problem

I don't know if it is just the concept of being liberal that solves the problem of being racist. I am liberal and grew up in a "liberal" city. I don't know what would have happened if I had grown up in California but if I had had the same upbringing and had the same childhood in California I probably would have responded the same. I do agree with the fact that kids should hang out with people who look differently than them but that is not the entire solution. A child must be educated at a young age about race and about the problems that children who look differently than them face.

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Thomas Aquinas
Posts: 20

Experimental Children

When considering why these children have inherent biases or prejudices against another race, I believe the sole responsibility for these views lies on the adults in that child’s life who have exposed the child to their own twisted views of race. In other words I would agree with Paul Bloom that babies are very impressionable but ignorant, and as a result they are not directly responsible for the prejudices they develop. Instead, the adults in that child’s life owe a duty to educate that child, and ensure that any possible hint of stereotyping or bias is shown to be a false notion. Children cannot be held accountable for the outside influences that shape their life at an early age. As a product of their environment, their views are more telling of the parents’ notions of race than their own personal beliefs, and hopefully, as Mahzarin Banaji believes, these children will become exposed to diversity later in life and realize the positive and equal connection they share with “out-group” individuals.

Clark’s research is especially helpful in revealing the ideal that children can be racially aware and yet not understand the true purpose or reasons for their opinions. Clark’s use of the word Negro in the experiment was helpful in demonstrating the clear and defined difference between the races and how each children was enabled to do so themselves when given the vocabulary. This word allowed the white children to automatically subject the black children to a generalization and grouping without thought for the individuals; in a way dehumanizing. In contrast, the black children were forced to examine their own qualities of skin color and how it was to affect their lives and position in society. These affects reveal the impact of society’s imprint on the young children and how they discern race differences.

In conclusion, I would agree with Bloom’s ideals the most, in that the parents of the children are responsible for their child’s education and exposure to other races. However, it is naive to expect that every parent would want to educate their child properly or even relate the important morals and values of equality when discussing race. As a result the children’s views of race and equity are twisted and are left to the environment as they mature to educate themselves. This development of ideals takes an independence and strength from each individual in order to determine how they should relate with other races properly.

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Thomas Aquinas
Posts: 20

Originally posted by Torino on November 04, 2018 10:29

Good Morning!


Boston is not a normal city. We are a blue city with a underlying conservatism and racism. Massachusetts consistently votes for Democratic candidates, in 2016 there were 1,995,196 people who voted for Hillary Clinton, and 1,090,893 who voted for Donald Trump. So it was an approximately 60%-30% respectively. This is actually quite surprising for me because I thought that Massachusetts was a very liberal state. I then went and did research on my own about how racist Boston is and I found an article on boston.com featuring a segment from the daily show about how racist Boston actually is. It turns out that it is 54% unwelcoming to black people, more unwelcoming than Charlotte, North Carolina, the city where the first major white nationalist rally was held. Bostonian's think that they aren’t racist and are a very liberal city, but in fact, we are not.

I want to tell you a story from my childhood when I was growing up as a white kid I didn’t have very many friends from my neighborhood because I grew up in a primarily black and Hispanic neighborhood. The reason that I didn’t have any friends was that I think that my parents are afraid of our neighbors, it's not like they are overtly racist or anything, but they did make an active decision of making my friends only JP or Westie kids. I was a member of the JP tot lot group which was primarily white kids, my first school was a primarily white private school where I struggled, and in third grade, I transferred to a much more diverse public school.

I remember one time I was playing in my backyard alone when I was probably 7 or 8 and still in that private school, a young black girl came from the neighbor's house into my backyard, she had lost her ball in my yard apparently. I was surprised since I had never seen this girl before, and yelled at her something like “Get off my property!” I remember telling my parents about this and the fact that they were angry, they made me apologize to this girl because I had yelled at her and because I was racist. However, I never remember learning about race from them and they never talked about this incident again.

I had an understanding of race at a very young age, as most children do which was shown by the studies done by Anderson Cooper, Paul Bloom, and Mahzarin Banji’s research. I never really understood why I spoke out at that girl, was it just fear and distrust or was there an underlying current of racism in that fear and in that distrust. It seems to me that pretty clearly the main reason racism is pervasive in this country is that parents, particularly white parents do not want to talk about racism as an issue. They say as is so commonly said in America “I am color blind,” or “I don’t see race,” or “Racism isn’t real”, or “Racism died when we elected our first black president,” even “My kids don’t see race.” All of these statements are very untrue, kids see race, racism is still a huge part of our society, and you should probably get your “color blindness” checked out.


Thanks,

Torino

I wanted to thank you for sharing your story Torino, and I was impressed by your ability to confess why you had yelled at that little girl. It is important to understand that we are all shaped and molded by the society we grow up in, and as a result are living with the inherent biases and prejudices that we observe as young children. This story corresponds exactly with Bloom's claim that babies are impressionable but ignorant, and it reveals the duty that parents owe to their children to educate and instruct them on race. Unfortunately, although your parents were wise enough to discipline you, I believe they owed you an even further debt to explain the inherent implications of yelling at this black girl for no reason. Hopefully, as Bloom predicted, your environment as you matured became a diverse space that was able to expose you properly to the ideals of equity and as a result you were able to develop your own views of race and morals.

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Thomas Aquinas
Posts: 20

Originally posted by Mulan23 on November 04, 2018 22:41

I think that children feel the way that they do, specifically in reference to the doll study, because they are extremely perceptive and form their own opinions and biases based on the world around them, and how society treats people differently. For example, in the doll study, done in the 1940’s, when segregation between white and colored people was very prevalent, many of the children said that they preferred the white doll or that the white doll was the “nice”. I think that the children in this study, faced with discrimination and segregation, see the clear “preference” of white people in their society and link that with “nice” or “good” qualities. I also think that parents and/or guardians play a big role in the perceptions of their children, especially at a young age. For me at a young age, very similar to bakedfacecrepe, I developed views based on what my parents said, either directly to me or things I overheard, but as I grew up, I shed many of these views.

I agree with underhill44 in the sense that I also thought that Paul Bloom’s article went overboard at times and I wasn’t always sure of what he was trying to argue or what he was trying to show with the information he presented. That being said, much of the information he presented wasn’t very believable in a sense, meaning I don’t think that whenever the baby spent more time looking at one situation versus another it meant that they were confused or that they didn’t believe that situation was right. I don’t really know what Bloom meant by that, but either way it wasn’t a very definitive or reliable way of determining if babies do or don’t have moral codes. I agree with spaceman that Banaji’s research was helpful, but I also didn’t see the value in showing the sad or happy faces. The other experiments were much more conclusive because they directly asked which doll or person they thought were better or nicer.

I agree with your claim that children are perceptive and base their opinions solely on their surroundings and personal influences. However, I believe that Banaji's research was effective when asking about the feelings of the children's faces because it was demonstrative of how these children perceived another race's mentality. In fact, as a result of this deeper assumption of emotion, the children were even more effective in demonstrating how race can affect a perception as a child.

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C1152GS
Posts: 24

Response

I liked the points you made. I also think it's important for everyone to talk to their children about skin color and race. If parents are more open with their children, they won't stay biased their whole lives. All these biases can be eradicated if children learn at a young age that differences exist, but it does not mean one group is more superior than the other.

Originally posted by Spaceman on November 04, 2018 20:22

Originally posted by Cephalopod on November 04, 2018 19:35

There are many factors that affect the growth and views of children, namely the people around them. Children are easily influenced by their parents and by the other important adults around them, especially at a young age. When I was little I believed everything my parents told me. They were adults, so they were correct. It wasn’t until I neared the end of elementary school that I began to realize that being an adult does not mean a person knows everything and is always correct.

I think this relates to how the white children in the Anderson Cooper study were more likely to have a negative viewpoint on race. Generally, white parents do not talk about race, often because they think their children are not racist and do not want to teach their children about racism for fear of making them racist. I think this does more harm than help. Children are exposed to racism whether their parents talk about it openly or not. Therefore, it is important for the parents to teach their children that racism exists and is wrong. (I am aware that there are parents who do not think racism exists or are racist and will teach their children that racism, though they likely will not use that word, is acceptable. I agree with ilovechocolate that “it is simple minded to believe that all adults will turn their children into a model, upstanding citizen, especially when the definitions of a civilized being differs from person to person.”)

Children are also strongly influenced by societal messages about race, which they get from television, books, and even other children. Some parents have to actively counteract these messages. For example, one of the parents in the Anderson Cooper video spoke about how he tries very hard to make sure his daughters are comfortable with and proud of what they look like, instead of accepting societal messages that they are inferior because they are black. Burnett’s article on Mahzarin Banaji’s research has a similar message: that society influences children’s thoughts about race, but that negative racial messages can be “unlearned” as well. The father from the video is actively “un-teaching” his daughters the harmful messages about the color of their skin. (I want to add that the fact that he has to do this makes me really upset. I wish we lived in a world without hate where children did not feel ashamed of the color of their skin.)

I think that in general, black parents seem to be more concerned with discussing racism with their children and actively combating negative societal messages than white parents. This seems to come from the fact that black parents know that racial discrimination is a reality that their children will have to face at some point in their lives. On the other hand, white parents seem to think that if they do not mention race then their children will be “color-blind.” I agree with what Torino wrote: “It seems to me that pretty clearly the main reason racism is pervasive in this country is that parents, particularly white parents do not want to talk about racism as an issue. They say what is so commonly said in America ‘I m color blind,’ or ‘I don’t see race,’ or ‘racism isn’t real,’ or ‘racism dies when we elected our first black president,’ even ‘My kids don’t see race.’ ”

Children are definitely not color bind. The Clark’s study shows that children can tell the difference between a “white” child and a “colored” child from a young age. Paul Bloom’s article adds to this. He describes how babies tend to prefer people in the same “group” as them (whether that group be matching T-shirts or skin color). To do this the babies must be aware of some form of otherness. I think it makes sense that children prefer people who look like them: familiarity is safe while the unknown can be scary. I think that the more children are exposed to people who are different from them (this is not just for skin color), the less scary and unknown that otherness is, and the more inclined they are to not have negative assumptions regarding people who are not like them. This is why diversity is important everywhere: in schools, in television shows, in books. Children are aware of racism, it is the adult’s job to talk to them openly about it and show them that racism is wrong.

I would agree with the sentiment that black parents are more concerned with discussing racism, because racism is what's directly affecting them. It isn't usually white kids who are harassed, disrespected, and even murdered by police officers. It's important for black parents to speak to their children about the issue, because the issues affects them. To be even a little cynical, racism does nothing but put people of color down, so, in a sick way, it makes sense why white people don't seem to care. My belief is that some people are really just looking out for themselves, and I can't necessarily fault them for that. But, if parents aren't straight up with their kids about terrible things like racism, what's to say the kids are going to not be racist. We need to teach our young to be good people. And, truly, a lot of parents are not going to teach their kids to be good, upstanding citizens. But, ain't it time we try? I have hope that our generation will start to teach our kids about all of these bad things, so that they can make the world a better place themselves.

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C1152GS
Posts: 24

Response

I think your post did a good job summarizing the key points in these articles. Your point about nature vs. nurture is important in this conversation because all these articles have one thing in common and it is that children do not understand the issues of race and skin color. These things are not talked about at a young age and it is detrimental to society because if children grow up with these biases society can't progress.

Originally posted by underthesea on November 04, 2018 20:50

Originally posted by Spaceman on November 04, 2018 19:42

I’ve always struggled with the whole “nature vs. nurture” thing. On one hand, I believe that people are completely a product of their environment--a reaction to the world around them. But, that kind of minimizes the notion of “individuality” or “who you are”. If we were all born as blank slates, it makes life seem a little bit duller, a little bit greyer. So coming at this from the beginning, I’m going to be saying that children think the way they do almost completely based off of their environment.



Bloom’s article does a good job of “implying” that babies seem to have some sort of moral code. He never says it as if it is fact, because it isn’t. But, he definitely has evidence to back up his claims. For starters, I think it’s funny that he talks about how many “intellectuals” (being some psychologists, writer’s. etc.) think of children. Most seem to see babies as like demons that need to be tamed to be functional in society. Freud’s idea of the “id” supports this. The “id” is the darkness of a person, their innate selfishness, that needs to be quelled by society in order to create what is essentially a functional human. Something I found pretty interesting was when he talked about the child that “punished” the “bad” guy in the play. Later, he brings up how a baby is more likely to be cool with a “bad” guy punishing another “bad” guy. Babies seem to want justice, but there isn’t evidence that suggests they care who carries it out. My thoughts on this are a little bit negative. I think that people just want to see others in pain at a certain point. We have a sick moral compass that led us to believe, for the majority of our history, that killing people for certain crimes was ok. Public torturings and executions took place all over the globe during many different periods. When you see somebody else getting hurt, you know that you aren’t being hurt. So, I think that we, as people, just feel an evolutionary comfort when we see someone who is not us get hurt, especially when that person does something bad. It’s also interesting that Bloom brings up the idea that we are all moral mainly to support our own life. When we do something good, others respect us and want to help us, interesting. I do want to clarify that Bloom says a lot of stuff about how human children do have inherent morals of right and wrong, which I agree with.


Banaji’s research is helpful, in fact. It helps us learn about the biases kids have and how those may change over time. What struck me the most was that children show the same amount of bias as adults starting when they are 3 and 4. That hurt to read. I think we all see little kids as sort of pure. Like, I’ve personally worked with children, and I know they can be the worst sometimes. But, even so, we try to see them as like sort of pure. I think we just hope that little kids aren’t as messed up as we are. Which, at this point, doesn’t really seem like the case. The importance of this finding, to me, is that these kids are so young and are already picking up such awful behavior patterns. It really is important to be a good example for your children, because at the end of the day, their brains are so easily molded.


That being said, I don’t really understand yet why they chose to measure if the kids thought that the person was angry or not. I feel like it shows a trend, but I’m not sure as to what trend. The only thing you can really project about society from that is that there’s a big stereotype that people of color are always angry. I mean, it definitely isn’t not a stereotype, but it still seems like a little bit of a stretch. That part of the experiment process confused me, and they never really explained it enough for me to have a good understanding of it. That being said, I do thing the findings were interesting, and they do shed light onto the thought processes of children.


It wouldn’t seem right to end this post without talking about the study done by the Clarks. What stood out to me as the most “oh damn” thing, was how the South seemed to fair far better than the North when it came to how black children thought of themselves. Southern kids in segregated schools had a less pronounced reaction to only wanting to pick the white dolls. Similarly, 71% of Northern children thought that brown looked bad, as opposed to only 49% of Southern children. And even still, we pretend the North is a haven, a non-racist utopia. Clearly it was not the case then, and like we talked about during the art exhibit, it isn’t the case now. So, what’s the deal? Most of us just pretend we have no problems as the North, so why would we ever want to “change” anything. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. But, it is broke. It’s like we set something on fire and then kicked it under the carpet and were like, “nah it’s cool we’re all set!!” It just upsets me how dishonest we all are with ourselves. And, that includes me too. It’s not like I’m some “woke” warrior for peace. We all are to blame.


The fact of the matter is, the doll study saw kids having complete breakdowns and having to leave the room. A Northern “dark child” said that his color was a result of burning something. Another child said that white was better because all of the features were “clean”. That’s just so horrible. It’s too horrible. These kids can’t even accept themselves because the society they grew up in wouldn’t let them.


With that final statement, I think kids are more a result of their environment. If it weren’t that way, we would see every child match the good qualities to their own skin tone, because they would be confident that they were like that. But, that’s not what we see. We see kids clearly dislike their skin because of what they’ve been told their whole lives. While people may be born with a moral compass, I think that society wins out. We are social creatures, and for the first years of our lives we absorb everything we experience. It just means that we all have to put such a greater importance on raising or kids to be good people, who just want everyone to be happy.

I really appreciate and agree with this post. I think you accurately captured many of my initial feelings about the readings. I think that in many ways, the question of nature versus nurture is the core of this discussion. I think that it is really interesting to think about the biological reasons that babies would prefer people of their own skin color(nature), but important to highlight that there is likely much more nurture at play when it comes to the racism that can be seen in the older children (7 and 8 year-olds). The North/South discrepancy was also particularly jarring for me, and further affirmed the idea that the North is equally as implicit in a system of racism since the beginning. Overall, great post!

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C1152GS
Posts: 24

My thoughts

Before I moved to the US I wasn’t aware of my skin color since I lived in a predominantly black country. Many of family members are light-skinned, but the issue of my color didn’t really matter. When I moved to the US I went to a predominately black elementary school, I didn’t befriend a white student until the 3rd grade. I never felt different. My most recent encounter with skin color occurred this year. one of the things that shocked me the most was when a five-year-old white boy at work told me to stay away from him. When I asked him why he told me he doesn’t like people with black skin. I was so appalled. I quickly asked myself how could a young child already have the biases. One of the videos from Steve Cooper explains it. One of the moms said, “she just isn’t exposed”. I think this is true when little kids only hang around people who look just like them it causes them to think that there is something inherently different about them. The lack of exposure is also in TV shows, movies, goods, ads. James H.Burnett’s article states that this happens because children grow up to see power and influence concentrated in the among one race.

The moral one begins with is primitive babies possess a capacity of judging actions of others, but through interactions and cultural development, these prejudices are learned.

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Miss Day
Posts: 26

Originally posted by underhill44 on November 04, 2018 14:16



Moving on to Paul Bloom’s article, I honestly couldn’t see much value in it. The way he presented the information made me lose respect for the purpose of the article, as he compared babies to sociopaths and repeatedly called them ignorant. Calling a baby ignorant, especially with how “ignorant” is used today, is so wrong and rude. Of course babies don’t have a developed moral compass- THEY’RE BABIES! They have next to no experience in the world, and they can’t even talk or adeptly interact with anything- they’re BABIES. I would also be surprised if children didn’t show a preference for people who looked like them and acted like them, referring to the experiments with t-shirt color and the like. People, especially children, flock to people and things they recognize. I would prefer being in a room with women rather than men, purely based on the fact that I am a woman, so that’s what I connect with and recognize. Children shouldn’t be demonized for instinctively choosing dolls and people that resemble themselves. It’s only when they negatively view other groups based on the characteristics they’re categorizing people by that it’s a problem.

Also, based on Bloom saying, “babies present an additional difficulty, because, even compared to rats or birds, they are behaviorally limited: they can’t run mazes or peck at levers,” I can’t read one more thing he says as if he’s a compassionate individual himself.

While I do appreciate the concern you express here, and I do agree that the comparison to rats wasn't the best choice in terms of babies, I find that your interpretation of Bloom's article presents a fundamental misunderstanding of the tests conducted on babies.

As a scientist, and incredibly important factor in any experimentation is highlighting possible error factors. It ensures that what you have presented is the most accurate information based on what you were able top achieve with the resources at hand. Bloom's emphasis that babies have limited cognitive abilities is used to inform readers that the experiments have their limitations, not to ridicule and insult tiny humans. Since they are babies, the scientists can't actually talk to them and have an in depth conversation as to their exact perspectives on the variety of tests they undertook, plus their limited mobility makes it hard to construct tests such as mazes to observe certain qualities. As such Bloom's team created new experiments that would more effectively target the kind of information they were trying to get out of the babies.

The largest misunderstanding, however, is that Bloom doesn't think babies have moral compasses. On the contrary, much of the latter half of the article is devoted to the numerous results they found from these tests that pointed directly to the idea of a moral compass. The article even opens up with toddler striking back on a mean puppet who stole someone's stuff. Bloom's article is further justification that babies do have some --albeit rudimentary--moral compass that motivates their actions. That's not to say they can be held accountable for all their actions, but there is some form of morality present based on evolutionary traits that can be manipulated by individuals and experiences present within a baby's life.

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