posts 31 - 38 of 38
niall5
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by hotchocolate on October 13, 2021 18:41

Referring to the Anderson Cooper video, it was especially interesting to me to see that between those ages of children so young, their views on race didn’t really change. I was thinking about what it would be like if the study was done on adults somehow and then I realized that the children in the study didn’t hesitate to say “that child is dumb because they’re black” because saying it out loud hasn’t been registered as very taboo. What I’m trying to say is that if an adult was asked those series of questions, their responses might align with those of the children (a specific example being the white child chosen for who adults prefer) but as we mature, we understand what’s socially acceptable to say and keep to ourselves so we might not vocalize our internalized racism. Unfortunately even as a person of color, I have been shaped by racism, homophobia, misogyny, and while I vocalize and discuss how strongly I oppose all of those things, sometimes I find it hard to accept that I’m part of the queer community because compulsory heterosexuality. This connects to my summer reading book about interviewing an assassin during apartheid South Africa because should the individual who was notorious for killing hundreds of innocent people be blamed or was it because of the oppressive system at the time (which might warrant an “excuse” or empathy)? It has to do with representation in younger kids, what we as a society choose to expose our children to. The video showed a toy section and like Barbies for example, they were originally all white, and then black Barbies were made honestly to appeal to a wider market and even possibly combat hatred of the lack of diversity in the dolls from the public. At any rate, it's amazing at the range of toys available in stores that serve to uplift everyone but also the amount of damaging stuff that's influencing today's youth (like the body shape of Barbies). To make a personal connection, I work with children in an art nonprofit and over the summer, we took them to the Gardner museum. The old wing is home to mostly white European artists and those depicted in the work, while the students who visit the museum include people of color and of every background. Part of my job at the museum was replacing images of white people and artists with Latinx, indigenous, and Asian/asian american artworks for teachers to use to base discussions on with students. Does this effort along with the rotating new wing exhibitions “compensate” for the lack of diversity in the old wing of the museum (since the way Isabella Gardner left the museum can’t be changed)? Exposure to all different cultures and races in daily life as you’re growing up and figuring out the world is a privilege because it teaches us that differences should be celebrated and kids are extremely affected by nature/environment as well as nurture. What they see and are told gets internalized by them whether consciously or not, and those opinions and beliefs stay with us and are often hard to change. Children are very thoughtful and perceptive and intelligent, noticing everything around them and reflecting what they take in. But it’s true at least for me that as I grow, I acknowledge that most of my friends and family are white and I want to find more ways to connect to my heritage/culture. My parents have always encouraged me to explore my culture and get involved and I think that if they hadn’t had such a big influence on what I chose to put my energy towards that shaped my values, perhaps I wouldn’t be as free and liberal thinking. Also, I remember bad experiences I’ve had with people like if I meet someone named Bob who’s rude, I dislike that name and associate negativity with it. As children are developing how they think and use this information, they might associate negative experiences with certain groups of people, which is hard to break because adults don’t fully speak the same language as children. I feel guilty for knowingly bullying kids as a child as a result of being bullied severely, and as I mature, I need to forgive myself because kids don’t always use words to express their challenges and feelings and often use actions instead as a tool to explore how they relate to others. Then they see how people respond to their actions and words and learn from those experiences. Going back to representation in terms of race, we often aren’t told of “successful” people of color who helped form the world we live in now, partly because they weren’t given those opportunities and that work of white people has always been valued more. Children from a young age in this day and age do have access to social media and everything they see or hear from billboards, advertisements, stories, etc., they learn to question or just internalize without knowing it. In terms of art, it can be a powerful tool to show youth that they can be successful, for example by showing them artists of color like Kehinde Wiley, which opens their eyes to the endless possibilities people of all backgrounds can have. Discussion is essential, no matter how uncomfortable it is, to helping children understand the world and everything that’s good and bad. The more knowledge one has about something they are passionate about changing and bettering, like the stigma surrounding menstruation, the more it inspires them to use their voice and harness their power. Going off of Paul Bloom’s research, babies and even adults mimic others and use that response as information. Children try on different personas and go through “phases” one could say because they’re curious about how others will respond, and that teaches them right from wrong. Young people honestly are the most honest and don’t get enough credit for their intelligence just because society has many things it views black and white and there aren’t many different acceptable ways for interpretation. Yes, race is made up and fiction but it’s real because everyone believes in it and lives it. Relating to Sapiens by Yuval Harari, many things like the government and corporations don’t tangibly exist and essentially they only do because we believe in them. Like if someone got fired from Google, the company wouldn’t shut down or suffer at all, and Google would still exist. Anyway, bias is a part of our lives from the minute we’re born and we’re all faced with making decisions based on our experiences and thoughts. From our favorite stuffed animal to what school we go to.

I like how you included all of the subtle influences, down to the toys that children are given at a young age. These small influences affect how we learn about the world, and inform our implicit biases as we grow.

Camm230
South Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

How does racial identity play a role in how people see us?

Between the ages of 1-7 is the most developmental part of a persons life, this is where people figure out themselves and the world around them. So they are most influential at this age so anything that happens during this time of a child's life it will most likely have an affect on them the rest of their lives. According to Blooms theory babies already have a loose set of morals, so when they begin to develop they can create biases based on there environment. If the environment they grow up in establishes the white is considered a good pure color (such as thru the church and the image of heaven/ white dove) and black as a negative color (hell is darker and therefore is associated as bad), same with who is represented in media, government, teachers, if people who are considered "moral" or the "leaders" are majority one skin color then that skin color is associated with being the more desirable skin color. Children are so simple and complicated at the same time they see the world for the first time and then that's how they see the world. They make basic observations about the environment around them which will influence them and depending on what parents, and the world around them show as morals or biases they will adopt those same ideals.

Lion03
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by hotchocolate on October 13, 2021 18:41

Referring to the Anderson Cooper video, it was especially interesting to me to see that between those ages of children so young, their views on race didn’t really change. I was thinking about what it would be like if the study was done on adults somehow and then I realized that the children in the study didn’t hesitate to say “that child is dumb because they’re black” because saying it out loud hasn’t been registered as very taboo. What I’m trying to say is that if an adult was asked those series of questions, their responses might align with those of the children (a specific example being the white child chosen for who adults prefer) but as we mature, we understand what’s socially acceptable to say and keep to ourselves so we might not vocalize our internalized racism. Unfortunately even as a person of color, I have been shaped by racism, homophobia, misogyny, and while I vocalize and discuss how strongly I oppose all of those things, sometimes I find it hard to accept that I’m part of the queer community because compulsory heterosexuality. This connects to my summer reading book about interviewing an assassin during apartheid South Africa because should the individual who was notorious for killing hundreds of innocent people be blamed or was it because of the oppressive system at the time (which might warrant an “excuse” or empathy)? It has to do with representation in younger kids, what we as a society choose to expose our children to. The video showed a toy section and like Barbies for example, they were originally all white, and then black Barbies were made honestly to appeal to a wider market and even possibly combat hatred of the lack of diversity in the dolls from the public. At any rate, it's amazing at the range of toys available in stores that serve to uplift everyone but also the amount of damaging stuff that's influencing today's youth (like the body shape of Barbies). To make a personal connection, I work with children in an art nonprofit and over the summer, we took them to the Gardner museum. The old wing is home to mostly white European artists and those depicted in the work, while the students who visit the museum include people of color and of every background. Part of my job at the museum was replacing images of white people and artists with Latinx, indigenous, and Asian/asian american artworks for teachers to use to base discussions on with students. Does this effort along with the rotating new wing exhibitions “compensate” for the lack of diversity in the old wing of the museum (since the way Isabella Gardner left the museum can’t be changed)? Exposure to all different cultures and races in daily life as you’re growing up and figuring out the world is a privilege because it teaches us that differences should be celebrated and kids are extremely affected by nature/environment as well as nurture. What they see and are told gets internalized by them whether consciously or not, and those opinions and beliefs stay with us and are often hard to change. Children are very thoughtful and perceptive and intelligent, noticing everything around them and reflecting what they take in. But it’s true at least for me that as I grow, I acknowledge that most of my friends and family are white and I want to find more ways to connect to my heritage/culture. My parents have always encouraged me to explore my culture and get involved and I think that if they hadn’t had such a big influence on what I chose to put my energy towards that shaped my values, perhaps I wouldn’t be as free and liberal thinking. Also, I remember bad experiences I’ve had with people like if I meet someone named Bob who’s rude, I dislike that name and associate negativity with it. As children are developing how they think and use this information, they might associate negative experiences with certain groups of people, which is hard to break because adults don’t fully speak the same language as children. I feel guilty for knowingly bullying kids as a child as a result of being bullied severely, and as I mature, I need to forgive myself because kids don’t always use words to express their challenges and feelings and often use actions instead as a tool to explore how they relate to others. Then they see how people respond to their actions and words and learn from those experiences. Going back to representation in terms of race, we often aren’t told of “successful” people of color who helped form the world we live in now, partly because they weren’t given those opportunities and that work of white people has always been valued more. Children from a young age in this day and age do have access to social media and everything they see or hear from billboards, advertisements, stories, etc., they learn to question or just internalize without knowing it. In terms of art, it can be a powerful tool to show youth that they can be successful, for example by showing them artists of color like Kehinde Wiley, which opens their eyes to the endless possibilities people of all backgrounds can have. Discussion is essential, no matter how uncomfortable it is, to helping children understand the world and everything that’s good and bad. The more knowledge one has about something they are passionate about changing and bettering, like the stigma surrounding menstruation, the more it inspires them to use their voice and harness their power. Going off of Paul Bloom’s research, babies and even adults mimic others and use that response as information. Children try on different personas and go through “phases” one could say because they’re curious about how others will respond, and that teaches them right from wrong. Young people honestly are the most honest and don’t get enough credit for their intelligence just because society has many things it views black and white and there aren’t many different acceptable ways for interpretation. Yes, race is made up and fiction but it’s real because everyone believes in it and lives it. Relating to Sapiens by Yuval Harari, many things like the government and corporations don’t tangibly exist and essentially they only do because we believe in them. Like if someone got fired from Google, the company wouldn’t shut down or suffer at all, and Google would still exist. Anyway, bias is a part of our lives from the minute we’re born and we’re all faced with making decisions based on our experiences and thoughts. From our favorite stuffed animal to what school we go to.

I definitely agree with what you said. I found it interesting the point you made about Children being very intelligent because most people will disagree just because they don't know how to think for themselves. Its a different perspective which not many people take on. I've never thought of it that way but I agree with you because they have the brain capacity to adapt societal norms and steryotypes. They take note of it without it even being recognized.

Lion03
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by redemmed2021 on October 13, 2021 20:31

The way children feel about race involves many aspects. I don't really think there is one clear cut answer. Bloom's article states how when babies are born they have a simple sense of morals and a simple way of categorizing good vs bad. Bloom also makes it clear that children pick up on behavioral patterns and learn to expect them. Here is where I think the influence of the parents and surroundings play a big role. If a baby's parents were giving certain negative reactions to a specific race they would categorize people that look like that to be bad. These categorizations can begin to stay with them. As mentioned before another reason why there may be some racial preference is because of the environment. In the doll study we learn about the white doll is categorized by many of the colored and negro children as their prefered color, or the nice doll. In the study they also recorded the difference between the north and the south. The kids in the south who went to segregated schools most likely received some bad treatment given the time period. To add on they are only around people that look like them and because of this they categorize themselves and form a group. As the children are watching their surroundings they see how the white children are treated better than they are, and because they have some type of understanding of good and bad they conclude that the white/ lighter skinned children are good. Children know that people that are treated well are most likely nice people so that could be why they feel the way they do about race. The colored/Negro children want to people treated nicely and fairly so thy would prefer to be that race. To add on becasue of segregation and slavery the US estbalsihed the idea of race, and from the video we see that there is no genetic marker for race. From this the children start to focus on how they would be categorized and how other kids are categorized


I find it interesting how you mention the South being different because even now we can see the clear difference that the south has from us. I like the point you made about how when more people are surrounded by white children it puts them on a pedestal because of how they are treated. It was also interesting how you were able to connect this study to slavery.


girlboss16
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 14

racial preference study among children

I believe that children feel the way they do about race because of the environment they grow up in. This manner can be intentional or unconscious. As mentioned in Paul Bloom’s article, ages 1-7 are the most developmental years of a person's entire life. He mentions how babies have a loose set of morals, allowing for biases to easily captivate their minds. As children, we begin to figure out ourselves as well as the world around us. Being very influenced by other people’s ideas and words at this young age, anything a child hears is most likely going to affect them for the rest of their life.

Typically, it seems that children are commonly raised by people who have the same skin tone as them. Surrounded by family and friends with the same skin tone, that becomes comforting and normal for them. If not taught about the importance of diversity, children may end up having opinions on other races. These opinions could be formed by influence from parents or people who make comments, leading the child to feel a certain way. Mahzarin Banajis’s research suggests that children are more aware of race than it is realized. They can tell the difference between someone lighter and someone darker. Because of this, I believe that it is crucial to educate your children on diversity. If they witness any form of racism towards a different person, they may carry this opinion with them for life.

girlboss16
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 14

Originally posted by 9oclock on October 13, 2021 16:32

The age old saying - children’s are sponges!

As Paul Bloom describes, children pick up on behavioral patterns and learn to expect them. This means that children’s morals are formed by the morals held in their surroundings. The differences in result in the Doll Experiment between kids in the North and the South support this. There was less of a white preference in the Northern kids, though the white preference was still strong. This can be explained by the integrated schooling and dominant progressive ideological culture in the North - in comparison to the segregated schooling and dominant conservative ideological culture in the south. Children will pick up on biased habits of treating/ referring t individuals of a race- whether it be the behavior of people around them or a negative portrayal of a race on public media. For babies’ ability to equate social dynamics on television to social dynamics in real life were broadcasted in an experiment in Paul Bloom’s article.


I think it's cool how you mentioned the Doll Experiment. This experiment makes a lot of sense, because children learn diversity by seeing diversity, and the South is definitely less diverse then the North. Though the North is not perfect, it is good to recognize how there is less white preference up here.

girlboss16
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 14

Originally posted by loveholic on October 13, 2021 22:25

I absolutely think that racism and biases in young children is a product of their environment, their parents, and the types of things that they saw when they were developing and learning about the world. If a child grows up in a place that is a predominant area of one race, that is who they will see the most and connect to the most. They get used to this, and that causes them to notice differences a lot more when introduced to someone of another race. If parents don't teach their kids that everyone is equal or that they should treat everyone the same despite these differences, that is where the biases come in and this is what kids will pick up on. Representation in the media as well is a big part of this, because if kids are shown negative things about one race or stereotypical things, they will believe it and grow up thinking that is the truth. In the studies, most of the kids associated negative questions with the darker skin child. This is most definitely a result of things they have been exposed to as well as what their parents may have told them. Also, generational trauma is a very real thing and ideas that were prevalent in their grandparents' day or other relatives can be somehow passed down and remembered. Things such as slavery and the Civil Rights movement have impacted society greatly, and there are still elements of it in today's country. Especially in certain areas of the US where kids are being taught the wrong parts of history and learning false information, there is a divide in the way that we view race and things that have happened because of it.

I think it's cool how we both mentioned the same points in our responses. We both mentioned how children will connect most with the race they predominantly grew up with. This theory makes lots of sense. As young kids with developing minds, being introduced to another race they are not familiar with can cause the child to notice differences. I agree it is important for parents to encourage diversity and the idea of equality so the child can accept the differences that they are presented with.

curioushuman
US
Posts: 6

what's up with racial preference among children?

There is no way to escape race and the hold it has on everything and everyone. In this case, children are being taught to associate light and white with good and dark and black with bad. There is no denying this fact because the children outright state it, whether they are white children who look down on their Black peers or Black children who are influenced by their environment to think negatively of themselves. Mahzarin Banaji’s research shows that children understand the bias toward lighter skin tones and association with whiteness very quickly, and it “doesn’t require a mature level of cognition to form negative biases.” His research also suggests that for older children, environment begins to play a tremendous role in how they perceive people who look like them and those who look different. If a parent does not make an effort to teach their child not to be prejudiced, they can still have a diverse environment and see everyone as equal. However, this also works vice versa that a child will see one group as better than another if that is how it is presented to them. The research concludes that we must make an active effort to teach children not to have bias for one race and to overcome this idea that one race, or the “white race”, is superior to all others. Similarly, Paul Bloom’s article also shows that children respond to how people are treated and have certain “moral foundations” even as babies. We all start off with “primitive” morality and racism is learned. This is because society surrounds us with an ideal from when we are little—from skinny Barbies with white skin and straight blonde hair to the white protagonists and their token Black best friend in movies. Like how Lion03 said, growing up watching DIsney Channel gave me a specific idea of what life was like and the majority of the main characters they had that were POC were as close to white as they could get them to be. This causes there to be a lack of representation and therefore people of color are not portrayed as worthy of being the hero as well. To refer to what hotchocolate said, as a person belonging to multiple marginalized groups, I find it hard to be confident in myself and identity when being presented with so much saying that I am not worthy of respect or rights or that I must strive for an ideal that is not meant for people like me. We all struggle because of these biases and all have our own, but it is important that we acknowledge that and take the steps to combat its negative effects on society.

posts 31 - 38 of 38