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freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 250


Reading:

  1. Kenneth and Mamie Clark, "Racial Identification and Preference in Negro Children," 1950 You can also read this here: https://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/13/doll.study.1947.pdf
  2. Paul Bloom, “The Moral Life of Babies,” New York Times, May 5, 2010. You can also read this here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/magazine/09babies-t.html
  3. James H. Burnett III, “Racism Learned: New Research Suggests Prejudices May Form at a Much Earlier Age, but It Also Offers Hope that Biases Can be Unlearned,” Boston Globe, June 10, 2012. You can also read this here:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2012/06/09/harvard-researcher-says-children-learn-racism-quickly/gWuN1ZG3M40WihER2kAfdK/story.html


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 in class on Tuesday, 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 the children 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 Tuesday, the URLs for the various clips that we watched in class, as well as several related ones, 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)


mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

What’s Up with Racial Preference among Children?

After reading the various articles and study summaries, I think that one of the main explanations for why the majority of children tested, black and white, normally had opinions more favorable to white people all originates from the children’s exposure. For example, in Paul Bloom’s essay he writes that there is ample evidence supporting the idea that babies have “within-group preferences,” or biases “toward [their] own kind.” This evidence helps support conclusions like white children overwhelmingly connected to and preferred other white dolls, pictures, and features. Along the lines of children being more inclined to prefer those like them, Paul Bloom writes, “once they are segregated into different groups — even under the most arbitrary of schemes, like wearing different colored T-shirts — they eagerly favor their own groups in their attitudes and their actions.” This acts, similarly to the study done by the Clarks, as evidence for segregation in schools effect on the development of children and their opinions of those they are less surrounded by. Also, as mentioned in Mahzarin Banaji’s research, children that are less exposed to diversity in their daily life activities, like school, are more likely to draw a distinctive like between those they perceive as their “in-group” and “out-group” people, fueling prejudice.

While viewing all of the evidence presented in class and through these readings, I was disheartened to see that black children were perceiving their own race negatively. I was extremely saddened when asked what skin color she wanted, a young black girl chose the second whitest option, saying that she doesn’t like “the way brown looks.” This young girl was then asked to point to the child with the skin color that most adults wouldn’t like, and almost immediately pointed to the darkest skin color. This, as Dr. Spencer says in the Anderson Cooper video, is a product of children being exposed to various stereotypes, with white children often maintaining the stereotypes more strongly than black children. These stereotypes can be credited to the media that children absorb being mainly pro-white biased, meaning that children of color that view this media often feel unrepresented, causing them to feel insecurities regarding their own race. As mentioned by Mahzarin Banaji, children begin understanding media at very young ages, therefore, racial preferences can be learned by children as young as 3-years-old. The underlying theme in each of the articles and studies show that the extent of exposure to diversity in children is a major factor in determining their racial preferences and biases.

giraffes12
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

What’s Up with Racial Preference among Children?

Children feel this way because of the society that they were raised in. Every small aspect of children's lives in this country has some incorporation of race in it; for example the dolls that they play with, who their parents bring to their house, who they grow up with, listening to their parents talk. A lot of it is subtle, most parents probably don't even know that they're teaching their children implicit bias. Paul Bloom's article was very interesting, because it showed that babies actually do have some sense of morality. I think this shows us that racism is a learned behavior, that we are not born with bias. Babies are born ignorant and moral, and as they grow older in this society that changes. Mahzarin Banaji’s research is very helpful with this question, because it shows us that implicit bias is real, that we learn this bias through subtle signs from our parents and the society we live in. In the Anderson Cooper video, young children almost always identified the picture of the child with darker skin as "bad" and the picture of the child with lighter skin as "good." Even if the children played with other children that didn't look like them, they still had a bias against them. This is because they have learned it. I wonder if the morality that Bloom found in babies stays prevalent throughout dealing with these issues, do white children still maintain morality when it comes to race? The other studies seem to say "no" to this question. Although in the Anderson Cooper video, when older children were asked about race they had more progressive views, especially if they went to school in a diverse setting. So do they get that morality back? And when? This is all very interesting, and I would love to learn more about it.

mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

Originally posted by giraffes12 on October 12, 2021 22:23

Children feel this way because of the society that they were raised in. Every small aspect of children's lives in this country has some incorporation of race in it; for example the dolls that they play with, who their parents bring to their house, who they grow up with, listening to their parents talk. A lot of it is subtle, most parents probably don't even know that they're teaching their children implicit bias. Paul Bloom's article was very interesting, because it showed that babies actually do have some sense of morality. I think this shows us that racism is a learned behavior, that we are not born with bias. Babies are born ignorant and moral, and as they grow older in this society that changes. Mahzarin Banaji’s research is very helpful with this question, because it shows us that implicit bias is real, that we learn this bias through subtle signs from our parents and the society we live in. In the Anderson Cooper video, young children almost always identified the picture of the child with darker skin as "bad" and the picture of the child with lighter skin as "good." Even if the children played with other children that didn't look like them, they still had a bias against them. This is because they have learned it. I wonder if the morality that Bloom found in babies stays prevalent throughout dealing with these issues, do white children still maintain morality when it comes to race? The other studies seem to say "no" to this question. Although in the Anderson Cooper video, when older children were asked about race they had more progressive views, especially if they went to school in a diverse setting. So do they get that morality back? And when? This is all very interesting, and I would love to learn more about it.

I also agree that the society that a child is exposed to significantly affects there level of racial bias. I think that a reason why more older children were able to have more unbiased views of race because they have been exposed to more racially accepting ideas and diverse environments, which come from being taught and through experiences. I think children, with the right exposure, can get their morality back.

giraffes12
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

What’s Up with Racial Preference among Children? Response

Originally posted by mango04 on October 12, 2021 20:45

After reading the various articles and study summaries, I think that one of the main explanations for why the majority of children tested, black and white, normally had opinions more favorable to white people all originates from the children’s exposure. For example, in Paul Bloom’s essay he writes that there is ample evidence supporting the idea that babies have “within-group preferences,” or biases “toward [their] own kind.” This evidence helps support conclusions like white children overwhelmingly connected to and preferred other white dolls, pictures, and features. Along the lines of children being more inclined to prefer those like them, Paul Bloom writes, “once they are segregated into different groups — even under the most arbitrary of schemes, like wearing different colored T-shirts — they eagerly favor their own groups in their attitudes and their actions.” This acts, similarly to the study done by the Clarks, as evidence for segregation in schools effect on the development of children and their opinions of those they are less surrounded by. Also, as mentioned in Mahzarin Banaji’s research, children that are less exposed to diversity in their daily life activities, like school, are more likely to draw a distinctive like between those they perceive as their “in-group” and “out-group” people, fueling prejudice.

While viewing all of the evidence presented in class and through these readings, I was disheartened to see that black children were perceiving their own race negatively. I was extremely saddened when asked what skin color she wanted, a young black girl chose the second whitest option, saying that she doesn’t like “the way brown looks.” This young girl was then asked to point to the child with the skin color that most adults wouldn’t like, and almost immediately pointed to the darkest skin color. This, as Dr. Spencer says in the Anderson Cooper video, is a product of children being exposed to various stereotypes, with white children often maintaining the stereotypes more strongly than black children. These stereotypes can be credited to the media that children absorb being mainly pro-white biased, meaning that children of color that view this media often feel unrepresented, causing them to feel insecurities regarding their own race. As mentioned by Mahzarin Banaji, children begin understanding media at very young ages, therefore, racial preferences can be learned by children as young as 3-years-old. The underlying theme in each of the articles and studies show that the extent of exposure to diversity in children is a major factor in determining their racial preferences and biases.

I completely agree with the fact that the bias and prejudice comes from exposure. When kids are only exposed to people who look like them, they can become biased. It's super important for kids at a very young age to be exposed to diversity, like at their schools and with friends.

turtle17
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

What's Up with Racial Preference among Children?

"Another possibility is that babies do, in fact, use their knowledge from Day 1, not for action but for learning". Bloom's research was already extremely interesting, but to me, this quote just stuck out. It made me think about the studies shown in the videos watched in class on Tuesday. In the videos, researches continuously saw young children answering questions relating to skin color of dolls, and most of the answers favored the dolls with lighter tones, even answers from black children. But how does Bloom's research connect to this? It's actually pretty simple, these children were able to repeatedly learn about preferences surrounding skin tones by watching. People always state to watch your language around a baby, when they are learning to speak, but they never think about watching actions as well. Bloom proves that kids have literally been able to seen racial preference from the day that they were born, and they have grown up thinking that it was normal.

Something I also saw in the Anderson Cooper Video was the desire to be white, held by many Black Children, and it was extremely upsetting to see. Because these children have grown up with this mindset about being better or worse, it really affects how they see themselves. Not only does this emphasize the problems of racism that are ingrained in our society, but it also shows the severity of them, and how people are becoming uncomfortable and unhappy with themselves.

turtle17
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by giraffes12 on October 12, 2021 22:23

Children feel this way because of the society that they were raised in. Every small aspect of children's lives in this country has some incorporation of race in it; for example the dolls that they play with, who their parents bring to their house, who they grow up with, listening to their parents talk. A lot of it is subtle, most parents probably don't even know that they're teaching their children implicit bias. Paul Bloom's article was very interesting, because it showed that babies actually do have some sense of morality. I think this shows us that racism is a learned behavior, that we are not born with bias. Babies are born ignorant and moral, and as they grow older in this society that changes. Mahzarin Banaji’s research is very helpful with this question, because it shows us that implicit bias is real, that we learn this bias through subtle signs from our parents and the society we live in. In the Anderson Cooper video, young children almost always identified the picture of the child with darker skin as "bad" and the picture of the child with lighter skin as "good." Even if the children played with other children that didn't look like them, they still had a bias against them. This is because they have learned it. I wonder if the morality that Bloom found in babies stays prevalent throughout dealing with these issues, do white children still maintain morality when it comes to race? The other studies seem to say "no" to this question. Although in the Anderson Cooper video, when older children were asked about race they had more progressive views, especially if they went to school in a diverse setting. So do they get that morality back? And when? This is all very interesting, and I would love to learn more about it.

I agree. I think Bloom's research really just further emphasizes how people are not born racist, but instead can become racist due to their surroundings. I also think it was very interesting when the older chidlren were asked about their views in correlation with their school's diversity.

turtle17
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 13

Originally posted by mango04 on October 12, 2021 20:45

After reading the various articles and study summaries, I think that one of the main explanations for why the majority of children tested, black and white, normally had opinions more favorable to white people all originates from the children’s exposure. For example, in Paul Bloom’s essay he writes that there is ample evidence supporting the idea that babies have “within-group preferences,” or biases “toward [their] own kind.” This evidence helps support conclusions like white children overwhelmingly connected to and preferred other white dolls, pictures, and features. Along the lines of children being more inclined to prefer those like them, Paul Bloom writes, “once they are segregated into different groups — even under the most arbitrary of schemes, like wearing different colored T-shirts — they eagerly favor their own groups in their attitudes and their actions.” This acts, similarly to the study done by the Clarks, as evidence for segregation in schools effect on the development of children and their opinions of those they are less surrounded by. Also, as mentioned in Mahzarin Banaji’s research, children that are less exposed to diversity in their daily life activities, like school, are more likely to draw a distinctive like between those they perceive as their “in-group” and “out-group” people, fueling prejudice.

While viewing all of the evidence presented in class and through these readings, I was disheartened to see that black children were perceiving their own race negatively. I was extremely saddened when asked what skin color she wanted, a young black girl chose the second whitest option, saying that she doesn’t like “the way brown looks.” This young girl was then asked to point to the child with the skin color that most adults wouldn’t like, and almost immediately pointed to the darkest skin color. This, as Dr. Spencer says in the Anderson Cooper video, is a product of children being exposed to various stereotypes, with white children often maintaining the stereotypes more strongly than black children. These stereotypes can be credited to the media that children absorb being mainly pro-white biased, meaning that children of color that view this media often feel unrepresented, causing them to feel insecurities regarding their own race. As mentioned by Mahzarin Banaji, children begin understanding media at very young ages, therefore, racial preferences can be learned by children as young as 3-years-old. The underlying theme in each of the articles and studies show that the extent of exposure to diversity in children is a major factor in determining their racial preferences and biases.

I was also extremely upset to see some of the Black Children's discomfort with their skin color. It is so hard to think about the fact that we live in a society with so many issues built into it that there are children as a result hating the way they look.

Sunshine
Posts: 4

What's Up With Racial Preference Among Children?

Children are like sponges. They pick up every piece of information that’s around them and they emulate behaviors of those around them. Even implications or things seen as “small” could impact a child. Children also tend to fixate on certain things which causes them to have misconstrued perceptions of things. On top of that, they also have no filter because they haven’t been able to decide if their behavior is right or wrong. This makes it extremely important for parents to talk with their children about race and tell them that everyone deserves to be treated the same and that no race is better than another.


The reasons behind children having racial bias from such a young age is solely because of their environment as Paul Bloom’s research clearly shows. No one is born racist or with bias. They pick up on anything their families might say about another race and internalize it. They look up to their parents and want to emulate them. Later, when kids go to school they meet new friends and want to emulate that behavior too, whether it’s right or wrong. They see it happening around them and automatically think that it’s okay or that it’s right. Another problem is the way that many schools have large majorities of some races. This makes some kids completely unaware about other peoples’ experiences that they wouldn’t have experienced on their own. Also, people of the same race tend to group together because they are familiar with each other. They feel safe in that group because they can relate on some sort of level. Many might be scared from what they grew up hearing about other races in their home to interact or be friends with other races. All of these combined contribute to racial bias and preference in children.

groot
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 15

What's Up with Racial Preference among Children?

The best way to explain why children feel the way they do when it comes to racial bias has to do with learned behavior. Whether from media, parents, or school, children can learn these habitats from several places. Born notably ignorant, children see how adults act towards people like and unlike them and mimic that behavior.

In the study done by Paul Bloom, Bloom uncovers that, "studies with young children have found that once they are segregated into different groups —even under the most arbitrary of schemes, like wearing different colored T-shirts —they eagerly favor their own groups in their attitudes and their actions." Bloom's experiments proved that even when race is removed from the equation, children still chose to side with people most similar to them.

Mahzarin Banaji's research is most definitely helpful when examining this situation because it demonstrates how much outside influence has to do with how children form biases. A direct quote taken from Banaji reads, "As children age, let us say past 10, the environment begins to play a tremendous role in how they perceive in-group and out-group people - people who look like them, and people who do not." Banaji talks about how a child's environment is the cause of how they perceive people who are them and people who are not. For example, if a child's parents express certain negative feelings toward a racial group different from them and their child's, the child will most likely do the same. However, Banaji considers that when kids go to school or are a part of some club with diverse racial groups, kids then have the opportunity to learn to be more accepting towards "out-groups."

100% external factors affect the growth and views on children. In the video done by Anderson Cooper, most white and black children, when asked which race teachers like the most, pointed to the white child on their paper. It's depressing to watch as the black children explain how aware they are about how different adults treat them vs. the white students. One young black girl even points out that the white girl would talk about how she, as a black girl, is different. And the worst part is, which was pointed out by the black children, that these white children's actions are being reinforced by adults and teachers, which is why they think it's okay. The outside influence of adults is what makes this situation never-ending.

mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

Originally posted by turtle17 on October 13, 2021 09:37

"Another possibility is that babies do, in fact, use their knowledge from Day 1, not for action but for learning". Bloom's research was already extremely interesting, but to me, this quote just stuck out. It made me think about the studies shown in the videos watched in class on Tuesday. In the videos, researches continuously saw young children answering questions relating to skin color of dolls, and most of the answers favored the dolls with lighter tones, even answers from black children. But how does Bloom's research connect to this? It's actually pretty simple, these children were able to repeatedly learn about preferences surrounding skin tones by watching. People always state to watch your language around a baby, when they are learning to speak, but they never think about watching actions as well. Bloom proves that kids have literally been able to seen racial preference from the day that they were born, and they have grown up thinking that it was normal.

Something I also saw in the Anderson Cooper Video was the desire to be white, held by many Black Children, and it was extremely upsetting to see. Because these children have grown up with this mindset about being better or worse, it really affects how they see themselves. Not only does this emphasize the problems of racism that are ingrained in our society, but it also shows the severity of them, and how people are becoming uncomfortable and unhappy with themselves.

I think you very intelligently incorporated Bloom's research of a child's ability to learn from watching. The children have watched racial bias and prejudice unfold before them, therefore, they mirror these behaviors. This ties back to the idea we discussed in class of the environment in which a child is exposed to, ultimately is responsible for the amount of racial preference they are exposed to.

groot
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 15

Originally posted by mango04 on October 12, 2021 20:45

After reading the various articles and study summaries, I think that one of the main explanations for why the majority of children tested, black and white, normally had opinions more favorable to white people all originates from the children’s exposure. For example, in Paul Bloom’s essay he writes that there is ample evidence supporting the idea that babies have “within-group preferences,” or biases “toward [their] own kind.” This evidence helps support conclusions like white children overwhelmingly connected to and preferred other white dolls, pictures, and features. Along the lines of children being more inclined to prefer those like them, Paul Bloom writes, “once they are segregated into different groups — even under the most arbitrary of schemes, like wearing different colored T-shirts — they eagerly favor their own groups in their attitudes and their actions.” This acts, similarly to the study done by the Clarks, as evidence for segregation in schools effect on the development of children and their opinions of those they are less surrounded by. Also, as mentioned in Mahzarin Banaji’s research, children that are less exposed to diversity in their daily life activities, like school, are more likely to draw a distinctive like between those they perceive as their “in-group” and “out-group” people, fueling prejudice.

While viewing all of the evidence presented in class and through these readings, I was disheartened to see that black children were perceiving their own race negatively. I was extremely saddened when asked what skin color she wanted, a young black girl chose the second whitest option, saying that she doesn’t like “the way brown looks.” This young girl was then asked to point to the child with the skin color that most adults wouldn’t like, and almost immediately pointed to the darkest skin color. This, as Dr. Spencer says in the Anderson Cooper video, is a product of children being exposed to various stereotypes, with white children often maintaining the stereotypes more strongly than black children. These stereotypes can be credited to the media that children absorb being mainly pro-white biased, meaning that children of color that view this media often feel unrepresented, causing them to feel insecurities regarding their own race. As mentioned by Mahzarin Banaji, children begin understanding media at very young ages, therefore, racial preferences can be learned by children as young as 3-years-old. The underlying theme in each of the articles and studies show that the extent of exposure to diversity in children is a major factor in determining their racial preferences and biases.

I like how you talked about how prejudice is fueled. The impact that comes from experiencing and interacting with racial groups different from a child's own can be immense. I agree with your points about how harmful underrepresentation is, and just like you said, at the heart of this discussion, is how much exposure children are given, especially when they're at such a young, impressionable age.

mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

Originally posted by groot on October 13, 2021 11:36

The best way to explain why children feel the way they do when it comes to racial bias has to do with learned behavior. Whether from media, parents, or school, children can learn these habitats from several places. Born notably ignorant, children see how adults act towards people like and unlike them and mimic that behavior.

In the study done by Paul Bloom, Bloom uncovers that, "studies with young children have found that once they are segregated into different groups —even under the most arbitrary of schemes, like wearing different colored T-shirts —they eagerly favor their own groups in their attitudes and their actions." Bloom's experiments proved that even when race is removed from the equation, children still chose to side with people most similar to them.

Mahzarin Banaji's research is most definitely helpful when examining this situation because it demonstrates how much outside influence has to do with how children form biases. A direct quote taken from Banaji reads, "As children age, let us say past 10, the environment begins to play a tremendous role in how they perceive in-group and out-group people - people who look like them, and people who do not." Banaji talks about how a child's environment is the cause of how they perceive people who are them and people who are not. For example, if a child's parents express certain negative feelings toward a racial group different from them and their child's, the child will most likely do the same. However, Banaji considers that when kids go to school or are a part of some club with diverse racial groups, kids then have the opportunity to learn to be more accepting towards "out-groups."

100% external factors affect the growth and views on children. In the video done by Anderson Cooper, most white and black children, when asked which race teachers like the most, pointed to the white child on their paper. It's depressing to watch as the black children explain how aware they are about how different adults treat them vs. the white students. One young black girl even points out that the white girl would talk about how she, as a black girl, is different. And the worst part is, which was pointed out by the black children, that these white children's actions are being reinforced by adults and teachers, which is why they think it's okay. The outside influence of adults is what makes this situation never-ending.

I agree with your point about the impact that adults play in the children's idea of racial bias. When a child is not reprimanded, or even applauded for racism, there actions are reinforced. When a child views a authoritative adult express racism or racial bias, those ideas are reinforced in the child.

freud
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

Some aspects of why children do what they do makes perfect sense and does not seem to hold any racial prejudice. Generally, children wanted to associate with people that looked like them. Paul Bloom supports this in his study saying, “they (referring to babies) eagerly favor their own groups in their attitudes and their actions.” Especially in younger children, when they’ve only really been exposed to a family who most likely looks like them, this makes sense. This can be reinforced even further by Bloom: “Babies prefer the good guy and show an aversion to the bad guy.” Babies would associate their parents as good guys, so it makes sense that they would prefer that. In some ways, this seems positive because it means these children have a healthy ego, and this was echoed by a parent in Andersen’s study. However, it becomes more racially motivated when a child dislikes a doll because of their skin tone. It’s one thing to like something because it’s similar to yourself, and it’s another to dislike something that is different from oneself. The older the child gets, the more their culture and environment have had a chance to impact them, so when an older child makes these distinctions it’s clear racial prejudice is at play.


However, racial prejudice is highlighted the most in Clark’s 1950 doll study. In this, black children tried to distance themselves from their own blackness. Majority of them had a, “preference for the white doll,” which clearly shows their knowledge of white people being the preference in society. The even more disheartening response was when they were asked to identify themselves, especially after they had done their association. Many of the children could not grapple with the reality of their own race. Some, especially Northerners, thought that they themselves were white, but others ran out of the room in tears when they realized that they were black. The racism that was prevalent all around them literally caused the children to dislike themselves, and this is a phenomenon that can still be seen today.

groot
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 15

Originally posted by Sunshine on October 13, 2021 11:23

Children are like sponges. They pick up every piece of information that’s around them and they emulate behaviors of those around them. Even implications or things seen as “small” could impact a child. Children also tend to fixate on certain things which causes them to have misconstrued perceptions of things. On top of that, they also have no filter because they haven’t been able to decide if their behavior is right or wrong. This makes it extremely important for parents to talk with their children about race and tell them that everyone deserves to be treated the same and that no race is better than another.


The reasons behind children having racial bias from such a young age is solely because of their environment as Paul Bloom’s research clearly shows. No one is born racist or with bias. They pick up on anything their families might say about another race and internalize it. They look up to their parents and want to emulate them. Later, when kids go to school they meet new friends and want to emulate that behavior too, whether it’s right or wrong. They see it happening around them and automatically think that it’s okay or that it’s right. Another problem is the way that many schools have large majorities of some races. This makes some kids completely unaware about other peoples’ experiences that they wouldn’t have experienced on their own. Also, people of the same race tend to group together because they are familiar with each other. They feel safe in that group because they can relate on some sort of level. Many might be scared from what they grew up hearing about other races in their home to interact or be friends with other races. All of these combined contribute to racial bias and preference in children.

I like your point about racial safety. It's so disappointing that some people group themselves by race on the basis of safety. It's so incredibly problematic that people think this way especially because when adults do this "grouping", young kids will unfortunately often follow in their footsteps.

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