Unaware Children

by 1531424 on October 23, 2016 - 2:42pm

the topic that I will discus is racism that can affect children. Children are young, impressionable and most often are not educated on the topic of race and could possibly use innapropriate words that they are unware that they are offensive. In this article a little girl (white American) was playing on the play ground with a boy (African American) in Maplewood N.J. and she told him he wasn’t allowed to go on a certain ride because of the colour of his skin tone.

 I found it interesting that the father of the son overheard the girl and didn’t stand up for his son and didn’t explained to her how wrong it is to say that. Also, because in this case it was a child it should be even more important to corrected or reprimanded her, because until you correct children they will most likely continue this bad behaviour and think it is normal and socially acceptable to say stuff like that. The reason why the father didn’t go up to the little girl was because  he didn’t want the other white people to think he was a “crazy black man” and was afraid that they will not want their children to play with his son anymore. The author uses the term racism correctly, the comment made by the little girl was very racist. It was a racist remark because she made the little boy feel like he wasn’t worthy to play on the ride because of the colour of his skin. The content of this article does provide more details on the topic of race that we talked about in class. In class, we talked about children and race and asked our selves do children see different skin tones? As I read the article I quickly noticed that children do see different skin colours and do differentiate them. Before I thought that children played with who ever they wanted and didn’t care about skin tones. This article changed my perspective.  In conclusion, this article changed my perspective on this topic and made me realize a lot of things . Should schools start teaching children at a young age about race ?

‘Only White People,’ Said the Little Girl - The New York Times. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/opinion/sunday/only-white-people-said-...



This is great article about the racisms and gender issues from a young age. I like the fact that the interaction between the two kids is from a young girl to a young boy. You talk about the racist factor in the altercation but there is also the perspective of girl and boy. This altercation also touches Intersectionality. This little girl had some knowledge about what is means to be “black” is the society, she had some point got influence to believed that she was better than other people. The question that you ask at the end of your post is totally relevant and is a good question. This little girl withier got influence by her parents or by what her teacher at school. The only thing about your post is that we do not know why she acts with that behavior. It seems like she is applying the concept of Privilege. She thinks that because she is a white girl she has more privilege then this black boy. By including the Intersectionality and Privilege concept I think your post would be much stronger but in all very good post truly appreciated reading.

You articulated a very important point on how kids at a young age are not necessarily aware of how society and its social constructs work around them; indeed, neither the victim of the racist remarks (the boy) nor the little girl who made them were conscious of what was going on. Just as the father of the boy claimed, if we stick to inaction in situations like those, how are we supposed to break free of the social constructs that bind our world? In fact, the idea of social construct is not only used in race and racism studies, feminists also embrace this term to denounce how segregation happens in society without many of the individuals being aware of it. I think your analysis could have been even better if you mentioned gender issues not only in the sense that many activities are gender segregated but also in the sense that had the parent been the mother instead, would she have been in a better position to intervene since she does not embody the animalistic characteristics of a man? For example, if we look at gender as a social construct, generally men would need to embody physicality, dominance and power; however, if we also add race to the equation we get a situation in which the black man is seen as wild and uncontrollable. Had the parent been a woman who supposedly embodies morality, rationality, and nurturing characteristics she would have been in a better position to intervene. So maybe we should also add gender studies to the agenda along with race for kids in school.

Immediately, I wanted to read this post because of its focus on children. I am very interested in working with children in the future and think that their innocence and kind nature is truly beautiful. Because of this belief, this post really shocked me. I would not expect a little girl to use unkind words to her friend and use them as a matter of fact. There was nothing malicious in her statement, she just believed it and that's what makes it worse. The hesitance of the father to stand up for his son is even worse and shows the state of our community. As you mentioned, it would be beneficial to introduce race earlier on in life so children understand their differences and celebrate them. Being extremely impressionable, children do not always recognize the faults in the words of those around them. They are just learning from their environment and growing accordingly.
I can relate this situation to one that I observed at a young age. This boy in the grade below me taught some of his friends the N-word because he had overheard it on the TV. The word started spreading throughout the 2nd grade and was eventually brought to the attention of the teachers and administration. Hoping to stop the word in its tracks, an assembly was held explaining that it was not a nice word. Without going into much depth, they explained that it was a horrific term that judges someone based on their skin color. The students immediately stopped and many even apologized to the African American children in the grade. This shows how the impressionable nature of kids can go both ways. In conclusion, this is a very important topic and the influence adults have on kids must be taken into consideration.

What drew me to this article was the aspect of children relates to racism. My reaction was at first, how could a child be racist. You quickly changed my mind about that. I was shocked to read this article because i just thought they are too young for something like this. And because of them being so young, it brings me to my point of lack of parenting. I can tell you right now my parents certainly taught me better than too talk like that to another kid even at that age. They wouldn't specifically say everyone is equal, but they would say things like pass the ball to everyone, be friendly with everyone, don't be mean to anyone for any reason. That amazes me that those words came out of that child's mouth and it certainly makes me wonder what her parents are like. I'm not saying it is 100% the parents fault but that is certainly what jumped to mind. I also agree with you that she should have been talked to so she knows how wrong of here that was because if she isn't then she will continue to be that way.

The reason I picked this post was because of the title, while extremely vague is left me wondering what it could possible be about. I absolutely agree that children are extremely impressionable. Also that children do differentiate color on people. While they may not understand the concept of racism, it it natural for children to group themselves depending on appearance, and not just children who are colored might stay with colored children, or white children with white children, but more so girls with girls and boys with boys. In some cases children might not even use color to group themselves but use gender more. What makes a child understand race is their influences around them because they are so impressionable. It still amazes me to this day how parents can teach their children the difference between races in a negative way. Race should not be used as a negative way to group people. I do agree with you when you say that the little girls remark to the colored boy was racist. However she may not even know it was racist because to her, she learned it is a normal thing from her parents, also the little girl isn't the only racist thing about this article. Its hard to say when schools should be teaching children about race, but I am sure that we shouldn't be teaching them what race is in a negative term, because some might come to their own assumptions about races.

What attracted me to your post was the title. When I first read it I was not sure what I was getting myself into. After reading your post it made me realize how un educated children are and how there comments hurt. This post is extremely sad. But the fact that the little boys father did not stand up for his own son kind of disgusts me. What he should have down was find the parents of the young white girl and explain the situation. Children should be educated on this topic. I am amazed how parents are still not teaching theur kids the difference between races in a negative way. Race should not be used against other people especially children/ Parents should know better by now.

About the author