by Michelle on October 19, 2015 - 11:40am
In the article ‘’Talking About Racism With White Kids’’ written by KJ Dell’antonia in the New York Times in 2014, the author discusses the fact that white parents have to talk about races with their white children. She argues how difficult talking about race with kids is: there are so many things to tell, and after the parent have many questions. Did they explain it well enough? Was it clear? Dell’antonia, after talking about race with her son, was full of worries-had she done it clear enough and good enough? According to Rebecca Bigler, professor of psychology and women’s and gender studies at the University of Texas at Austin and an expert on gender and racial attitudes and the formation of stereotypes, the worry a parent experiences after the race talk is good, and even wanted, because that is how you know you it was deep enough. As stated by the author, the quote by Naomi Zack, a professor of philosophy at the University of Oregon and the author of “The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality After the History of Philosophy”: ‘’Stack up discomfort, difficult conversations, guilt and worry against the nonwhite reality’’. The author uses this quote to explain what white privilege is: whites not having the race talk.
I think that yes it is important to talk about race with children, but at the same time not to make it a big ‘’case’’. When I was a child, I went to a multi-cultural school, and I did not even realise the ‘’colour’’ kids were different than me, and I do not remember having a talk with my mother. Just on a side note, when I really noticed race-meaning it affected me-, was when I was in high school and I had a friend from another culture. She did not want to talk about her culture, she was bothered when I wanted to taste her food (while she could taste mine) and she did not explain to me what and why she was doing some stuff that bothered me. Not wanting to talk about the why she was doing these things, I found it really hard to still be friends with her, which then she was thinking I was being racist and not supporting her in her religion. We were 16 years old at the time, which is quite weird when thinking that she thought I was racist; which is really not the case. To come back to the article, I find that it is very difficult to talk about race with pre-schoolers, but as in the article ‘’Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race’’, by Erin N. Wrinkler, she states the example of the psychologist Beverly Tatum (1997), about the young white girl saying to her mom that the black girl’s skin is dirty, we should not shh our kids. I see this quite often while working with kids: white parents just bring their kids away from black families, probably just not to talk about it with their child, or for him to stare. I find this too intense… Parents should just say to the child, whenever he is starting at the different child, to give a high five, or something like that, because I find that 2 years old, is a little bit young to be explaining why the child is different. I also read on another blog, that I cannot find anymore, how different it is from culture to culture: white parents can afford to choose to talk about race, while black families have to talk about it, at a very young age. As said in the article Talking About Racism With White Kids written by KJ Dell’antonia, this is a white privilege, that should not exist. According to the article ’Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race’’, by Erin N. Wrinkler, parents should talk about race, or just do things that will answer the child’s questions, and will not ignore the fact that race exists. I find that children are not stupid and racist, they are just not answered correctly by adults, who them are afraid to talk about race. It is not the fault of the children; it is the fault of the society that thinks of race as a taboo subject.
Dell’antonia, KJ. (November 25, 2014). ’Talking About Racism With White Kids. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/11/25/talking-about-racism-with-...