Preparing Children for a Lifetime of Racism
by lizzfowler on October 28, 2014 - 10:03pm
The article The Racism Talk: How Black Middle-Class Parents Are Warning Their Children written by Nicola Rollock addresses how black parents are preparing their children for the potential discrimination they may face in their lives. She starts her article off by saying that one in three citizens in Britain describe themselves as being very or a little bit racially prejudiced. She then goes on to connect how black parents deal with this kind of information; they feel they must prepare their children to face similar prejudice to what they did. The article goes on to explain some of the method that parents used to help prevent their children from being racially stereotyped. One mother, in order to counteract the violent stereotype that black males have placed on them, advised her son not to walk around with his hood up because “people find it intimidating”. Another mother does not let her daughter watch MTV because of the portrayal of black women on that channel; she does not want to get the wrong ideas about how or how she should not look in terms of validating herself. Rollock concludes her article by saying that “how and when to talk to children about racism is an ongoing worry for black parents, yet remains a central requirement to preparing their child for wider society”.
In my opinion, I believe that this article spoke very clearly about the racism in today’s society. The fact that parents have to prepare their children for a world of prejudice saddens me. I don’t think that I will ever truly be able to understand what it’s like to have my mother advise me not to dress a certain way because I don’t’ want people to get the wrong idea about my intentions. I will never have to firsthand understand what that’s like. I won’t understand what it’s like to be a young girl banned from watching music videos, because the portrayal of women of my heritage is so twisted that I may even question my own beauty and identity. One day, if and when I have children, I don’t know what they’re going to look like. But it would absolutely break my heart if I have to prepare them growing up to deal with a life that’s harder than it needs to be because of their outward appearance. It isn’t humane, it isn’t 21st century, and something needs to be done about it now. Children shouldn’t be forced to have to learn about racism at such a young age.