Preparing Children for a Lifetime of Racism

by lizzfowler on October 28, 2014 - 10:03pm

Summary:

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”.

Response:

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.

Source: http://theconversation.com/the-racism-talk-how-black-middle-class-parents-are-warning-their-children-33221

Comments

What really drew me into reading this summary wasn't the title of the post, but the title of the article that the summary was about.
I do agree with your opinion, that is it sad for black parents having to prepare their children to face the discrimination that they will face. It's terrible to think that a young black child can't wear his hood up because it intimidate people, but I see white teens with their hoods up all the time and no one tells them not to do that. This can be compared to a documentary "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture" where white parents think that things like race or racism shouldn't be something that is discussed. This is comparable to black parents who do prepare their children for the diversity that they will see because they see it as a necessity much like the parents in this article.
I'm sure that there are ways that white parents can use to teach their children about race much like black parents do, they just have to me more comfortable with talking about the subject.

This post was not what I was expecting but It turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Not necessarily because of the discuraging information about society's tisted effect on children, but because of the topic chosen and the fact that you brought to light the unfortunate hardship some children have to endure just because of their heritage. I myself will never fully be able to grasp being judged instantaniously because of my appereance and I can not even begin to empathize with parents or the idea of having to potentially one day teach my own children how to avoid prejudice because of the way they look. This reality that plagues our society is extremely disheartening. The fact that people are subject to automatic racial profiling is not only wrong but inhuman. They are being denied their basic human right of integrity. This added on to the oppression that they already have placed on them depending on their respected gender is something that not only limites their achievements but it also affects the way they view the world and their place in it. Unfotunately, until this issue is rectified the way that these parents are raising their children is done in a very loving and knowing way. It also seems to be a way of stoping the stereotypes at the moment, even though they shouldn't be in the position to feel obligated to do so.
One way we can begin to change this issue is to educate people on exactly how their actions and words effect the people around them.

http://ucc.nd.edu/self-help/multicultural-awareness/overcoming-stereotypes/

I find this article very interesting because it shows the sad reality of how racism affects all ages and how from a young age black people are prepared for a life of racism. I like how this article points out the different ways parents are treating they’re sons versus their daughters. Gender plays a major role in every area of life and influences treatment. Gender roles within racial minorities are especially stereotyped and enforced. For example, black men (as this article points out) are often portrayed as violent or extremely sexual. At the same time, black women are often depicted as promiscuous and highly aggressive. These gender identifications box black people into categories even more than white people are. Because of these stereotypes, it is viewed as “aggressive” when a black man wears a hoodie and a mother needs to protect her daughter from the Medias representation of black women. This is why these children are treated differently based on their gender. The following link gives some interesting information about how black women are portrayed in the media: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/the-images-of-black-women-in-me....

Your interesting post about racism tells us how sad reality has become. Everyone knows how the issue about racism is something that should not be taken lightly. The fact that these parents are warning their children on how they should act demonstrates their fear of discrimination. In our class, we talk a lot about the issues on gender, which shares similar social problems racism have; white people have fairly more advantages than black people, and it goes the same for men versus women. We often see black people represented as violent, unmannered and sexually aggressive. In this same society, we see women represented as weak, submissive socially and sexually. Not to forget about transgender people, who are also mistakingly misrepresented in our society. Whether it is a man who became a woman, or a woman who became a man, people judge them for not conforming to social construct on gender identities. All these social issues such as racism and gender identities are strongly present in our everyday lives, and are needed to be reflected on critically.
Here is a link with more information about transgender issues, check it out if you want!
http://www.cbc.ca/news/transgender-issues-public-awareness-is-on-the-ris...

First off, the idea about not teaching children about race, however described, is wrong. Sadly we live in a world where racism exists and ignoring that fact only makes things worse. Not teaching children about racism only opens them up to the influence of other people of influence. When in the article it spoke about parents telling their children to not dress a certain way, or not to watch certain videos online, I believe this only furthers the problem. Parents are not teaching their children about what is right and wrong but rather just ignoring the topic. In the manner of taking off the hood in order to look less threatening, why should a white man be allowed to wear a hood and a black man is not allowed? This is something a young man could ask himself and then have doubts about him or herself without the proper background discussion with family on such a matter. Communication is needed in order to have a proper understanding of what is going on in society and in order to combat racism. Silence only allows further progression of racism around the world.

Wow, what a striking and impactful title you have going on there! I also find your summary quite interesting. It is extremely upsetting that a black women feel the need to give awareness about racism to their children at such a young age. It is almost a recommendation, so their children will not be utterly shock. It is completely absurd that there are individuals who discriminate somebody for the color of their skin. We are all equal underneath, it is crucial and salient to overlook a skin color. Stereotypes such as black males are violent and dangerous; it's frightening when a black man walk around with his hood on, because simply it's "intimidating" to the general public and that his concealing his identity to attack or addressing danger; intelligibly giving the wrong intention which is just ridiculous and untrue. People will act differently if a white male had his hood on. I have seen a good person coming from a bad family, and bad person coming from a good family. We should be responsible for our own action and face the consequences if you have committed an unpleasant act, but we should not be punish because of the wrong perception of others. Martin Luther King once said " Don't judge a man by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character". There are tension when the topic is about racism, but this is an issue that should not be taken lightly. This a story of the past; it's still relevant because it still happens and exist. Once, I have children of my own I will teach them that diversity is beautiful and I will encourage them to make friends with someone with different skin color as them. Different background, different culture, different language, we could all learn from each other and this in my opinion is a beauty of wonder. Children are the future, we must teach them to respect and love one another.

Check this out! http://www.vsb.bc.ca/district-news/fighting-racism-video

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