The Cruelest Form of Racism

by LiaM on October 19, 2015 - 11:43am

In the article entitled “How Racism is Hurting Our Nation's Foster Children”, (Huffington Post, October 15, 2015), DaShanne Stokes discusses how racism is currently scarring the lives of over 400 000 American children who are in foster care. According to the Administration for Children and Families, over 50% of the children entering foster care systems in 2013 were of color. African American children are being taken from their families and put into foster care more frequently than Caucasian children. The AFCARS (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System) reported that in 2012 the average length that African American children stayed in foster care was 29 months. African American children’s stay is averagely 7 months (32%) longer than Caucasian children’s stay in foster care. Not only are children of color more present in foster care but they also receive a different treatment during their stay compared to the other children. Tanya Cooper, a legal scholar and child welfare specialist, states that colored children in foster care are less likely to receive mental health services, they’re less likely to have visits with their parents and siblings, they’re less likely to have services designed for them in order to reconcile with their family, and they’re less likely to have contact with the social workers dealing with their cases. Many times, foster care services reveal loving unions between parents and children from different racial and cultural backgrounds, however, that’s unfortunately not always the case.

This article greatly reminded me of Erin N. Winkler’s article “Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race”. Since Winkler claimed that children notice race and develop racial biases at a very young age, I started thinking that the coloured children in foster care must realize that their stay is usually much longer than the Caucasian children. It’s shocking how African American children stay in foster care for approximately 7 months more than the other children. Everyday they must see other children reuniting with their families while their case has no progress. This deeply saddens me; I can’t even begin to imagine how these children must feel. In Stokes’ article, Tanya Cooper stated that coloured children don’t receive the same treatment as the other children. This really bothers me because foster care is supposed to provide children with opportunities to be cared for by people who genuinely care. However, while technically the children are being given the same opportunities, racial biases leave the coloured children feeling unwanted and spend more time looking for families to take them in. The color of someone’s skin shouldn’t determine how they get treated and the opportunities they receive. Discrimination against children based on the color of their skin is one of the cruelest forms of racism. It’s upsetting to me because foster care is supposed to give children a safe, loving home where they can try to reconnect with their family; it should be a place where children are able to live in a stable environment. It’s very unfortunate that people aren’t treated equally in this world, because whether you’re a child or an adult racial discrimination is always a hurtful and scary thing.

 

 

Stokes, D. (2015, October 14). How Racism is Hurting Our Nation's Foster Children. The Huffington Post.

Comments

What drew me to this article is wondering what would be the cruellest form of racism according to LiaM. I do agree with LiaM about how cruelly emotional that those coloured children take in. I find it so distressing seeing them having to deal not only with the situation they have been placed in, like most foster children, but also having to deal with the discrimination encountered in foster homes. What affects me the most is knowing that a child is being unfairly treated from another child who is living the same situation. No children have the right to go through inequality no matter their skin colour. Like LiaM mentions in her response, most African American foster children notice that they have a certain disadvantage from Caucasian foster children. It is emotionally hard for coloured children to see their white peers have the privilege to rebuild a new life with a new family. All children should have the right to have a loving and caring environment to live in. It is so frustrating to see that foster children are still discriminated and are not being taking care of the way they should be, due to their skin colour. Sadly racial discrimination occurs in an institution that promises a loving and caring home for children.

I have decided to comment on your post because the foster care system has always interested me. Although I am only an 18 year old, I have always strongly considered the fact that one day I will take care of a child who is in need by either adopting or fostering. Somewhere deep down I always knew that there were more children of colour in those facilities but I did not think the case was as bad as you say. I definitely agree with every single one of your statements. It is really cruel towards innocent children who want nothing but love and to be helped. What gives the people in charge of the foster care system the right to deny the children of what they might need? Helping the minority children can change their whole world, as they would eventually end up with a family. As it is mentioned in Erin N. Winkler’s article called “Children are not colourblind: How young children learn race”, children do notice the different skin tones and make their on judgments based on what they observe. As you said, the children will most probably notice that they have been there longer than the Caucasian ones and will eventually make the connection that it is because of their skin colour as the other minority children who are also ignored are in the same situation. Isn’t there someone who is in charge of keeping an eye on these types of systems? Someone should report this for the sake of all those children. I wonder what the children would say if we had the chance to ask them ourselves about how they feel they are treated compared to the other children.

Children, innocents that are growing with beautiful mentalities are being hurt at such a young age. Kids going through such cruel emotional feelings. I could not imagine how these little kids are broken, most possibly grow up so much hate and all we can blame is society. Society created by racism and selfishness.

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