Shut! Racism is a secret; there are children near you...
by Vanessa Ex on October 19, 2015 - 11:18pm
The article “ It’s My Job to Raise Children Who Are Not Only Not Racist But Actively Anti-Racist “ published on the first of July 2015 and written by Mandy Hitchcock illustrates an aspect of racism in society from a different point of view due to the fact that she is a White mother of a four year old White son. The author demonstrates various facts in order to emphases the problem of racism in the United States. She mentions the tragic events of southern black churches burned and the countless unarmed black men, women and children who have been killed by police officers who are the same ones that are in charge to bring them safety. She explains how privileged she is about not constantly being fearful of loosing her life or her son’s life due to their skin color. Therefore, she might feel lucky to not have to deal with direct racism and to not feel any duty to teach her son about it, because they are not victims of racism. With an ironic tone, she exaggerates her relief about having the possibility as a White mother to not do anything about this issue. She mentions it as a ‘luxury’. Then, the author adds an interesting fact stipulating that it is important for parents to talk and inform their children about race and racism when they are young. Knowing that black four-year-old children are far more likely to be suspended from preschool than their peers, should people stay silent on this issue and enjoy quietly their privilege based on injustice? Her answer is: No! She strongly encourages White Americans to inform their own children about white privilege in order to fight racism. It is to them to raise the new generation where white children will no longer be racist and will end racial discrimination. The author mentions the fact that many White mothers or fathers might feel uncertain or uncomfortable to teach their own children about an issue that they do not really know about. However, she comes up with various ideas and solutions, which are: joining a local group that sensitize people about racism, read articles about the issue on internet, and ask for librarian help in the library to find relevant sources.
I personally find this article interesting on the fact that it informs the reader on racism and on the American’s parents’ responsibility. The mother, who wrote the article, specifies the importance of talking to children about racial issue. That reminds me the main point of another article entitled ”Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race”. At the very beginning, it states many false ideas that parents may have such as “ children (…) cannot develop racial prejudices until they are explicitly taught to do so. This common argument leads many adults to think that it is not necessary to talk about race and racism to young children. However, the rest of the article demonstrates why it is important to do so. It is shown that children re highly influenced by their parents and their environment. Some of them developed racist attitudes towards others and some adults or older individuals may think it is the parent’s fault when it is not. In this article, a study shows that children are highly adaptable to their surrounding and like racial attitudes practice those are learned through their peers like an accent. Even if a child has immigrant parents who speak English with a foreigner accent, the child will speak perfectly English if he is born in this Anglophone environment. Therefore, knowing that society is shapes children mentality and daily habits, it is even more important for parents to act. The article “ It’s My Job to Raise Children Who Are Not Only Not Racist But Actively Anti-Racist “ completes this idea by bringing this aspect of White parents taking an active role in this issue that have subsisted for too long.
It is often easy to simply blame ‘society’ for all the injustices observed in the world. I am not blaming anyone for this, knowing that I am the first doing this. This author illustrates a clear problem and brings effective solutions. Therefore, this article is not a message of despair but a message of hope and active change.