It may never be too late to talk to kids about racism, but per one college professor, it's also never too early.
More specifically, Sylvia razed racism of the systemic sort — it's a topic parents have to tackle.
So where your offspring are concerned, when should you start speaking of institutional evil? As soon as you can speak of anything at all:
“If your child can have a conversation with you, they are old enough to start having conversations about race. As early as preschool, children start showing racial group favoritism.”
And sure — your child may still be eating their boogers and pooping their pants, but fill them in on sociology, the horrors of human frailty, and the complex history of America:
“If children are exposed to prejudiced information through social media, their peers or the classroom, parents can counter that narrative by talking to their children about the history of and existence of racism within this country, the social construction of race, and the systemic biases that contribute to racial inequality.”
Some might say parents should teach their big babies things they should do, not things they shouldn't; why even put an idea as idiotic as racism into impressionable minds?
Some might say that, but some aren't Sylvia. And to hear her tell it, Caucasians are guilty of passive parenting:
“In our research, we have found white parents choose to take a passive approach to conversations about race, simply waiting for their child to bring it up.”
She should know about thoughts and thinking. Northwestern Now notes Sylvia's an “associate professor of psychology at Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and a faculty affiliate with the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing at Northwestern.”
The academic's sharing her immense expertise — if you've birthed an ashen anklebiter, he or she is very possibly already becoming an oppressor. Just look around — the country is loud and proud with bigotry toward babies of certain shades:
“Just because you haven't heard your child say anything prejudiced does not mean that those attitudes are not forming. Children are not immune to the daily signals that they are observing in the world that indicate that some children are to be valued over others.”
Teaching tykes about structural subjection seems a tall order, but Sylvia's certainly not alone.
Society is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Group identity and skin-based separation are quite complicated things. Youngsters of yore wouldn't have easily understood.
Not long ago, in fact, kids were taught that “Jesus loves the little children” — all of them; they are equally precious.
As noted by Campus Reform, Sylvia's not a fan:
Through her research, Perry advocates for parents no longer teaching their kids about race by using a “colorblind approach — in which they emphasize a belief that race does not matter” but instead taking a “color conscious approach — in which they acknowledge race-related issues.”
One thing's for sure: It's not a recipe for togetherness.
What is? The best I can tell, that'd be the opposite of almost everything that's going on.
See more content from me:
Find all my RedState work here.
Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.