Step One: Don’t talk about race. Don’t point out skin color. Be “color blind.”
Step Two: Actually, that’s it. There is no Step Two.
Congratulations! Your children are well on their way to believing that <insert your ethnicity here> is better than everybody else.
Surprised? So were authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman when they started researching the issue of kids and race for their book NurtureShock. […] What Bronson and Merryman discovered, through various studies, was that most white parents don’t ever talk to their kids about race. The attitude (at least of those who think racism is wrong) is generally that because we want our kids to be color-blind, we don’t point out skin color.
And what are they learning? Here are a few depressing facts:
- Only 8% of white American high-schoolers have a best friend of another race. (For blacks, it’s about 15%.)
- The more diverse a school is, thelesslikely it is that kids will form cross-race friendships.
- 75% of white parents never or almost never talk about race with their kids.
- A child’s attitudes toward race are much harder to alter after third grade, but a lot of parents wait until then (or later) before they feel it’s “safe” to talk frankly about race.
“But I don’t see color!” Yes, yes you do. You’re just denying its existence. Brilliant article.