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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2009, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

I noticed this intriguing caption on my MSBNC Homepage that inquired: "Are babies Racist?"
So of course, I had to read and discover what the controlled findings indicated.
I won't give anything away except to say that the main caption was immediately following by the sub-caption--- "Study reveals surprising prejudices, even in young children".

So without further ado, here is the first page of a rather lengthy article and its associated link for anyone interested in social experiments as much as I am.

=========================================


See Baby Discriminate
Kids as young as 6 months judge others based on skin color. What's a parent to do?

At the Children's Research Lab at the University of Texas, a database is kept on thousands of families in the Austin area who have volunteered to be available for scholarly research. In 2006 Birgitte Vittrup recruited from the database about a hundred families, all of whom were Caucasian with a child 5 to 7 years old.

The goal of Vittrup's study was to learn if typical children's videos with multicultural storylines have any beneficial effect on children's racial attitudes. Her first step was to give the children a Racial Attitude Measure, which asked such questions as:

How many White people are nice?
(Almost all) (A lot) (Some) (Not many) (None)

How many Black people are nice?
(Almost all) (A lot) (Some) (Not many) (None)

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During the test, the descriptive adjective "nice" was replaced with more than 20 other adjectives, like "dishonest," "pretty," "curious," and "snobby."

Vittrup sent a third of the families home with multiculturally themed videos for a week, such as an episode of Sesame Street in which characters visit an African-American family's home, and an episode of Little Bill, where the entire neighborhood comes together to clean the local park.

In truth, Vittrup didn't expect that children's racial attitudes would change very much just from watching these videos. Prior research had shown that multicultural curricula in schools have far less impact than we intend them to—largely because the implicit message "We're all friends" is too vague for young children to understand that it refers to skin color.

Yet Vittrup figured explicit conversations with parents could change that. So a second group of families got the videos, and Vittrup told these parents to use them as the jumping-off point for a discussion about interracial friendship. She provided a checklist of points to make, echoing the shows' themes. "I really believed it was going to work," Vittrup recalls.

The last third were also given the checklist of topics, but no videos. These parents were to discuss racial equality on their own, every night for five nights.

At this point, something interesting happened. Five families in the last group abruptly quit the study. Two directly told Vittrup, "We don't want to have these conversations with our child. We don't want to point out skin color."

Vittrup was taken aback—these families volunteered knowing full well it was a study of children's racial attitudes. Yet once they were aware that the study required talking openly about race, they started dropping out.

It was no surprise that in a liberal city like Austin, every parent was a welcoming multiculturalist, embracing diversity. But according to Vittrup's entry surveys, hardly any of these white parents had ever talked to their children directly about race. They might have asserted vague principles—like "Everybody's equal" or "God made all of us" or "Under the skin, we're all the same"—but they'd almost never called attention to racial differences.

They wanted their children to grow up colorblind. But Vittrup's first test of the kids revealed they weren't colorblind at all. Asked how many white people are mean, these children commonly answered, "Almost none." Asked how many blacks are mean, many answered, "Some," or "A lot." Even kids who attended diverse schools answered the questions this way.

Page 2

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. - Malcolm X
A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything. - Malcolm X
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - Confucius
The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people. - Geoffrey Chaucer
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2009, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

Quote:
Of all those Vittrup told to talk openly about interracial friendship, only six families managed to actually do so. And, for all six, their children dramatically improved their racial attitudes in a single week. Talking about race was clearly key. Reflecting later about the study, Vittrup said, "A lot of parents came to me afterwards and admitted they just didn't know what to say to their kids, and they didn't want the wrong thing coming out of the mouth of their kids."
I found this article fascinating because there isn't a Black family that I know of, or have encountered that doesn't talk to their kids about racism.
Also, these discussions often have definitive lines drawn as to how to address racial adversity whenever encountered. Almost like a rule book of do's and don'ts that vary greatly, depending on the family, region, and multicultural mix.

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. - Malcolm X
A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything. - Malcolm X
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - Confucius
The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people. - Geoffrey Chaucer
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2009, 11:21 AM
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Re: Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

Interesting. Very different from the experiences my kids have had, but I tend to not sugarcoat things.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2009, 01:03 PM
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Re: Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

A long read: why can't they put it all on one goddamn page

It touched on some of the things raised in that thread about PC, plus on why white Americans don't do well at basketball.

Thanks for posting.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2009, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by miffedmax View Post
Interesting. Very different from the experiences my kids have had, but I tend to not sugarcoat things.
It's easy to tell from your posting pattern that you are a straight forward and up front person. Your kids will, and I'm sure, have already, benefited from such an approach.

I am straight up with my kids as well, and they have all types of varied ethnic friends.
I frequently cook dinner for my kids' friends and strike up conversations with them because I consider this part of a parent's duty to assess who they hang out with. Also, I enjoy the energy of the younger generations. Folks my age are freak'n dying off, and/or so decrepit that it makes me want to cry.

Aside:
I found the original caption, "Are Babies Racist?", misleading.
Those test subjects were FAR from being babies.

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. - Malcolm X
A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything. - Malcolm X
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - Confucius
The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people. - Geoffrey Chaucer
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2009, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vyacheslavovna View Post
A long read: why can't they put it all on one goddamn page

It touched on some of the things raised in that thread about PC, plus on why white Americans don't do well at basketball.

Thanks for posting.
No kidding. I had to read it in two installments.

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. - Malcolm X
A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything. - Malcolm X
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - Confucius
The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people. - Geoffrey Chaucer
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2009, 07:53 PM
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Re: Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

of course babies are racist.. one of our instincts as humans (as a result of evolution) is to stereotype to avoid danger
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2009, 10:15 PM
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Re: Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVD View Post
It's easy to tell from your posting pattern that you are a straight forward and up front person. Your kids will, and I'm sure, have already, benefited from such an approach.

I am straight up with my kids as well, and they have all types of varied ethnic friends.
I frequently cook dinner for my kids' friends and strike up conversations with them because I consider this part of a parent's duty to assess who they hang out with. Also, I enjoy the energy of the younger generations. Folks my age are freak'n dying off, and/or so decrepit that it makes me want to cry.

Aside:
I found the original caption, "Are Babies Racist?", misleading.
Those test subjects were FAR from being babies.
you took the words right out of my mouth.

i cant say i am suprised AT ALL by this. race and racism are deeply ingrained. some people just dont care to address reality they just want to gloss things over.

for example you can go right now to GM and see Serena called "ghetto" among other things. it is pure racist vitriol to go there because no one ever called jen cap that or mac or any of the other players who have Break downs like that.

moral: you cant gloss race over, you need to take it on full steam address it, acknowledge but dont let it cloud your mind or judgment.

"racism is dead, it died when MLK walked on a bridge and freed the slaves. Now we have a socialist Kenyan president who is not an American and if anyone mentions race they are a reverse racist (while racism is dead, reverse racism is alive and well.) #whattheyteachyouatfox"
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 14th, 2009, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wigglytuff View Post
you took the words right out of my mouth.

i cant say i am suprised AT ALL by this. race and racism are deeply ingrained. some people just dont care to address reality they just want to gloss things over.

for example you can go right now to GM and see Serena called "ghetto" among other things. it is pure racist vitriol to go there because no one ever called jen cap that or mac or any of the other players who have Break downs like that.

moral: you cant gloss race over, you need to take it on full steam address it, acknowledge but dont let it cloud your mind or judgment.
One main conclusion I drew through my own personal investigation of race and other social experiments was that different ethnicities think differently. Of course there are various cultural similarities (foods, music, theater, dance, etc...). However, when the essence of the individual morals, ethics, and core beliefs are broached, we then discover the undercurrent of what drives an individual and how race may be interlaced with many of the decisions that we make.

I once debated this very point with my best friend (who is a White male from Colorado) and he just couldn't wrap his mind around this concept. This was very early in our friendship stage.
He once told me, some years ago, that if he wanted something he just took it. He felt that since the US is the world's superpower, that it is well within our right to invade other countries and do whatever it takes to claim that land or resource. I was shocked!!
But then he's also a student of Darwin's Natural Selection. We nearly came to blows when i told him that I felt Darwin's theories pertained maninly to the lower species of animals and also how nature maintained it's balance. Lower animals can't reason or logically analyze the complexities that occur in daily life like Humans do. Therefore, nature weeds out those entities that can't co-exist within a particular environment. Of course, that's my own personal belief, but he took it hard.

Every Black man or woman that I've ever spoken to feels the opposite, when it comes to invading other nations. Including myself.
It may have to do with events that occurred some 400 years ago with our ancestors, or it may even be something innate.
Now, I'm not suggesting that ALL Whites feel or think it is their natural right to invade other nations, just because we ca, because I know plenty who do not believe this. However, a great number of White Americans do and have supported this line of thinking. And I offer the Iraq war as the latest example.

As for the people in GM...
There is no way that these folks who've never liked Serena in the first place, would ever view an incident that she's involved in, objectively.
I too noticed that rather than question the call, they question Serena's attitude and completely discount the bad-call patterns during US Open slams that both Venus and Serena get called on. And rather than argue with them, I post one or two points and leave.
There are folks all over this board who don't even realize that they harbor racists views. but let their daughter or son bring home a Black friend (boyfriend or girlfriend) and their parents will blow a gasket.

I;ve tell my kids to make as many friends with as many ethnicities as possible. Then i tell them to judge the "individual", not the group.
As the grew they asked me questions based upon their own observations pertaining to various ethnic groups. I then give them feedback on my observations. That's how we handle "race" in my household.

Minority Americans have to live in two distinct worlds.
One is the world of the majority, and the other, their own.
As a Black male, we must be extremely care what we say, how we look, where we're standing, who our friends are, and how we carry ourselves.
Whites just need to be themselves and they are accepted.
Tennis is the perfect example of what I speak. Look at Jennifer Capriati and how she acted on a regular during her matches. She was a tyrrant. A talented one, but a tyrant nonetheless. look at John McEnroe's court behavior. America LOVED these two troublemakers. Heck, even I enjoyed their antics.
But let Serena curse an idiot linesman out, and she's ENEMY #1.

Just another solid inarguable example of the world we live in, and must traverse.

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. - Malcolm X
A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything. - Malcolm X
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - Confucius
The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people. - Geoffrey Chaucer
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 14th, 2009, 04:31 AM
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Re: Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

Quote:
There is no way that these folks who've never liked Serena in the first place, would ever view an incident that she's involved in, objectively.
Then there is no way that folks who like Serena would be able to view the situation objectively, either.

McEnroe was by no means universally loved. He was actually disqualified, on more than one occasion. He was also regularly criticized for being an asshat Mind you, the Capriati love is simply inexplicable. I've got nothing there.

This is... off topic, but hey - I'm responding to what was written.

Topic: Duh. Not to imply that it shouldn't have been posted, of course. It's a fine topic. Just.. duh. This isn't even remotely surprising, MSNBC, Newsweek, or whoever wrote that.

Just an observation, but even Korean babies stare at me (I'm not Korean, I live in Korea). Of course, staring is not, in itself, racist.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 14th, 2009, 05:35 PM
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Re: Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVD View Post
One main conclusion I drew through my own personal investigation of race and other social experiments was that different ethnicities think differently. Of course there are various cultural similarities (foods, music, theater, dance, etc...). However, when the essence of the individual morals, ethics, and core beliefs are broached, we then discover the undercurrent of what drives an individual and how race may be interlaced with many of the decisions that we make.

I once debated this very point with my best friend (who is a White male from Colorado) and he just couldn't wrap his mind around this concept. This was very early in our friendship stage.
He once told me, some years ago, that if he wanted something he just took it. He felt that since the US is the world's superpower, that it is well within our right to invade other countries and do whatever it takes to claim that land or resource. I was shocked!!
But then he's also a student of Darwin's Natural Selection. We nearly came to blows when i told him that I felt Darwin's theories pertained maninly to the lower species of animals and also how nature maintained it's balance. Lower animals can't reason or logically analyze the complexities that occur in daily life like Humans do. Therefore, nature weeds out those entities that can't co-exist within a particular environment. Of course, that's my own personal belief, but he took it hard.

Every Black man or woman that I've ever spoken to feels the opposite, when it comes to invading other nations. Including myself.
It may have to do with events that occurred some 400 years ago with our ancestors, or it may even be something innate.
Now, I'm not suggesting that ALL Whites feel or think it is their natural right to invade other nations, just because we ca, because I know plenty who do not believe this. However, a great number of White Americans do and have supported this line of thinking. And I offer the Iraq war as the latest example.

As for the people in GM...
There is no way that these folks who've never liked Serena in the first place, would ever view an incident that she's involved in, objectively.
I too noticed that rather than question the call, they question Serena's attitude and completely discount the bad-call patterns during US Open slams that both Venus and Serena get called on. And rather than argue with them, I post one or two points and leave.
There are folks all over this board who don't even realize that they harbor racists views. but let their daughter or son bring home a Black friend (boyfriend or girlfriend) and their parents will blow a gasket.

I;ve tell my kids to make as many friends with as many ethnicities as possible. Then i tell them to judge the "individual", not the group.
As the grew they asked me questions based upon their own observations pertaining to various ethnic groups. I then give them feedback on my observations. That's how we handle "race" in my household.

Minority Americans have to live in two distinct worlds.
One is the world of the majority, and the other, their own.
As a Black male, we must be extremely care what we say, how we look, where we're standing, who our friends are, and how we carry ourselves.
Whites just need to be themselves and they are accepted.
Tennis is the perfect example of what I speak. Look at Jennifer Capriati and how she acted on a regular during her matches. She was a tyrrant. A talented one, but a tyrant nonetheless. look at John McEnroe's court behavior. America LOVED these two troublemakers. Heck, even I enjoyed their antics.
But let Serena curse an idiot linesman out, and she's ENEMY #1.

Just another solid inarguable example of the world we live in, and must traverse.
amazing post! i agree with all the points.

"racism is dead, it died when MLK walked on a bridge and freed the slaves. Now we have a socialist Kenyan president who is not an American and if anyone mentions race they are a reverse racist (while racism is dead, reverse racism is alive and well.) #whattheyteachyouatfox"
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 14th, 2009, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

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Originally Posted by Crazy Canuck View Post
Then there is no way that folks who like Serena would be able to view the situation objectively, either.
I beg to differ on that point.
Now mind you, I'm refrring to moals, ethics, and fairness here.

Therefore the question is, of the two gruops, Haters vs. Supporters, which group is basing there likes and dislikes based upon moral and ethical grounds, and a sense of fairness, and which one simply hates for the sole purpose of hating, based upon some innate or psychological mechanism? It's much more difficult to employ fairness than it is hatred. In other words, it's easier to hate someone or a group of people than it is to embrace them. And this article goes quite the distance to prove this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Canuck View Post
McEnroe was by no means universally loved. He was actually disqualified, on more than one occasion. He was also regularly criticized for being an asshat Mind you, the Capriati love is simply inexplicable. I've got nothing there.
Again, I beg to differ. McEnroe was in fact loved and embraced by Americans. Especially when t came to playing against foreign opponents (at the US Open). I can sight MANY other points on this by I have to go do my volunteer work and I'm late. But I'll be back in a few hours.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Canuck View Post
This is... off topic, but hey - I'm responding to what was written.

Topic: Duh. Not to imply that it shouldn't have been posted, of course. It's a fine topic. Just.. duh. This isn't even remotely surprising, MSNBC, Newsweek, or whoever wrote that.

Just an observation, but even Korean babies stare at me (I'm not Korean, I live in Korea). Of course, staring is not, in itself, racist.
Well, feel free to post in any topic I create.
All are welcome as long as they remain civil and non-combative.

Also, I have a TON to say about Asians and "race". But again, that'll have to wait, cuz I'm out the door.

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. - Malcolm X
A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything. - Malcolm X
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - Confucius
The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people. - Geoffrey Chaucer
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 14th, 2009, 06:13 PM
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Re: Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

I saw video once of a study and they showed how young children, no matter their race, would chose to play with a white doll instead of a black doll. Not all of the time, of course, but most of the time. It was interesting. I don't think it says anything about children being racist but it does show that they are taught to prefer or appreciate some things (in this case, race) over others.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 14th, 2009, 07:30 PM
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Re: Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

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Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
I saw video once of a study and they showed how young children, no matter their race, would chose to play with a white doll instead of a black doll. Not all of the time, of course, but most of the time. It was interesting. I don't think it says anything about children being racist but it does show that they are taught to prefer or appreciate some things (in this case, race) over others.
Speaking of being taught

I read something similar but it focused on Santa. White families having only white santa's. Mall santa's were always white, santa was always white on t.v. What was a white child to think when they first set eyes on a black santa but confusion followed by...SANTA'S NOT REAL!

I'm guessing it's the same to some extent for all other ethnic families as well seeing santa portrayed as white everywhere...

"I USED to be Snow White....but I drifted."
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old Sep 14th, 2009, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Newsweek article: Are Babies Racist?

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Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
I saw video once of a study and they showed how young children, no matter their race, would chose to play with a white doll instead of a black doll. Not all of the time, of course, but most of the time. It was interesting. I don't think it says anything about children being racist but it does show that they are taught to prefer or appreciate some things (in this case, race) over others.
I believe that I may have seen the same docu., If it was aired many years ago.
It was sad because when the young Black kids were asked why they preferred the White dolls, they answered with, "...because they are prettier."
It was a clear cut example of low self-esteem, and little to no self-confidence.
When children aren't proud of who and what they are, then they will invariably face social and racial problems of an unknown degree.

Some of the reasons I started performing volunteer work at schools, was to demonstrate that Black males could be visibly effective in the community; and to be that rare positive image of a Black man that the media and law enforcement disparages far more than they praise or commend.

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. - Malcolm X
A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything. - Malcolm X
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - Confucius
The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people. - Geoffrey Chaucer

Last edited by RVD; Sep 15th, 2009 at 04:47 AM.
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