Experts Warn of the Racism of 3-Month-Olds, Recommend Antiracist Training

(John Stillwell/Pool photo via AP)

Modern America is trying to stamp out racism, and babies aren’t getting a pass.

An article in The Washington Post recently culled from psychology professors, authors, and other authorities to determine that very young children should be taught social justice.

A sizable reason: Kids may be awash with “implicit bias” within the first few months of life.

The Post puts it out there:

In the era of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, many parents are wondering when the right time is to talk to their children about social justice. Experts say it’s never too early, and a new wave of tools and resources can help start the conversation.

One option is a “music class…that develops understanding of gender and personhood.”

And if you don’t wanna get off the couch, they’re now offered virtually.

Another way to learn:

A drag queen story time will soon be a television show.

But there’s also the old-fashioned way, and you can get schooled along with your baby:

[T]here are more and more children’s books that discuss intersectionality and broaden representation, plus flashcards and short videos that teach parent and toddler about anti-racism ideas.

And why at the toddler stage? Because — per Skidmore College Psychology Professors Jessica Sullivan and Leigh Wilton — implicit bias can creep in at three months of age.

Parents often report discussing topics, like death, with children when it comes up. Perhaps the trick, then, is to be intentional about noticing when and how race comes up in daily life, and using those moments as opportunities for discussion.

Does “race come up” in your daily life?

According to antiracism — as laid out by CNN — it should: “I’m colorblind; I don’t care if you’re white, black, yellow, green or purple,” is a “microaggression.”

The Cartoon Network agrees:

According to Professor Leigh, getting in early is key:

“When you think about reading, you don’t say a child at 2 years old can’t read, so let’s not read to them or teach them to recognize letters. We begin building those foundational concepts early. Adults can help even the youngest of children begin to develop the social, emotional, and cognitive skills that will enable them to engage with race throughout their lives.”

Oregon State University Assistant Professor Shauna Tominey concurs.

“Even before young children can engage in conversations,” she points out, “they engage in ‘social referencing’ to figure out how to respond.”

If you’re still low on ideas of how to fix your baby’s bigotry, you can try a ByUs box.

The product’s website describes things thusly:

The ByUs Box is an educational toolkit in a box! We provide books, toys and learning guides that teach equity in fun ways. Each ByUs Box is themed around an equity-seeking group, and is packed with beautiful and age-appropriate materials for guided conversations and interactive play. All our items are educator-approved, and created and curated by members of the equity-seeking group. ByUs is made By Us, to dismantle Bias!

The Post calls it “a curated box of toys, books and curricula that aims to dismantle bias for kids as young as 2 years old.”

Whatever needs to be done, hopefully, all those racist babies will be re-educated.

Otherwise, in about 30 years, we’re gonna have some very big problems on our hands.

Then again, what could’ve been a surge might just fall flat:

-ALEX

 

See more pieces from me:

Africana Studies Professor Forced to Take Sensitivity Training for Writing the N-Word During Class

20-Year Catholic High School Teacher Gets Fired for Questioning Whether George Floyd Couldn’t Breathe

Minnesota Proposes New Social Studies Standards That Call out ‘Whiteness, Christianity and Capitalism’

Find all my RedState work here.

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