Image courtesy CNN screenshot.

“A lot of white parents…have this view that if you talk about race you are creating the problem.”

Anderson Cooper 360 recently aired a segment about a study they sponsored of kids’ perceptions of race and friendships. As part of the study, children were shown two pictures with one white and one black child in a somewhat ambiguous situation involving a swing.

Responses showed that 70% of white children interpreted something negative going on in the pictures, while only 38% of black children did. The children were also asked open-ended questions about friendships with children who have a different skin color. Watch the video (about 10 min):

The results probably aren’t surprising to most of us, but they’re certainly frustrating. Racial bias continues to be a significant problem, and that won’t change unless we’re willing to admit that there is no such thing as colorblindness (nor should there be), and that, as difficult as conversations about race are, it’s essential that we engage in them with our children, our students, our friends and family, our co-workers and acquaintances.

How do you discuss race in your classroom, family, or workplace?

~ Marsha

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