children and race

Is your child racist?

Recently a friend of mine shared an incident involving her son that left her extremely upset. Her young son had innocently expressed a preference in playmates based on the color of another child’s skin. My friend was horrified and wondered where he had gotten the idea that we would judge one another based on the color of our skin.

I absolutely understood her reaction. No parent wants his or her child to express racist attitudes or stereotypes. However, the reality is that racism pervades our society and children – while maybe not tactful – aren’t stupid and are perceptive. They understand that race is important. So important in fact, that the adults in their lives don’t often talk about it and when they do they tiptoe around it.