Nearly 60 years after American schools were desegregated by the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling, and more than a year after the election of the country’s first black president, white children have an overwhelming white bias, and black children also have a bias toward white, according to a new study commissioned by CNN.
Renowned child psychologist and University of Chicago professor Margaret Beale Spencer, a leading researcher in the field of child development, led the study. She designed the pilot study and led a team of three psychologists: two testers to execute the study and a statistician to help analyze the results.
Her team tested 133 children from schools that met very specific economic and demographic requirements. In total, eight schools participated: four in the greater New York City area and four in Georgia. . . .
In the new study, Spencer’s researchers asked the younger children a series of questions and had them answer by pointing to one of five cartoon pictures that varied in skin color from light to dark. The older children were asked the same questions using the same cartoon pictures, and were then asked a series of questions about a color bar chart that showed light to dark skin tones.
The tests showed that white children, as a whole, responded with a high rate of what researchers call “white bias,” identifying the color of their own skin with positive attributes and darker skin with negative attributes. Spencer said even black children, as a whole, have some bias toward whiteness, but far less than white children.
1) Does anyone else notice that we’re suddenly getting these stories, now that Obama is president? Remember:
First, we were supposed to eradicate racism and be “post-racial.” Now, we can’t help ourselves; it’s in our genes and we can’t do anything about it. Except to sit back and let the president lead us to the promised land, that is.
2) Both of these studies are really shoddy and tell us nothing. Cartoon characters? Really, CNN? But, even if, on the off chance, they have some value to them, so what? Kids are stupid in a whole lot of ways; that’s part of the reason they have to have adults around pretty much all of the time. Does it help anyone, in any way, to nurture a belief that racism is a product of our very nature? Of course not, it just fans the flames of division and hate.
We can’t move past race if we keep being obsessed about creating divisions based on it.