These children, honestly answering questions about race and racism, illuminate some of the problems we have talking about race in America. We know that children as young as 6 months old respond to skin color, so when the kids at the beginning of the video don’t know the words race, ethnicity, or racism, that’s a problem: they don’t know how to address their own reactions and experiences. They’re not having the conversations they need to understand the complicated culture in which they live.
And the older children in this video who do know the words to talk about race and racism are jaded. “You just can’t change people,” they say. Really? Or you just can’t change people—without having difficult conversation about the complicated culture in which we all live.