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.
3 thoughts on “Video Thursday: Difficult Conversations”
I’m not quite sure whom I should thnak for this video, but I am so glad I saw it, even as I sit here with tears in my eyes. I rmember again the words from “You’ve got to be taught” in South Pacific: “You’ve got to be taught to be afraid, of people whose eyes are oddly made, and people whose skin is a different shade, you’ve got to be carefully taught. You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late, before you are six, or seven or eight, to hate all the people your relatives hate–you’ve got to be carefully taught.”
For my part, you’re welcome, Sally. I got the video from Hannah, who found it on Love Isn’t Enough, who stumbled across it on YouTube—it’s a case of the Internet doing is job and connecting people and ideas.
This was so powerful and thought-provoking and heart-wrenching. The one little girl who added in language and said you have another language too. Made me think of that essentialist/deficit thinking. She understood that.
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