For Discussion: Times Haven’t Changed! Study Shows Kids Still Think White Is Right

- By Bossip Staff

Regardless of your race — if you haven’t started talking to your children about skin color, you might want to start now. Last night’s CNN special “Black or White: Kids on Race,” revealed that a racial bias exists even among young kids today. Pop the hood for video and details on the study

Last night’s special showed American kids may still have a long way to go when it comes to their beliefs about race.

Just watch the footage below of a 5-year-old white girl who is part of a CNN pilot study on children’s attitudes toward race.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The girl consistently identifies a white or lighter skinned child as “smarter and good” because she “looks like me,” while pointing at the black or darker skinned child when asked which is ugly, because “she’s a lot darker”. Her mother, who watches the study in near tears, says she has no idea where her child has picked up the beliefs, adding her daughter has never asked about color.

CNN hired child psychologist and University of Chicago professor Margaret Beale Spencer, a leading researcher in the field of child development to design the pilot study. She used a team of three psychologists to implement it: 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.

One of the major findings of the study was that white children have an overwhelming bias toward white, and that black children also have a bias toward white but not nearly as strong as the bias shown by the white children.

The difference in the kids seems to point to how much parents have discussed race with them.

Research and discussions with parents of the children who participated in this study, indicate that white parents as a whole do not talk to their kids about race as much as black parents.

A 2007 study in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that 75 percent of white families with kindergartners never, or almost never, talk about race. For black parents the number is reversed with 75 percent addressing race with their children.

Po Bronson, author of NurtureShock and an award-winning writer on parenting issues says white parents “want to give their kids this sort of post-racial future when they’re very young and they’re under the wrong conclusion that their kids are colorblind. … It’s in the absence of messages of tolerance that they will naturally … develop these skin preferences.”

Many African-American parents CNN spoke to during the study say they begin discussing race at a very early age because they say they feel they have to prepare their children for a society where their skin color will create obstacles for them.

Check out what this young black girl has to say when she is questioned for the study:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

It’s a relief to hear her answer that she is happy with her skin color and that it shouldn’t matter what you look like on the outside — that it’s the inside that counts.

To see some answers from more kids involved with the CNN pilot study, Click Here To Watch Another Video

At what age do you think it’s appropriate to start talking to kids about race? If you have kids, have you discussed skin color with them? Do the results of this study surprise you? What do you think is to blame for this white bias?


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  • Dont Think I Won't Hitch Yah--Cause I'm Famous, I believe in KARMA

    Funny all this is coming up now that we have a black Prez! On a different note…My daugther came home asking me why her skin is Lighter than mine. Thats when I had the talk.

  • Clarkekent3000

    Where is the study of the effects of reverse racism within the black community towards other blacks?

  • Aunt Viv

    So sad.

  • R_U_Trying_To_Prove_Her_Right?

    This is NEWS to you !!!

    After reading all the posts from
    the pink d*ck obsessed and the
    pink n*pple obsessed BLACK CLOWNS
    who post on THIS blog???

    NEGROES are humanity’s JOKE.

  • Leslie

    Start as early as they are able to understand. We are responsible for the worl in which we live and for the world that we live to our children. If we don’t teach them better how can we expect better from them?

  • MATIX B( the real Canadian DIVA)

    That’s why my white mamma gave me a pitch black cabbage patch doll. I still have her to this day!

  • You Smell Me??

    We need to teach our kids better man….

  • ldy

    S e e k i n g A f f l u e n t c O m is a place for like-minded people who understand that intelligence, success and drive are key elements to attraction.

  • Sticky-n-Sweet

    My mom made sure everyone and everything I identified with as a child was at least non-White. My dentist, my pediatrician, my teachers, all people of color. I had no White dolls, and the only magazines in the house were ones with Black women and men on the cover. When I was in 5th grade, this little girl told me my mom couldn’t be a lawyer, because she had never seen a Black lawyer before, not on TV or anywhere else. I told her “Look over there, that’s my mom, she’s Black, and she’s a lawyer”, and walked away. Society isn’t going to push Black is beautiful to our kids, so we have to do it ourselves.

  • ReALiSt AKA ReALeSt ReALiSt AKA ReALeSt (BdAy WiShEs: AfRiCa MuSt WaKe Up & ThIs GeNeRaTn MuSt MaKe A ChAnGe)

    This old CNN – why can’t just focus on how white people can’t survive in the sun??

  • AHAH

    she crying cause she didnt know her kid was racist.

  • Dont Think I Won't Hitch Yah--Cause I'm Famous, I believe in KARMA

    @You Smell…you are right. We have to do it at home, I want her to ask me rather than ask some jackazz outside. Yes, honey you are mixed. That doesn’t mean anything…You will still get your azz jacked up if you disrespect me…LOL, LOL

  • Plagueis The Wise

    I saw this and I know why the black kids favored lighter skin. How many times have you heard an adult refer to a darker person (think Akon) and a black a.s.s mofo. Think about it. Black children hear darkness as a negative from other blacks. You can’t blame the children.

  • LaDiva

    It starts in the home.
    What I mean by that is you teach your kids the right way… Ppl also teach their kids the wrong way. But it always starts in the home first.
    Teach your kids or they will grow up to be ignorant racists ppl despising others based on the color of their skin…

  • Yung Berg

    Now i don’t feel so bad or isolated about my biases concerning DARK BUTTS.

  • rain

    i really think we as black ppl,the one’s that have children should teach our children to love thereselves,and love what they look like.

  • juliemango

    White parents are less likely to discuss racial skin colour with their kids as opposed to blacks bc it is clearly less of an issue/problem to them. It’s a good thing that the white child said that the good cartoon looks like her I think thats smart not racist!!!

  • Iyan

    The pilot study is flawed. I did the same thing with my child and asked similar questions and he picked his own skin tone every time. Also, if a child knows nothing about race like my kid, he will argue that he is not black he’s brown. If they are asking kids that are growing up in an all black hood, and all black school. What do you think the answers will be? I do agree that black people need to stop that ish in their childrens mind that lighter is better, or making fun because someone has a darker tone. It’s extremely ignorant and racist. I was not surprised at the white kids answers. I was horrified at the black kids answers.

  • Gimmeabreak78

    It’s interesting to note that white children whose parents teach them that race doesn’t/shouldn’t matter still absorb a message of white superiority in the subtext, and that so many black children who are taught by their parents that they are equal to whites in every respect also still absorb the same white superiority message in the subtext that the white children do.

    It’s painful to me because it means that deep down (if we are honest with ourselves) a lot of black people have still consciously or subconsciously bought in to the notion of white superiority. It’s heartbreaking on a lot of levels.

  • iBillz

    PROPAGANDA… that is all.

  • LaDiva

    Another problem is that us minorities keep instilling to our children that white is right. They grow up feeling inferior to them. Teach your children that the color of his skin is not contingent upon the success of his hands and mind…We are more than just outward appearance. And by no means are we inferior to anyone.

  • Somali Ninga

    I LOVE the little black girl’s answers!!

  • Gimmeabreak78


    You seem to infer that the study is flawed because you asked your child similar questions and he gave different answers from the children in the study. I certainly don’t want to as.sume anything, so I would like to ask you what makes the study flawed in your opinion?





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