A white child looks at a picture of a black child and says she’s bad because she’s black. A black child says a white child is ugly because he’s white. A white child says a black child is dumb because she has dark skin.
This isn’t a schoolyard fight that takes a racial turn, not a vestige of the “Jim Crow” South; these are American schoolchildren in 2010.
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.
More footage from the study
When this group of children are asked questions like “show me the dumb child” and “show me the bad child,” [@ the 5:00 mark] their answers show that even at a young age, our society is clearly communicating certain messages about race that even children pick up on.
However, all is not lost. The video below, while at times heart wrenching, ends with hope for the future of race relations – American children who are not color-blind, but rather not as color conscious as generations before them. To quote the young man who is asked “which child would you like as a classmate,” he responds “All of them… I don’t really care what color they have.”