CNN Study: America's Kids Are Being Racialized —
The other night I watched a small boy go through a color chart of humanity, asserting with uncanny certainty, that bad people are the darkest people, and good people are the lightest people. When asked how he identified human characteristics in the colored images, he blithely explained that skin color guided his choices.
He was one of several children who participated in a study of racial attitudes in children, "Black or White: Kids on Race, designed by Dr. Margaret Beale Spencer, of the University of Chicago, that aired May 18, 2010, on Anderson Cooper 360, on CNN.
Like the little boy, almost all of the children, black and white, and both genders, identified white skin as representing ability, beauty and other likable characteristics; while they identified dark skin as representing the opposite.
Anderson's show wasn't the first time that I observed this race-as-status phenomenon, articulated by young children.
My daughter was a take-charge little girl, announcing adventures, and ordering children to follow her. Her unrestrained, self promoting attitude, must have convinced her day camp peers that she did not know their status. So, at nap time, a group of four-year-old girls, awakened my daughter from her nap, to announce, "we're white . . ."
Another race-as-status assertion, out of the mouth of a child, came after my daughter told a friend that they should "play school," and that she should be the teacher. Her friend countered, "Ok, but let's pretend that I'm white."
By that request, a kindergartner demonstrated that she recognized that white children were having a different experience in school, than black children, and she concluded that she preferred the experience white children were having.
Another child inspired insight came from a woman who was discussing this study on line. She said that when her sister was three, her sister observed a brown-skinned woman walking by, from their window, and announced to their mother, "Mommy, I don't like brown people." Her mother asked, "what about Karen," her brown-skinned babysitter. The child replied, "Oh, she's different." Signifying that at three, she had not only learned to value people by skin color, she'd also learned how to preserve her point of view, by dismissing contradictions, as "exceptions." These, and similar observations, inspired me to define *race as status.
Children, of both races, want to be white because white skin is a status symbol, that identifies the "wearer," as a protected class, entitled to humane treatment. By contrast, dark skin is like the imposed display, of the Star of David during the Holocaust. It identifies the "wearer" as an unprotected class, that can be treated, according to the prerogative, of the protected class.
Little girls and boys with white skin are not taken from school in the back of police cars, in handcuffs. Children with white skin, are not shot in their beds by police who throw bombs, and fire guns, instead of knocking on the door to serve a warrant . . .
The children in this study are not racist, they are misinformed innocents, and so are many adults. Racism is not a wrong idea about race; which is what media encourages us to believe, racism actually is a commitment to a wrong ideas about race.
If you want to identify a racist, a fool proof test is truth. A good faith, misinformed person, is readily corrected when confronted with the truth, because they're merely misinformed, no matter how inappropriate their ideas about race may be. But when a misinformed person, struggles to preserve a wrong idea about race, it reveals that they are invested in that idea — that's racism.
Soledad Obrien, who was part of the discussion about the study, rationalized the role of media, when she suggested that the depictions of welfare mothers as primarily *Diasporan, when most welfare mothers are *Eurmericans, is incidental to the proximity of networks to Diasporan communities. I think it's intentional.
Otherwise, why would a media report on men who murder their wives, use illustrative images of four black males, none of whom murdered his wife. Or why would a report on children who kill, that only includes white children, except for Lee Malvo, the teenage sniper — use his image, repetitively throughout the program, when a white face would have been representative of the group. Especially when Malvo's inclusion in the group is questionable to begin with. Malvo was the only juvenile included in the report, who was acting pursuant to the instructions, supervision, and authority of an adult. Finally, why would the media continuously repeat, a law enforcement officer's declaration that, Leonard Scroggins, a one-time sex offender, who was behaving erratically, and who violated his probation, made John Gardner, a white male, who raped and murdered, at least two teenage girls, "look like a choir boy." Given the context, the audacity of the statement is incomprehensible, and repetition of it by the media is mind boggling, unless one understands how racist ideology is communicated. In effect, media used the dark face of Scroggins, a man who never killed anyone, as the face to hate, when contemplating the rapes and murders, of a white man.
In addition to making a dark face, the icon for the undesirable, media also attacks the enviable status of Diasporans, who have legitimately achieved it. A case in point is when talking heads demanded to know how Michael Jackson could select a person with a DUI, Diana Ross, to mother his children. Just like they did not know that the DUI is the only blemish on Diana Ross' record, that has been 65 years in the making. A record that includes, pulling herself up from poverty to wealth, from obscurity to fame, from marginal talent to super talent, from non-actress to Academy Award nominated actress; from racial exclusion to inclusion; and while that was going on, she birthed five children, out of her body, who she raised to become educated, productive and admirable human being . . .
The method used by media to racially indoctrinate, was discovered by the Nobel Peace Prize winner, and behaviorist, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov ("Pavlov"), and it is called, conditioned reflex.
Pavlov's experiment involved ringing a bell when presenting food to dogs. Eventually, the dogs began to evidence the same experience when the bell rang, but they were not given food. American media is doing the same thing with the images of dark skinned people. Everything that people hate, abhor, fear, reject, disrespect — is accompanied by a dark person's image; and when Diasporans lead exemplary lives, media denigrates them, to dispel the contradictions posed by their accomplishments, and when all else fails, media designates dark skin achievers as "exceptions."
Interestingly, it is not commercial productions, that are the culprits. As a matter of fact, racist messages have practically disappeared from commercials. It's the news, tabloids, video games, television, and movies, that carry racism into our future.
A multi-ethnic environment isn't the cure, diversity can actually teaches children how to discriminate because children who are in a multi-ethnic environment will repeatedly witness the operation of discrimination.
As a matter of fact, a mono-racial experience can better prepare a child for racial equity, if the mono-racial environment is humane. A case in point is a little girl who moved to my multi-ethnic, primarily white, neighborhood from New Orleans, where she had never interacted with people of color. She took to my brown-skinned daughter with great enthusiasm, and when at our house, she would, "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am." and "is it alright ma'am?' She admired us, and delighted in us, because she was guided by what she learned in New Orleans, you treat people with respect. She only knew one standard for how to treat people, and that's what she applied.
The family is a very small part of the racial indoctrination because, most parents lack the sophistication in racist ideology, to compete with the deluge of pro-racist messages their children are receiving on a daily basis. Children learn racial attitudes by observing the effect of race in social relationships — at school, church, activities; and through entertainment, including, games, books, newspapers, movies, and primarily, television.
Finally, talking about race can't compete with repetitive observations, and "experiences," children encounter, on a daily basis, but it can guide and explain. For example, in the study, a delightful little girl evidenced the beginning of the fusion of her personal identity with her racial identity. After she identified a light skinned image as "the good child," she was asked "why is that the good child?" And she said, "because I think she looks like me." In a circumstance like that, a parent might begin by reassuring their child in a manner like this, "You are my best girl, you are a very good child, but remember Rudy on the Cosby Show? Rudy is a good girl too. She's just like you, but she is not the same color as you. You know our dogs Skip and Buster? Well skip is brown, and buster is black, but they are both dog. Dogs are dogs, no matter what their color. And people are people, no matter what their color.
What America needs to overcome racism is, for the media to stop hurting us, and to start helping us . . .
There are three components that must be incorporated into the character of a child before they become racialized:
1. Belief that dark skin represents negative characteristics in people.
2. Belief that light skin represents positive characteristics in people.
3. Belief that their skin color represents their personal identity.
The reason the racial ideas of these small children are so apparent, is because small children don't know that they should obscure them with lies and denials.
In addition to media's role in racial indoctrination, the media also teaches us how racism is primarily practiced — by abuse.
The movie "Bruno" introduces a Diasporan child as an object, by handling him like one, and referring to him like one. He is objectified as an insignificant thing, " traded" for an insignificant thing; shipped by mail, like an insignificant thing . . . The relationship between a white man, and his adopted Diasporan "son" is incestuous-homosexual-pedophilia.
The child is sexualized, and homosexualized, by describing him as a "dick magnet," whose "father" places him in the midst of men engaged in a sexual act, with each other. If all of that, doesn't demean the child enough, to justify abusing him, he is given the name *of a Diasporan, who is hated by many white people, namely OJ, a name which his "father" describes as a "traditional African American name," signaling the "tradition," of projecting hate onto all Diasporans, thereby confirming the child as a proper object for abuse.
In effect, "Bruno" "informs" the audience that children of African descent are not valuable enough to protect, reinforcing that idea by making the abuse of the child, laughable. So, it was no surprise, when life imitated art, that the media went silent, even when it appeared that the wrongdoer would only get a slap on the wrist.
Frank Lombard, an Associate Director at the Center for Health Policy at Duke University, is a homosexual who, with his partner, adopted two Diasporan, male infants, which Lombard claimed was easier to accomplish, because of their race. He even recommended it to his pedophile friends.
From infancy, to the age of five, when the child was removed from his home, Lombard engaged in sexual activity with his "son," as well as drugging him; giving him to other men, for their sexual use; and transmitting images of himself, engaged in sexual acts with the child. This case presented the media with an opportunity to empower orphaned, Diasporan children who, according to this predator, are more vulnerable to exploitation. But the media took a pass —
Then there's "the legally blonde syndrome." In the movie "Legally Blonde," a law professor was challenging her students with a difficult legal proposition when, out of nowhere, she pokes the only Diasporan in the class, a male, in the head, with a hard object. Conveying the subliminal message that it is alright to abuse people who have dark skin. What's more amazing than the inclusion of that inappropriate scene, is the fact that nobody asked, "what the heck was that that all about?" Because we knew . . .
Not to be overlooked, was the media's cry for the head of the Social Secretary, Desiree Rogers, after people, who were not invited to a State Dinner, gained entry to the White House. Besides the fact that it has happened dozens of times before, without a murmur from the press; and in spite of the fact that the head of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, admitted that it was his fault; they never let up on Desiree Rogers — until she left.
Perhaps the most egregious example, of media sponsored racism, is the coverage of the Fort Hood rescue. Sergeant Mark Todd, a Diasporan male, performed flawlessly under pressure. He called out the Fort Hood shooter, Nidal Malik Hasan, but when fired on, discharged five shots, four of which hit Hasan's upper body, and brought him down. Todd then approached the wounded Hasan, kicked his gun away, cuffed him, and cut his clothing in the areas of his wounds, to prepare him for the medics. Todd's performance is easily the most outstanding, singular act of police work, on record. But instead of praise and promotion, his superior chose to credit a white female with his achievement — with the assistance of the media.
Of the two police officers who responded to the call, one was unconscious in the hospital, and the other, Mark Todd, was uninjured, and at the scene. So, as a matter of common sense, of the two of them, who do you think reported what happened? Mark Todd, of course. So the first story Mark Todd's superior heard — was Mark Todd's story. But instead of recounting it, his superior made a story up of his own. The media ran with it, declining to interview, or report on, the observations of the only available police respondent, chosing, instead, to rely on second hand sources?
Calling the injured woman a hero, the media displayed her gun toting image, until her name became a household word. Meanwhile, they declined to tell Mark Todd's story, or to show his image, or to call him anything . . . Ultimately, there were people who said, Mark Todd brought Nidal Hasan down, forcing the media to give him a more active role in their stories. He was elevated from non-entity to the subordinate sidekick — even though he outranks her, and he had outperformed her. He was the "partner" who "joined" her, or "followed" her, and if we didn't know who the hero was in the operation, they told us, "Sgt Mark Todd joined Sgt. Kimberly Munley, hailed as a hero for her actions . . . Oh well, at least by then, they called him by his name . . .
A witness said that the female officer was blindsided, and went down without discharging her gun. In fact, another witness said that, after Munley went down, Hasan walked up to her and shot her again. The truth is in the testing. Now that the ballistic test are in, and the bullets collected, and the witnesses interviewed, media no longer wants to tell this story. Clearly, they don't want to set the record straight.
In "Bruno," the media message is that it is permissible to abuse and misuse Diasporan children. In "Legally Blonde," the media message is scapegoating, namely, when one is unhappy with a white person, they should take it out on a black person. Scapegoating was also the theme of the reporting on the White House mishap. In spite of the facts, media never mentioned the name of the person who made the error, while aggressively calling for the punishment of the Social Secretary, who is a Diasporan. Finally, the Fort Hood rescue was a demonstration of media support for whites receiving credit for the achievements of Diasporan. When one considers that Americans routinely receive these messages, it gives explanation to the practice of some criminals who, when caught, say "a black person did it." And it certainly makes understandable how small children, come to believe that skin color identifies human characteristics.
It is interesting to note that the media has not reported on a study, conducted by highly respected professionals, that reveals that American children are indoctrinated to believe that skin color reflects human value; an idea that is totally contrary to the prevailing belief, that America has practically become post-racial. While this study should be big news, sending reporters scrambling to tell this story — major media hasn't even mentioned it . . .
In American courts, silence can be offered, as an admission — of guilt.
Note: It is noteworthy to mention that CNN was the first network news to interview Mark Todd, and CNN is the network that published this study.
Diasporan: A descendant of a survivor of the African diaspora
Eurmerican: An American of European descent
Racism: An ideology that attaches value to individuals on the basis of skin color, it is a color hierarchy, that ascribes highest status to people with the lightest complexion, and lowest status to the people with the darkest complexion. The enhanced status given to light skin, encourages light complected people, to incorporate their racial status, into their personal identity. When this idea takes hold, it inspires discomfort when the behavior, achievement, possessions, appearance or experiences of dark people, contradict that idea. In effect, racism requires a diminishment of the identity of dark skinned people, in order to support the false identity of light skinned people as, better than, dark skinned people. Racial contradictions are a threat to the personal identity of the racist, producing anxiety, that is generally characterized by rage, and behavior that humiliates, coerces, demeans, isolates, punishes, or otherwise diminishes the victim, thereby reinforcing the idea of racial superiority. In effect, racism is not a reaction to inferiority, rather, it is a defense of, the self-image of, the racist. Copyright Hargrove Jones 2002