Race in America Videos and Responses

Hello, please watch and respond to the following news/research series:

Leave your comments in the box below for credit for “attending” this class. Think about how you could apply Bourdieu or the cooling-out function. Feel free to also respond to one another as you have been already.

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16 Responses to Race in America Videos and Responses

  1. Michele says:

    I never really thought about race until I came to America. We don’t really care about that in Brazil, where the mix in race is a normal thing. Society has a big role in educating our children about race. I would never consciously teach my children about black and white the way these children in the videos are looking at it. But I’m sure that nobody is doing that to their children nowadays. There is a connection with Bourdieu’s dominant and dominated when most the African American children prefer the white children for everything that’s positive and the children with similar color (black) for all the negative things. This study and its results were also shocking for some parents because they believe they are raising their children in a way that is right, with no racism and discrimination, only to find that their children are learning those very issues somewhere else. Of course some children were neutral, with no preference in chosing between the two colors and commenting that such things are not important in society.

  2. ssahni says:

    Racism has always existed not only in America but throughout the world. Even though I am from a country of browns, darker skin toned people have always been looked upon even in my country, India. I remember how hard it was to get my cousin married, as no one wanted to marry her because of her dark skin color. Color and discrimination, either because of color, caste or creed is part of our society now. but I think rather than trying to change the way how society thinks, we should all work on ourselves and should try to change how we think. No one is happy the way god made them. If someone has straight hair they want to curl them or perm them, if some one has curled hair, they want them to be straight. If someone has long hair they want short, if someone has short hair, they want long. If someone has light skin they want to bleach it to look lighter and someone with white skin pays a fortune to get tanned. The day we all will learn to love who we are and how we look and would trust god that if he has made us this way, it is for our best interest, racism won’t exist. I loved how one of the parents has taught their kids to be self-confident,
    and am proud of that little girl who at this young age has understood the fact that “it doesn’t matter how you look from outside”, which a lot of adults still fail to understand till date. It is unfortunate the racism exists and will continue to exist, but we can only change the society if we can change ourselves, as it is us who make the society.

  3. ssahni says:

    Racism has always existed not only in America but throughout the world. Even though I am from a country of browns, darker skin toned people have always been looked upon even in my country, India. I remember how hard it was to get my cousin married, as no one wanted to marry her because of her dark skin color. Color and discrimination, either because of color, caste or creed is part of our society now. but I think rather than trying to change the way how society thinks, we should all work on ourselves and should try to change how we think. No one is happy the way god made them. If someone has straight hair they want to curl them or perm them, if some one has curled hair, they want them to be straight. If someone has long hair they want short, if someone has short hair, they want long. If someone has light skin they want to bleach it to look lighter and someone with white skin pays a fortune to get tanned. The day we all will learn to love who we are and how we look and would trust god that if he has made us this way, it is for our best interest, racism won’t exist. I loved how one of the parents has taught their kids to be self-confident,
    and am proud of that little girl who at this young age has understood the fact that “it doesn’t matter how you look from outside”, which a lot of adults still fail to understand till date. It is unfortunate the racism exists and will continue to exist, but we can only change the society if we can change ourselves, as it is “US” who make the society.

  4. Danna Galed says:

    These videos are all very powerful. I’ve done a lot of research and I’ve studied about the Civil Rights Movement and I’ve learnt and seen how it all has changed till now. Things have tremendously changed to the point that we have an African American president. So I thought all was done with black and whites being looked at differently, until seeing these videos. You can see how much society has an impact and influence on everyone especially children at such a young age. The fact that the percentage of children white and black, chose the black children when it came to questions about who is considered the “bad child” and that most of the children in the study chose the white children for questions concerning the “better child” is quite sad a shocking. This perception on race is a continuous problem and the main contributor to the perspective in my opinion is the media. Although what is shown in the media may not differentiate between race out right but it is done in a subtle way although obviously not that subtle if children are picking up on it. Children and maybe some parents have to be explained that the only difference is color but that we are all still the same. Amazingly some children were able to pick on that color makes no difference.

  5. surbanska says:

    Racism can be addressed in two dimensions at least. First, the innate human nature to divide and judge displays its face so apparently here. As long as the recorded history shows, the domination has always played an important role in the development of modern society. Ancient Egypt was built with slaves’ hands and so was America for most part. Second dimension proposed by me is the “here and now” approach. How has the domination of a white race shaped American society and how struggles this society now to find its balance and heal the recent painful history? The law has been amended to address the issue. What has been left is to amend the deeply rooted mentality of stereotypical view on race and racial dominance. The interesting part for me was to view parents’ reaction to the expressions of their children. The white mother was very honest and brave in her statement that she grew up in a dominantly white community and it might be that the racism could have been conveyed in a subconscious manner. The problem of racism has not affected an average white person hence they consider the problem to be solved with legal amendments. They don’t see the need to educate themselves and their children about it and to consciously address it during dinner conversations. In contrary, the black father does admit that he and his wife make a conscious effort to teach their children about equality as manifested in worth, potential and opportunities and his daughter’s expressed views were reflection of it. It was obvious that her opinion was not a spontaneous expression of common judgments but well thought through message handed over by an educated and open-minded adult. Obviously, not all adults agree with the noble wisdom of equality of all races. Racism still exists and its eradication has to be perceived as a long term process of social development very much like women equality or gay and lesbian rights.

  6. salvarez says:

    Some incredible writing here everyone. These videos give a pretty strong argument for a “science” experiment about race. How scientific is this study really? Could the children be acting in any way? Wouldn’t the cameras affect the way they acted on camera?

    Either way, I think the main line of writing I’m reading from everyone. I like how Mariam connects the Bourdieu theory of domination, as racism is a social relation of domination between groups and for categories of thought, which in some ways structure this reality we live through. Much is made of parental responsibility and media access to kids. How much TV to let children watch, and what programs? Certain representations of African Americans, then, pass on certain arguments about stereotypes, or exaggerations of group identity.

    Margarita, you also picked up something interesting with the cases when the black/white divide crosses lines, and cases when some of the children fell outside the “science” of the study. Looking at the exceptions, or the data against the grain, is also a good thing to look at when trying to figure out how an academic article makes its presentation and analysis.

    What roles to schools have in all this? Several of you all spoke about parents, but what about schools?

  7. abenavides says:

    Though these couple of videos I can see that racism is a stereotype that children have without the having conplete information about this problem that is affecting the society nowadays. I can see that these videos reveal bad results because withe American children have surprising perception about race and they say that the’d rather the white doll just because they are either white or pretty or good in a certain way in comparison with the African American children who say that thet’d prefer the black doll because they are nice according their race. However we can see that their reaction to this means that usually they feel discrimitaded just because their skin color and their rights are not taken into account in the society nowadays.

  8. evelyn says:

    It’s obviously that racial problem is serious in the US,it’s easy to figure out from the children’s text.
    In the first vedio,when the children were asked to chose the dum,bad,mean or ugly ones,they showed without any hesitate.Most of the black children chose the light color one,and the white children chose the dark color one.The reason why they did that was always the same – color.It’s like they already have two groups.The black ones like to play with the black,and the white ones like to play with the white.This result makes me feel sad.Racism is in their mind when they are in so young age.Right now,they might not know well about what is bad people or what is good.But they have an idea of the opposite color ones are the bad ones.
    Only few children think they don’t care what color or races the children are,they only care who they are.
    And in the second vedio,black children have an opinion that dark ones are worse than the white ones,and they are not satisified with their color actually.
    What I think is,most time,this kind of idea comes from the circumstance they grow up,like how their family members,neighbours treat racesI’ve heard a story about a black driver is driving a white mother and son to somewhere,the son asks his mother,”why Mr.Driver got different color from us?”,And the mother answered,”God wants to make this world colorful,then he made different color for people.”.You have no idea how education influnce people.If we educate our next generation like that,racial problem will then disappear.
    One more thing is that sometimes when we put racial problem in such a high position,it turns out a bad effect.When we talk about it again and again,then the children would know,”oh,there’s a racial thing””I’m white,I should stop playing with the black ones””They might be bad because we are got different skin”.When children are in ealy age,they are innocent,they take idea they heard without thinking,because they don’t know how to consider taht.

  9. In these videos, when mentioned “why she (the doll) is a bad/mean/ugly child”, children response to “because she is black”. When mentioned “why she is a nice/smart/good looking child”, children response to “because she is white”. The research prove most of children think white skin is nice and black skin is ugly or bad. However, some white children don’t have skin bias and they don’t care about any kinds of races. We cannot judge people’s qualities and ability just depend on what skin colors they have. We never know how much information children saw about race bias from TV show, school, media, and their neighborhood. As a result, children consider the definition of white people is positive, while the definition of black people is negative. Our society highlights “white supremacy” so that children see the difference in color and race. According to the research, “white is good, black is bad”, this kind of view still exists in a free and democratic country—the United States of America. People accept race bias when they were young and defined people base on their skin colors.

  10. tintin says:

    It’s really interesting how the African American children have the same race bias as the white children. As mention in the videos, majority of the children would choose the darker skin tone to represent the “ugly child, the skin color that most children don’t like, and the skin color that they think that other children think would look bad”. The reason why these children have the same race bias is because “kids are bombarded with stereotypical messages” of white supremacy. One of the parents mentioned how the media that children are exposed to have a strong effect on the kid’s perception and perspectives. To back up his statement, he mentioned about a movie that he watched recently, how the darker skin people were arrested and the one person who got away had a lighter skin tone. From what he noticed about the movie, we can see that this supports what Bourdieu said about how ” the dominated perceive the dominant through the categories that the relation of domination has produced and which are thus identical to the interests of the dominant”. Because we can see that the movie is saying that “white is good, black is bad”.

  11. YCheng says:

    As shown in these videos, racism still exists today, even though it’s not as obvious as it used to be. People of all skin types have equal rights yet there are still stereotypes of people, such as mentioned in the video “black people are bad.” Even though the parents aren’t teaching their children to have biases towards other races, it’s seen around the media and society that discrimination still exists. When the children were asked which kids were the good ones or the nicer looking ones, the majority of the kids chose the lighter skinned children. “White Supremacy” still plays somewhat of a role in society today, showing that the dominant are prevalent over the dominated. The father and the other people involved in the video explain that racism needs to be halted but people need to fight actively to end discrimination with hard work, despite race.

  12. maminova says:

    Society and daily interactions have proved to be a contributing factor to individual perception of racism. Experiments that observed which color doll children would rather prefer resulted in majority of the children choosing the light skinned dolls. In the video, “A Girl Like Me”, the girl conducted a similar experiment and the participants were all young African American children who preferred the lighter doll. However, in these videos the experiment tested children of different ethnic backgrounds. The results from these experiments varied, considering that the children were from different homes and backgrounds. Some children pointed to the light dolls, while others pointed to the dark ones. In particular, when one young African American girl is asked about which child is the smart one she points to the dark child. Another African American girl points to the lighter skinned child when asked about which is the bad child. She says that the lighter one is the bad child because she makes fun of other people. This shows that no matter what the age of a child, children in our society are fully aware of racism by their daily interactions. This girl has probably experienced something similar, in terms of being made fun of because of her darker skin color. Some children remained neutral when asked questions about which child they preferred, and said that skin color and outer appearance should not matter. All that matters is who the person is on the inside. Children are very sensitive and absorb everything they hear and see. One parent reacted by saying that it does not all depend on the child’s home but rather on society. In relation to Bourdieu’s theory, the dominated group seems to be the African Americans and the dominant group the white race. Majority of the children preferred the dominant, in this case the light skinned child. People tend to associate positive traits with white people and negative traits with dark people. Overall, race is a continuous issue that looks to be part of our society no matter what. Parents will always try to instill a good mindset towards other backgrounds, but this is just one factor in a child’s attitude towards race. There will always be the daily interactions and society that will also affect how people will react to such situations. Everyone is different but that does not mean that there should be a sense of superiority or inferiority towards some groups.

  13. mkhatri says:

    Unintentionally, racial differences are a prevalent part of society. Parents do not instill these bias feelings in their children but being exposed to the social environment around them, children naturally notice the labels attached to each race. The development of these ideas is a lifetime process, in which people incorporate the things they see around them into their view of the world. According to Bourdieau, the dominant group establishes principles for the dominated group. Over time, the dominated group believes this thinking as well, applying it to themselves in the manner that the dominant group wants. This can be seen from the responses of the young children in the videos. A majority of the kids associated the white race with positive things such as beauty and intelligence. On the other hand, the African American race had negative labels attached to it. Material seen on TV translated into the minds of these young ones. First of all, a large portion of TV shows mainly have white actors, creating the concept of “white supremacy”. In contrast, the number of television shows depicting African Americans is very small and in this small number, many of them face difficult situations such as being on welfare. The movie “Precious” was mentioned in one of the videos; in this film, the main character, an African American, led a very difficult life, facing many difficulties. Those African Americans with lighter skin were portrayed as being positive factors in Precious’ life, sending the message that skin color has an influence on the type of person one is. Observing these things, children’s thought process is influenced in a negative way, molding them into thinking that there is a correlation between skin color and a person’s character.

  14. mjutkowitz says:

    As the father in one of the videos said, we can not ignore the fact that race is a factor in our lives but we still need to hope to be as successful as we can. I strongly agree with this statement and think it is a very positive way of looking at these studies and the situation in America in general. These studies show that there is still a significant amount of racism in the U.S., highlighting racism present in the younger generations. To me, the African American father is acknowledging the fact that there is racism in this country but at the same time is saying that it is something people need to deal with. This connects to what the people involved in the study say in the last video. They talk about taking action to stop these racist views among children as opposed to just talking to them and making excuses why ‘the black people are always the bad people’. Both the father and the people involved in the video are saying that it is not acceptable to just accept the fact that there is racism around but we need to actively fight against it while at the same time working hard at success despite one’s race.

  15. Weiqing says:

    The world we live in affects the way we think. Since we come to the world, we have known the place within social hierarchy. in the video, they were children at young ages who already have in their mind they are bad and ugly, because of the society and home influence on kids and race . for them, color is more important than everything, at that time, people were not creat equal. In the video, a person ask a bunch of white and black kid, the most whites said they are bad, why? becuase of the skin color. The blacks feel bad of their color. In other words, the dominant’s way they think determine the dominateds interests.

  16. teffa3 says:

    There are different factors that I think work together to influence the perception on race these kids have. Three of them that I considered relevant and very influential are the media, the family, and the society. They were born or raised in a nation (USA) that had to deal and I believe still deal with the issue of race. The “white supremacy” believe plays an important role in this issue, even though slavery was abolished there are still stereotypes that still remain in many either white or black people that through the media, society and family are pass to other generations in this case those little kids. However, in one of the videos there are kids (black) that do not hold this idea of blacks as bad or inferior, they seem to have clear that skin color do not determine superiority or inferiority. So, I believe parents play an important role in shaping their kids perception more than other factors, how? By talking to them about this issues, and being aware of what they are expose to.

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