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A CNN study has found that Black children develop a bias against White children at a very early age.  The study argues that by the age of 13, Black children have opinions on race relations that are negative toward Whites.

SEE ALSO: Obama: It’s Too Early for Him to Be So Mean

Most 6-year-olds, according to the study, had an optimistic view on race, but that perception changed as they got older.

Davionne, 6, told a researcher that, “They’re not the same color and they can’t play together if they’re not the same color.”

The boy then claimed that he couldn’t play with White kids “cause your mom might not want you to play with that friend.”

The boy’s mother, Aisha, was concerned by her child’s perceptions.

I’m a little bothered by it,” she said. “Just because I don’t want him to feel I would think that or expect that…. Whoever is his friend is his friend, so I’m not sure why he would feel that way. It just concerns me that he thinks like that.”

The boy’s father denied that his son had a racial bias.

I know for a fact that that’s not my son, as far as the answers he was giving,” he said. “I think he answers the way he thinks people want him to answer.”

This “study” by CNN is very interesting, especially if the results are used to somehow imply that Black children are taught to be leery of Whites for no good reason.   The sad reality is that many Black parents must sometimes prepare their children for the sting of racism that will occur later in life, ultimately undermining their self-esteem at a very early age.

I’ve only tried to date one White girl my entire life.  I was 15-years old and the girl was on my track team.  I thought her dad liked me and I know that she liked me.  After a long, budding three week romance (which is decades in high school measurements), she suddenly stopped speaking to me — no returning my phone calls, no notes in the hall, nothing.

It was later that I found out that the girl couldn’t speak to me anymore because her father didn’t want his daughter to date a Black boy.  Here I thought this man liked me, and that we were all the same, yet he was making it clear that in his eyes, I was nothing more than a dirty n*gger.  The incident traumatized me so much that I never tried to date a White girl ever again.   I couldn’t understand how someone could hate me without knowing me, just because of who I am.

Incidents like the one described above build up the collective defense mechanism that many African-Americans feel compelled to teach their children:  Reject them before they get a chance to reject you.   It doesn’t mean that you hate White folks, but it does mean that you fully understand that a) many White men would not want you dating their daughters, b) you can’t go out and get drunk with your White co-wokers, c) the police are usually not your friend, and d) you should not be surprised if you are passed over for promotions that are given to the White guy down the hall.   As much as  I’d love to reject these cynical perspectives, the truth is that I can point to many experiences I’ve had as an employee at Syracuse University that have served to confirm these theories.

In so many cases, African-American children start off believing that all of us are created equal and that every human being should be judged on the content of their character.  It is later where we find that, in the minds of many White folks, being Black instantly turns you into a second-class citizen.  To simply allow your child to believe that the world is fair and that you’ll always be treated kindly by Whites is to deny hundreds of years of undeniable evidence to the contrary.   Your child should be taught to love everyone with the full understanding that everyone is not always going to love them back.

Most of us would never teach a child not to play with another child because he/she is White.  Such ideas are absolute nonsense.  But the idea of preparing your child for the storm of racial hatred that awaits him or her can sometimes be the key to their survival.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.


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