June 24, 2020
I have been continuing in my anti-racist work by taking a three-part webinar series called “Raising Anti-Racist White Children” put on by the Center for the Study of White American Culture. Here are some take-aways from the first webinar. —Jennifer Palmason Kaiton, Faith Formation Coordinator
It should not come as a surprise that the majority of white parents do not talk to their children about race, while many parents of color talk to their kids about race at an early age. I believe this happens because many adults don’t have the tools themselves to talk about it. We talk to our kids about gender, about physical disabilities, eye color, hair color, and therefore why not skin color? Whether we talk to them or not, children are collecting information from the world around them every day. According to Erin N. Winkler Ph.D. at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; “They are picking up on the ways in which whiteness is normalized and privileged in U.S. society. That means consciously or unconsciously, middle-class white culture is presented as a norm or a standard in the U.S. in terms of appearance, beauty, language, cultural practices, food and so on. This message is so prevalent, it’s like a smog in the air and we are all breathing it. The “smog” comes in forms of children’s books, movies, TV, and songs which all contain that subtle message that whiteness is preferred. Studies show built in bias happens as early as two and a half.” So it is never too early to talk about race, and put in front of them books, songs, movies, & TV that put people of color at the center.
The fundamental principles:
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We look to God for the breaking of oppression and healing in the land. Let us stand together with one voice as we watch, fight, and pray with life prioritized.
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