Tuesday, April 17th, 2012...10:22 pm

23. “Race in America” Response

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When I first started watching the first video (Inside the AC360 doll study), what struck me the most were the reasons the children gave for their responses. Without the reasons, “ because he is black” or “because he is brown,” one could argue that the white children simply pick the darker figures because it is different from their skin color (similar to how the young white girl pointed to the lighter child as the “good” child because “she looks like me”) Meaning, the white children would pick any child, weather the other child were red or purple etc…, that is not white like themselves. There are obvious social constructions on race that drive the 76% of the white children to choose the two darkest skin tone when prompted to “show me the dumb child.” However, this notion is undercut because even the black children hold this “white bias.” Also, even if it were true that the children simply favor those who look like themselves, the extreme cases of those kinds of ideas are what cause these racial stereotypes to begin in the first place.

It is interesting to see the shocked mother explain that she can’t understand why her daughter looked down at the darker figures because she explains they never talked about race in that way. The black father (whose daughter chooses racially neutral answers) explains that he instills these beliefs in the child, unlike the white mother who simply never addressed it. This response implies that race should be something parents talk about with their children, especially in order to undercut stereotypes that are perpetuate throughout society.

The 5th and 6th video points out that the results of these tests do not imply that parents teach the children this “white bias.” However, society constructs and perpetuates these stereotypes in children. The last video advises parents to simply inform their children of the other side or the narratives that are not being told in order to prevent these types of one-sided perspectives on a certain group of people. This reminded me of depiction of Latino’s in American culture. We began the semester discussing our Latino Anthology and Latino’s writer’s relation to literary canon. The notion of “minor literature” is indirectly addressed in this last video and how this “minor literature” could, indeed, stop the perpetuation of the stereotypes that we see in the media and other societal constructs.

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