Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Is This Man Committing Child Abuse?

 

His name is Ekow N. Yankah and he’s a law professor at Yeshiva University in New York. He wrote a piece for the New York Times about how he’s raising his four-year-old son entitled “Can My Children Be Friends With White People?” that is, at best, disturbing:

My oldest son, wrestling with a 4-year-old’s happy struggles, is trying to clarify how many people can be his best friend. “My best friends are you and Mama and my brother and …” But even a child’s joy is not immune to this ominous political period…

It is impossible to convey the mixture of heartbreak and fear I feel for him. Donald Trump’s election has made it clear that I will teach my boys the lesson generations old, one that I for the most part nearly escaped. I will teach them to be cautious, I will teach them suspicion, and I will teach them distrust. Much sooner than I thought I would, I will have to discuss with my boys whether they can truly be friends with white people.

Meaningful friendship is not just a feeling. It is not simply being able to share a beer. Real friendship is impossible without the ability to trust others, without knowing that your well-being is important to them…

Imagining we can now be friends across this political line is asking us to ignore our safety and that of our children, to abandon personal regard and self-worth. Only white people can cordon off Mr. Trump’s political meaning, ignore the “unpleasantness” from a position of safety. His election and the year that has followed have fixed the awful thought in my mind too familiar to black Americans: “You can’t trust these people.”…

They protest: Have they ever said anything racist? Don’t they shovel the sidewalk of the new black neighbors? Surely, they say, politics — a single vote — does not mean we can’t be friends.

I do not write this with liberal condescension or glee. My heart is unbearably heavy when I assure you we cannot be friends.

Yes, I will definitely be talking about this on the podcast.

And let’s to ahead and get the obvious out of the way: Yes, if a white father taught his son to be suspicious of all black people/not to trust them/they are a danger to you/don’t be their friends, that white father would be vilified and probably reported to the Department of Social Services. The answer from people who think like Professor Yankah is that such counterfactuals are irrelevant and ridiculous because America is run by white people who have all the power. (Don’t bother mentioning two-term POTUS Barack Hussein Obama. It just annoys people who think like this)

I’m more interested in the parenting aspect. People are free to think whatever idiocy they want, and if you are, say, one of the intellectually-challenged feminists who thinks America’s just one election cycle from the patriarchal theocracy of “A Handmaid’s Tale,” that’s on you. (Really–a country with universal access to porn, a 40 percent illegitimacy rate and a “p****-grabbing” POTUS whose third wife is a supermodel is about to turn into Oral Roberts University with weird hats? You gotta be kidding me.)

If Professor Yankah wants to believe that Americans have the same views on race today that they did in the era of Jim Crow; if he wants to believe he’s surrounded by racists who truly want to strip him of Constitutional rights because of his skin color; who wish him ill because his ancestors came from Africa instead of Europe–if he wants to be that immune to facts, logic, and reason–that’s a shame, but he’s an adult. He’s entitled to his own stupidity. I merely roll my eyes and move on.

But when he announces to the world that he’s teaching his son to be afraid, to be suspicious, to reject 60 percent of his fellow Americans as possible friends and instead declare them implacable (or in the best-case scenario, unintentional) foes–I stop moving and start glaring. What an awful, awful way to raise a child.

I don’t want the state to kick in his doors and take his son away–you know, the way some liberals want kids taken away from parents who teach them that homosexuality is a sin. Professor Yankah absolutely has the right as a parent to raise his kids with his values.

But Americans of all colors are entitled to be sickened by it.

Professor Yankah means his article to be a challenge. He’s trying to put a moral burden on white people, essentially saying: “See what you’ve made me do? See how awful you are? What are you going to do about this racist America of yours?”

In my opinion, he’s done the opposite. His reaction to the imperfections of America is to poison the mind of his own son against millions of people who, if they found him lost on a park or hurt at a playground, would gladly help him, protect him, keep him safe? It’s both ridiculous and obscene.

I say white people would protect his son, except we couldn’t because the poor boy would run away from us, having been brainwashed to believe we’re there to hurt him, that he can’t trust the white cop/nurse/crossing guard/soup-kitchen volunteer/pastor/whoever trying to help.

Yes, Professor Yankah is a bad person, but I have resigned myself to bad people. It’s the fact that he’s such an awful parent that still inspires my outrage.

There are 35 comments.

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  1. Mike Rapkoch Moderator

    The obvious upshot of this is that the black gentleman who runs the local convenience store near me, and who I greatly enjoy talking with, should abandon his business and leave because I, am out to get him. I suspect he wouldn’t see it that way. Odd, isn’t it. Here’s a man I admire, yet if this cretin has his way, he would run away from the enterprise he has built. This is how friendships end.

    • #1
    • November 12, 2017, at 2:32 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  2. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Perhaps you can have the professor and John Derbyshire do a joint appearance on your podcast.

    • #2
    • November 12, 2017, at 2:34 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  3. DrewInWisconsin, Ham-Fisted Bu… Coolidge

    It’s long past time for us to have a national conversation about anti-white racism.

    • #3
    • November 12, 2017, at 2:53 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  4. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Oh, Yankah my crankah.

    • #4
    • November 12, 2017, at 2:53 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  5. Randal H Member

    With people like this it’s “politics uber alles,” and I don’t know if you could call it child abuse, but he’s sure disadvantaging his child. With blacks declining as a proportion of the US population (particularly relative to Hispanics and Asians) his child will not only be suspicious of the whites he will largely be dependent upon for an education, a job, a loan, etc., but also people of other races and ethnicities. It’s pretty hard to make someone bigoted toward one group of people without making them generally bigoted. It’s a shame to see blacks disadvantaged even more than they already are.

    • #5
    • November 12, 2017, at 3:13 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  6. MarciN Member

    This is how wars start.

    • #6
    • November 12, 2017, at 3:18 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Simply unreal.

    Thank you for the post.

    • #7
    • November 12, 2017, at 3:58 PM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Knotwise the Poet Member

    I wonder if Professor Yankah understood this Austin Powers joke. Or any joke for that matter.

    Image result for people who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the dutch

    • #8
    • November 12, 2017, at 4:01 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  9. Knotwise the Poet Member

    What I found most disturbing wasn’t the contents of the articles, but looking at the reader comments on the New York Times site and seeing how many top-rated comments were applauding what this man was saying and offering their sympathies. To be fair, there were also several top-rated comments that were critical of the piece, but it’s still shocking to be confronted with the fact that there’s a significant number of people who decry racism all day and yet can read this and not recognize just how thoroughly racist (or at least bigoted, if you’re one of those who’s bought the argument that blacks can’t be racist since as a group they don’t hold the levers of power) this op-ed is.

    • #9
    • November 12, 2017, at 4:17 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. Larry Koler Inactive

    It’s all just virtue signalling — none of these leftists will do anything about this. They won’t follow the logic of their own lies.

    • #10
    • November 12, 2017, at 5:43 PM PST
    • 1 like
  11. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    You’ve got to be taught
    To hate and fear,
    You’ve got to be taught
    From year to year,
    It’s got to be drummed
    In your dear little ear
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
    Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
    And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
    Before you are six or seven or eight,
    To hate all the people your relatives hate,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    – Oscar Hammerstein II

    • #11
    • November 12, 2017, at 5:45 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  12. rebark Inactive

    Most people are not born with an innate dislike or mistrust of other races. We have to learn it – sometimes from our parents.

    I am reminded of a segment I heard on a local radio station where a host was describing having to angrily tell off his young daughter’s friends for expressing fascination with her hair (she was black, her friends were white). Apparently black women in the workplace often have to deal with co-workers asking to play with their hair, (I wouldn’t know, but that sounds incredibly stupid and unprofessional – who asks to play with their colleague’s hair?), and he saw this behavior in his daughter’s friends as being of a piece with that kind of ill-mannered behavior.

    I am sympathetic to this man’s frustration in a sense. Taking him at his word that lots of black women get bugged by white folks about their hair (I’ve never noticed it, but my experience is not all experiences – his black female co-hosts seemed to agree), I can understand that seeing behavior that looks similar to that in children would get your back up. But it is most emphatically not the same thing. Lots of young girls seem to bond over hair (this is also not really my area of expertise), and it strikes me as natural that friends would express fascination with each others’ similarities and differences in that department. What might have been an opportunity for learning or dialog or bonding or something positive seems to have been curtailed by this girl’s father, who – driven by his own fears – seems likely to have created a situation where his daughter’s white friends now have an experience of being told, “black people are different and you must treat them differently”.

    Similarly – this professor probably has seen some white indifference in his life. His worldview and the dominant cultural narratives of today have likely conspired to bring him to the conclusion that many white adults do not care about black people (I would dispute this characterization, obviously, but even though he is wrong he clearly seems to think that way) – so he carries a fear that he projects onto his child. The motivation behind that behavior is sympathetic in that he is trying to shield his child from a danger he thinks is real. But again, a parent trying to protect his child from perceived racism can serve to more deeply ingrain racial divisions. Black people cannot truly be friends with white people? No, probably not – not if their parents tell them to distrust white folks as a class, without any regard to burgeoning particular childhood friendships.

    Racism isn’t entirely an inherited thing, nor is this tendency to pass on misunderstandings and taint childhood with adult baggage a problem exclusive to black folks. But it’s just sad to see when people acting based on sincerely-held but destructively wrong beliefs about this stuff perpetuate the very problems they fear.

    • #12
    • November 12, 2017, at 6:02 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  13. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    EJHill (View Comment):
    You’ve got to be taught
    To hate and fear,
    You’ve got to be taught
    From year to year,
    It’s got to be drummed
    In your dear little ear
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
    Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
    And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
    Before you are six or seven or eight,
    To hate all the people your relatives hate,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    – Oscar Hammerstein II

    That is the exact song I was thinking of while reading Prof. Yankah’s cri de coeur.

    Why raise your son in such a country? Other than having to give up the sweet law professor gig, that is. Better to raise chickens on an honest dirt patch among virtuous people who treat all men as equals than have him grow among such vile people.

    When you get there, Prof. Yankah, be sure to write.

    • #13
    • November 12, 2017, at 6:15 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  14. I Walton Member

    The first black my son ever saw was in the MD’s office in Boston. We’d just returned from Singapore where he was born and lived the first two years of his life. He looked at the black man and said, “superman’s not black.” His mom asked with some trepidation, “what color is superman?” “Blue” . Three years later, visiting my Mom in Florida from Bogota, He looked back as we all drove off and shouted with horror, “we left the house alone” Kids pick up fears by osmosis. Kids couldn’t play outside by themselves in the 70s in Bogota, the risk of kidnapping was too high and houses were never left alone because burglary was almost a certainty. A decade later, for the first time the kids could play outside, ride their bikes all over town. The sense of freedom we all had when I was a kid in Denver, they’d felt for the first time. We were in New Zealand. Culture really matters.

    I think that man is both projecting as well as exacerbating fears communicated throughout the black community which are absorbed by osmosis. He knows perfectly well that no non black and few well healed blacks dare walk through the projects (where Democrats store their voters) at night. Now Democrats are taking that normal cultural divide and acquired fear and bigotry and weaponizing it. It’s far worse than child abuse and our former President authorized it and our mindless media and liberal elite encourage it and non liberals accommodate it out of fear. The entire narrative about President Trump being a racist, homophobe anti semitic has been created out of nothing and shows just how powerful these people are and how easy it has been to create. We have to figure out how to deal with it as it can’t end well.

    • #14
    • November 13, 2017, at 4:24 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  15. Hypatia Inactive

    Let me callously assert that I do not give ph— # 1 about whether this bozo is abusing his own kids by instilling in them a hatred of white people, of the majority of people in his own country.

    What I care about is the injury his  kids will inflict on our kids  pursuant to his bigoted indoctrination.

    Awww, does that prove I’m a racist?

    Lemme check:

    No.

    It proves I’m capable of understanding what I read, is all, and admitting to myself, and to you, that I get the message.

    • #15
    • November 13, 2017, at 5:07 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Umbra Fractus Coolidge
    Umbra Fractus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    There is no difference between this and John Derbyshire’s infamous “Talk.” None.

    And anyone on either side who says otherwise is being disingenuous.

    • #16
    • November 13, 2017, at 5:46 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  17. Larry3435 Member

    EJHill (View Comment):
    You’ve got to be taught
    To hate and fear,
    You’ve got to be taught
    From year to year,
    It’s got to be drummed
    In your dear little ear
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
    Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
    And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
    Before you are six or seven or eight,
    To hate all the people your relatives hate,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    – Oscar Hammerstein II

    I love South Pacific, except that song. The truth is that fear of those who are different – those who are outside of one’s tribe – does not have to be taught. It is natural. It is inculcated by evolution (or whatever designer you prefer). Like much of human nature, we have to be taught to control it and overcome it. Overcoming that which is bad in human nature is what we call civilization. And like many so-called “professors,” this man is teaching the opposite of civilization. It won’t take much to get his child to fear and hate. You don’t have to be “carefully taught,” but I’m sure it helps.

    • #17
    • November 13, 2017, at 5:48 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. Hypatia Inactive

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):
    You’ve got to be taught
    To hate and fear,
    You’ve got to be taught
    From year to year,
    It’s got to be drummed
    In your dear little ear
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
    Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
    And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
    Before you are six or seven or eight,
    To hate all the people your relatives hate,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    – Oscar Hammerstein II

    I love South Pacific, except that song. The truth is that fear of those who are different – those who are outside of one’s tribe – does not have to be taught. It is natural. It is inculcated by evolution (or whatever designer you prefer). Like much of human nature, we have to be taught to control it and overcome it. Overcoming that which is bad in human nature is what we call civilization. And like many so-called “professors,” this man is teaching the opposite of civilization. It won’t take much to get his child to fear and hate. You don’t have to be “carefully taught,” but I’m sure it helps.

    Yeah….it is “natural”….and the good professor’s attitude makes ya wonder whether, like many traits which evolution has selected out, it isn’t also beneficial in the evolutionary sense: conducive to getting your own group’s genes into the next generation.

    • #18
    • November 13, 2017, at 6:00 AM PST
    • Like
  19. Larry3435 Member

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):
    You’ve got to be taught
    To hate and fear,
    You’ve got to be taught
    From year to year,
    It’s got to be drummed
    In your dear little ear
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
    Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
    And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
    Before you are six or seven or eight,
    To hate all the people your relatives hate,
    You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    – Oscar Hammerstein II

    I love South Pacific, except that song. The truth is that fear of those who are different – those who are outside of one’s tribe – does not have to be taught. It is natural. It is inculcated by evolution (or whatever designer you prefer). Like much of human nature, we have to be taught to control it and overcome it. Overcoming that which is bad in human nature is what we call civilization. And like many so-called “professors,” this man is teaching the opposite of civilization. It won’t take much to get his child to fear and hate. You don’t have to be “carefully taught,” but I’m sure it helps.

    Yeah….it is “natural”….and the good professor’s attitude makes ya wonder whether, like many traits which evolution has selected out, it isn’t also beneficial.

    It’s probably beneficial for cave men. Not for a modern country of more than 300 million very diverse people. The problem with evolution is that it doesn’t move nearly fast enough for modern societies. But if this idiot professor wants to start a civil war, it may promote some natural selection. Personally, I prefer civilization.

    • #19
    • November 13, 2017, at 6:18 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. DrewInWisconsin, Ham-Fisted Bu… Coolidge

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    The truth is that fear of those who are different – those who are outside of one’s tribe – does not have to be taught. It is natural. It is inculcated by evolution (or whatever designer you prefer).

    But what is a “tribe”? I ask because my very white kids have had black friends, Chinese friends and Korean friends since birth. I remember some birthday parties where our backyard look like a meeting of the U.N. Never once did they seem to even acknowledge the differences. (Except I do remember them once remarking on how nice it would be to have beautiful dark skin like a friend.)

    So contrary to what you’re saying, I would say there was instead a natural affinity toward each other. Perhaps because they are all part of the same “tribe” of kids who play together.

    • #20
    • November 13, 2017, at 6:32 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. Larry3435 Member

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    The truth is that fear of those who are different – those who are outside of one’s tribe – does not have to be taught. It is natural. It is inculcated by evolution (or whatever designer you prefer).

    But what is a “tribe”? I ask because my very white kids have had black friends, Chinese friends and Korean friends since birth. I remember some birthday parties where our backyard look like a meeting of the U.N. Never once did they seem to even acknowledge the differences. (Except I do remember them once remarking on how nice it would be to have beautiful dark skin like a friend.)

    So contrary to what you’re saying, I would say there was instead a natural affinity toward each other. Perhaps because they are all part of the same “tribe” of kids who play together.

    Well, then your kids are pretty special, and I’m sure you deserve a lot of credit for that. In my experience, most kids start out as vicious little monsters. If you want to observe cruelty, go to a playground.

    • #21
    • November 13, 2017, at 6:39 AM PST
    • Like
  22. Profile Photo Member

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    The truth is that fear of those who are different – those who are outside of one’s tribe – does not have to be taught. It is natural. It is inculcated by evolution (or whatever designer you prefer).

    But what is a “tribe”? I ask because my very white kids have had black friends, Chinese friends and Korean friends since birth. I remember some birthday parties where our backyard look like a meeting of the U.N. Never once did they seem to even acknowledge the differences. (Except I do remember them once remarking on how nice it would be to have beautiful dark skin like a friend.)

    So contrary to what you’re saying, I would say there was instead a natural affinity toward each other. Perhaps because they are all part of the same “tribe” of kids who play together.

    I am skeptical of claims that evolution makes us do this or that, or feel this or that. There is no way of proving it, it’s just speculation.

    I just returned from Scotland, and upon returning, I was so happy to see a group of African Americans that I almost started weeping. Genetically, I am 100% Irish, but have lived all my life in America, and I am American. Being in places where everyone or almost everyone is from the same genetic stock gives me a headache. It just seems unnatural to me; I know that it isn’t, but it seems that way to me.

    • #22
    • November 13, 2017, at 6:46 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  23. DrewInWisconsin, Ham-Fisted Bu… Coolidge

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    The truth is that fear of those who are different – those who are outside of one’s tribe – does not have to be taught. It is natural. It is inculcated by evolution (or whatever designer you prefer).

    But what is a “tribe”? I ask because my very white kids have had black friends, Chinese friends and Korean friends since birth. I remember some birthday parties where our backyard look like a meeting of the U.N. Never once did they seem to even acknowledge the differences. (Except I do remember them once remarking on how nice it would be to have beautiful dark skin like a friend.)

    So contrary to what you’re saying, I would say there was instead a natural affinity toward each other. Perhaps because they are all part of the same “tribe” of kids who play together.

    Well, then your kids are pretty special, and I’m sure you deserve a lot of credit for that. In my experience, most kids start out as vicious little monsters. If you want to observe cruelty, go to a playground.

    I guess what I’m getting at is I never said anything to them at all about race. I never made any mention of their differences. Left to draw their own conclusions they concluded that they were all just a bunch of kids. (Albeit with different skin tones.) So . . . I just question the idea that fear of people who look different comes naturally.

    You have to teach kids to be suspicious of people because of their skin color, and that’s what this horrible man is doing to his own children. Teaching them to be racist.

    Now . . . as for the “go to a playground” thing . . . it’s funny because we homeschool so they aren’t getting the messages that a public school might deliver, and I do wonder if schools teaching kids to “embrace diversity” and “tolerate differences” or whatever from a young age don’t just highlight differences that kids otherwise wouldn’t care about.

    It seems that by trying to instill in kids not to discriminate, I wonder if well-meaning educrats just end up pointing out all those things that could cause them to discriminate. Kids who never before questioned the idea that they were all the same are suddenly made aware of their differences.

    • #23
    • November 13, 2017, at 6:55 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. Larry3435 Member

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):
    I am skeptical of claims that evolution makes us do this or that, or feel this or that. There is no way of proving it, it’s just speculation.

    I’m not so sure about that. Certainly I agree with Jonah Goldberg that the “evolutionary psychologists,” who try to explain all human behavior by reference to evolution, are out of their minds. But there are some primal urges that seem to be hardwired into human behavior, and they are almost always the very things which religion and morality tell us we must overcome and control. I feel pretty sure that if we were not taught to behave better, almost all men would behave at least somewhat like Harvey Weinstein. Without the inhibitions imposed by civilization, I think it would be pretty easy for us all to descend into Lord of the Flies. Which, of course, is exactly the point being made in Lord of the Flies. If you don’t like calling it evolution, call it human nature. Either way, I find it hard to believe that we are all born as perfect little angels, and only acquire bad behaviors because they are taught to us. That is not consistent with my experience.

    • #24
    • November 13, 2017, at 7:59 AM PST
    • 1 like
  25. Profile Photo Member

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):
    I am skeptical of claims that evolution makes us do this or that, or feel this or that. There is no way of proving it, it’s just speculation.

    I’m not so sure about that. Certainly I agree with Jonah Goldberg that the “evolutionary psychologists,” who try to explain all human behavior by reference to evolution, are out of their minds. But there are some primal urges that seem to be hardwired into human behavior, and they are almost always the very things which religion and morality tell us we must overcome and control. I feel pretty sure that if we were not taught to behave better, almost all men would behave at least somewhat like Harvey Weinstein. Without the inhibitions imposed by civilization, I think it would be pretty easy for us all to descend into Lord of the Flies. Which, of course, is exactly the point being made in Lord of the Flies. If you don’t like calling it evolution, call it human nature. Either way, I find it hard to believe that we are all born as perfect little angels, and only acquire bad behaviors because they are taught to us. That is not consistent with my experience.

    Totally agree with you, but I am just not totally convinced that racism is one of the bad behaviors that is wired into us. As a toddler, for a little while, I was dreadfully afraid of white men with black hair-with the exception of my father, who was white with black hair. I was never afraid of my Dad, but for some reason, white men with black hair who were not my father freaked me out. I was never afraid of black men, or men of any other race: if racism was hard wired into us, wouldn’t we see very small children avoiding people of different races? It seems as though racism in children doesn’t appear until they are 6 or 7 years old-old enough to have absorbed it from their environment.

    • #25
    • November 13, 2017, at 8:17 AM PST
    • Like
  26. Umbra Fractus Coolidge
    Umbra Fractus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):
    I guess what I’m getting at is I never said anything to them at all about race. I never made any mention of their differences. Left to draw their own conclusions they concluded that they were all just a bunch of kids. (Albeit with different skin tones.) So . . . I just question the idea that fear of people who look different comes naturally.

    No, what you’re doing (consciously or not) is teaching them that what distinguishes their tribe from another is not skin color. You may not have said anything about race, but I’m sure you’ve said some things about culture and that your kids’ friends all share cultural traits of which you approve. Society in general is having trouble moving past the idea that race and tribe are separate concepts, which historically has actually been the norm. (The Romans considered their fellow Indo-European Celts and Germans to be just as foreign as the Semitic Phoenicians and Hebrews.)

    • #26
    • November 13, 2017, at 8:42 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  27. Larry3435 Member

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Judithann Campbell (View Comment):
    I am skeptical of claims that evolution makes us do this or that, or feel this or that. There is no way of proving it, it’s just speculation.

    I’m not so sure about that. Certainly I agree with Jonah Goldberg that the “evolutionary psychologists,” who try to explain all human behavior by reference to evolution, are out of their minds. But there are some primal urges that seem to be hardwired into human behavior, and they are almost always the very things which religion and morality tell us we must overcome and control. I feel pretty sure that if we were not taught to behave better, almost all men would behave at least somewhat like Harvey Weinstein. Without the inhibitions imposed by civilization, I think it would be pretty easy for us all to descend into Lord of the Flies. Which, of course, is exactly the point being made in Lord of the Flies. If you don’t like calling it evolution, call it human nature. Either way, I find it hard to believe that we are all born as perfect little angels, and only acquire bad behaviors because they are taught to us. That is not consistent with my experience.

    Totally agree with you, but I am just not totally convinced that racism is one of the bad behaviors that is wired into us. As a toddler, for a little while, I was dreadfully afraid of white men with black hair-with the exception of my father, who was white with black hair. I was never afraid of my Dad, but for some reason, white men with black hair who were not my father freaked me out. I was never afraid of black men, or men of any other race: if racism was hard wired into us, wouldn’t we see very small children avoiding people of different races? It seems as though racism in children doesn’t appear until they are 6 or 7 years old-old enough to have absorbed it from their environment.

    I never said anything about racism. I talked about “tribalism,” which could be based on anything – hair color as easily as skin color. My block or my elementary school, versus yours. My clique of popular friends, versus the outcast nerds. My south side of Chicago gang, versus the gang across the boulevard. We form ourselves into tribes, and we are hostile to the competing tribe – unless we learn to be better that that.

    It is the left that insists that race (and sexual proclivity) are the only things that are significant about human beings. Don’t put that one on me.

    • #27
    • November 13, 2017, at 8:47 AM PST
    • 1 like
  28. Profile Photo Member

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    It is the left that insists that race (and sexual proclivity) are the only things that are significant about human beings. Don’t put that one on me.

    I am so sorry :( I am rather confused about all of this, when I hear the word “tribe” I immediately associate it with race, but of course it doesn’t necessarily mean that at all. Sorry for projecting that onto you.

    • #28
    • November 13, 2017, at 8:53 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. DrewInWisconsin, Ham-Fisted Bu… Coolidge

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):
    You may not have said anything about race, but I’m sure you’ve said some things about culture and that your kids’ friends all share cultural traits of which you approve.

    I . . . er, . . . don’t have those kinds of conversations with my kids.

    • #29
    • November 13, 2017, at 9:03 AM PST
    • Like
  30. GrannyDude Member

    It’s a trend. Parents boasting (that’s what it is, really) of their terrible parenting. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book Between The World And Me is a textbook for raising a child prone to depression and anxiety disorders. But I, too, think these lefties are using their children to intensify the moral opprobrium: even the children are terrified of Trump! Even the children are sleepless at the thought that the lawn guy and the housekeeper are going to get deported even as the two Mommies are hauled off to a camp…

    It’s nonsense; self-indulgent, self-important melodrama. Americans not only have dear, personal friends of different races, they have family members of different races. Interracial marriage, multi-racial families are becoming so ordinary and normal that we don’t even notice it any more.

    • #30
    • November 13, 2017, at 9:06 AM PST
    • 11 likes

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