June 10, 2020

Talking With Our Kids About Race (with guest Deborah Porter)

The idea that kids are colorblind, that we should put off talking about race because kids are too young to understand its complicating factors, is wrong. It always was. Here’s how to talk about race and racism, early and often. Guest: Deborah Porter.

The idea that our kids are colorblind, and that we therefore should put off talking to our kids about race because they’re too young to understand its complicating factors, is wrong. And mothers of color could have told us that a long time ago.

As parents, we should be talking about race with our kids early and often. Dr. Erin Winkler’s work shows that when parents are silent about race with our kids, or use "colorblind" rhetoric, we may actually reinforce racial prejudice.

Yes, exploring race and racism and its many implications makes many of us uncomfortable. But it may be a lot easier than we're making it, as this week's guest, Deborah Porter, explains:

 “You have to be able to tell the truth in an age-appropriate way. To not discuss race is not being truthful. We can be truthful with our children about what race looks like in an age-appropriate way, where for them, it's just the thing that we're talking about today."

We've created a Google doc with lists and articles and videos and social media accounts that can help us all in our work of raising anti-racist kids. You can find the list at bit.ly/raisingantiracistkids. If you see other resources you'd like us to add, tag us or send us an email: info@whatfreshhellpodcast.com.

Here are links to writing and research on the topic that we discuss in this episode:

Mellody Hobson’s TED Talk: Color Blind, or Color Brave? 

Dr. Erin Winkler: Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race

Sierra Filucci for Common Sense Media: How White Parents Can Use Media to Raise Anti-Racist Kids

prettygooddesign.org: Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup

"White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh

Margaret Hagerman for Time: Why White Parents Need to Do More Than Talk to Their Kids About Racism

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