Why there is no danger when White parents avoid teaching racism to their children?

Whites Parents


In a recent article, an  author proposes that White children contribute to racism because their parents teach them avoidance techniques. Once again the blame for the source of racism has been misplaced. Organizations that are truly interested in eliminating racism need to avoid the usage of children and parents as their pawns to cover-up the real source.

According to the article, the danger of teaching children to be colorblind, racism begins with White parents refusal to teach their children about racism, according to Marie-Anne Suizzo. She terms this as Colorblind socialization which involves teaching White children that “all skin colors are equal and should therefore be ignored. Many White parents practice it with their children early on in a well-intentioned but highly damaging attempt to prevent racism. The way colorblind socialization plays out is to avoid any conversations about skin color. If a child brings it up, you must quickly correct and silence them and explain that mentioning someone’s skin color is rude, and even racist.”

Marie-Anne Suizzo is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and she is a fellow with the OpEd Project which is a non-profit that works to enhance specific ideas that involves research on parenting and child development across cultures and ethnicities. She is not only misguided but those who follow her fallacy are also misguided.

She assumes that the White children become the primary contributors to racism. All children have some sort of preferences which are reinforced by their parents. It is not until they reach school that those preferences are either positively or negatively reinforced. It depends on if the children are marginalized.

For those children who are marginalized their developed value system becomes under attack as they enter into preschool. We only need to look at the recent number of preschool aged children who are suspended from school when compared to White children. For example, even though Black children represented 18% of preschool enrollment they were suspended from school at a rate of 48% while White children represented 43% of the preschool enrollment and were only suspended at a rate of 26%. It is not the values of racism that children bring to schools, it is those school and personal values of the staff members that become the tool for continuing to fuel racism.

This trend has caused Black parents prepare their children to live in a dual cultural world that involves helping them to develop skills for adult roles such as wage earners and parenthood in addition to negotiating a dominant society that has different cultural values and judges people by their skin color or ethnic background. Blacks who live in an urban society and a society that dislikes them for the color of their skin ensure they do not become victims by approaching people with caution, wariness, and a sense of distrust.

This cautious approach develops distrust because Black children do not replicate many of the verbal and nonverbal behaviors that are valued by their teachers.

For example, eye contact is a major technique that Whites use to determine if they can trust an individual. However, within the Black culture, avoiding eye contact is a sign of disrespect. While some Black parents teach their children that looking an adult in the eye is a sign of disrespect, White children learn to do the opposite.

When reprimanding Black children, they tend not to look at the teacher as a sign of respect. This could make the teacher feel that they cannot trust the Black student which can eventually results in unwarranted discipline. Blacks are less likely to maintain eye contact with persons in a position of authority, and Black children increase eye contact as they begin to trust the teacher. Black students who avert their eyes and verbally express themselves may be just as attentive as White students who gaze directly at the speaker.

The puzzle can get even more complicated for other ethnicities. Extended eye contact can indicate aggressive anxiety in others. Hispanic students in mainstream classrooms address and respond to teachers clearly, concisely, and require that the teacher look at them. Hispanic students in bilingual classrooms may lower their heads, look away, and giggle. Hispanic Americans view prolonged eye contact as disrespectful. Hispanic American children lower their eyes when reprimanded. Latino Americans believe disagreement expressions and eye contact with senior citizens is rude.

Consequently, eye contact behavior can influence teacher-student classroom relationships. With that in mind, teachers must also consider how other verbal and nonverbal behaviors continue to fuel racism.

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Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.


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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology

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About Classroom Racism Management Specialist

Racism is a menace and so we’ve been taught for ages which is the primary need for a diversity expert. However, even in this modern society of today where we see a lot of colored celebrities performing on stage with huge fan followings and of course an Afro-America President for the USA, we are still in a phase where racism exists in all its brutal glory and has been eating away at the society like a plague. Classrooms, are one of the most affected areas where color differences and racism exists to its extremes. Even after decades of progress and a lot of communal efforts at bridging the gaps between colored students, white students and teachers, it is sad to say that the disparities still exist and are just as pronounced today as they were back in the 1950s. Colored students, even in the likes of New York City, are attending under resourced schools or have been significantly isolated and made to be unequal in regular schools. Even if the teachers are well-intentioned, perpetuating the structural racism that has taken deep roots into the fabric of our education system is a tough task and make the need for a diversity expert imperative. Teachers need to recognize the biases that exist within the classroom and also take conscious measures to address them and their own biases of course. James Baldwin once said, “it is your very own responsibility to change this society, if you think of yourself as an educated person.” Dr. Derrick L. Campbell took this quote very effectively and straight to the heart and thus this Classroom Racism Exterminator happened. Classroom Racism Exterminator is an initiative that will teach you about your duty and moral obligation towards eliminating racism from the classrooms. This is where and how you will learn about what you need to do to produce a better society that is free of biases and disparities amongst the blacks and the whites. Because we understand how classroom biases and conversations about racism are difficult and how teachers and students almost avoid the topics altogether, we have put together a range of effective methods and products to help address the problem at hand and talk meaningfully to counter issues related to race and racism in the classroom. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell understands that it takes a lot of courage to talk about race and racism and that racial issues need to be viewed through a very critical lens that can understand and attend to the pertaining aspects of racism in the classroom. And therefore through this website we have made a conscious effort to eliminate racism from the classroom and make the educational system equal and beneficial for all. We know and we understand that there are no words that can actually describe how racism feels. There are cases and everybody tends to deal with it in their own manner. Some might lash out verbally or others might just withdraw into shells. Whatever the case, people don’t talk about it openly and teachers don’t really make a conscious effort at addressing the issue. We don’t really know if our children or if the youth is learning to be educated or become racists in their classroom. Our program is focused on helping children of color and regardless of their race, their full potential. We want every student to be able to recognize and reach their full potential so that they think of themselves as responsible citizens of their country and not regard themselves as worthless human beings. Here you will find motivational books and flash card games, all of which have been designed focusing on eliminating racism completely from our classrooms. The books and the games have been consciously designed keeping in mind the American society and educational system. It is a small effort on our and Dr. Campbell’s part to help this society become a better place to live in. A little about diversity expert Dr. Campbell Dr. Derrick L. Campbell the driving force behind Classroom Racism Exterminator is a dynamic figure and a constant source of motivation for us. He has a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Math Education, a Masters in Education Administration and also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Campbell is a well known personality throughout the nation. He has lectured at various events including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and a lot of local churches. He is a personality well dedicated towards eliminating the plague of racism from our classrooms and helping every child recognize his/her true potential not the color of their skin. He realizes how a child would feel if he/she was made to think they are worthless human beings. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell is compassionate and related to the experiences and therefore this initiative is a constant and continual effort to eliminate racism manifested in us, completely from the classroom and from our society.
This entry was posted in Classroom Management, Discrimination, Every Student Succeeds Act, institutional Racism, Obama, Poverty, Race Relations, Race Relations in America, racial discrimination, Racial Profiling, Racism, Racism in America, Racism in Education, Racism in Sports, School Discipline, Teacher Training and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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