From Curious Parenting:
I’ve gotten a lot of responses from parents asking why we need to teach anti-racism. Why can’t we just teach children to be kind and inclusive?
The problem with strategies based solely on inclusivity and diversity is that they assume a level playing field for all. Anti-racism recognizes that racist beliefs have permeated our culture and created systemic problems. Rather than just talking about it, anti-racism asks that we actively work against it.
“White parents especially don’t talk about [race], because they believe that kids should be colorblind. But studies show that as early as the age of 2 children begin to define people based on race.” – Ibram X. Kendi
A few years back, a black girl joined my classroom of mostly white two-year-olds halfway through the school year. LIving in mostly-white Portland, meeting her was the first direct experience many of them had with someone who didn’t look like them. One child asked if her skin was dirty. Another child told her she couldn’t be Elsa, she could only be Moana.
It is never too early to talk to kids about race. If we don’t do it, children of color have to bear the brunt of our silence.