Is Your Baby Racist? Newsweek Article

After reading Beverly Tatum’s Article, Defining Racism, I remembered a article posted in Newsweek that reminded me of what Tatum is trying to address. Tatum suggests a very bold statement, that every white person is a racist. At first when I heard this it was hard to swallow and think to myself, a white female, that I am in fact a racist. But after looking at Tatum’s definition I realized that indeed I am a racist. Tatum suggests that all White people are racist because they benefit from being white and are given automatic privilege. Now with saying this, it does not mean that all white people are mean and prejudiced against minorities, it just means that we benefit and are therefore racist. So, why is this so important to admit to being racist or accept this title?

This is where the article, See Baby Discriminate (Is Your Baby Racist?), by Bronson and Merryman comes into importance for this topic. This article was published in Newsweek in 2009, and attempted to prove to America that children and babies do understand racism and are in fact racist (at the end of this post is the link to the article, please read it)! The study for this article proved to parents that children and babies are very aware of race and need to be addressed about it. It was found that white children who were talked to about racism and not left to be colorblind were far less likely to be prejudiced against other races. The problem that this study brings up is that white parents are afraid to talk to their children about race. Why is this? In the answer to this question, it was helpful for me to use Tatum’s influence and suggest that white parents are afraid to talk to their children about racism because in doing this, they are admitting to privilege, and therefore admitting to being racist.

Personally I think that admitting to being racist is a scary thing due to the implications meaning that is attached to it. But this study proved the importance of admitting to racism and talking about it to their kids. The study found that white parents who addressed racism to their children, increased the child’s understanding of racism and helped improve their predigest against other races. Lastly I think it is important to address the lack of exposure that Tatum and this article both address. Tatum suggests that most problems with prejudice come from lack of exposure. This article helped to prove that, by showing that lack of exposure to white children about race was detrimental and caused predigest identities of other races. Therefore it is very important for parents to talk to their children about race and own up to being privileged, and therefore racist. If we can do this then we can start to better understand racism and help to properly address the problem.

(Link to newsweek article:)