The 4th R – (Participation)


8 thoughts on “The 4th R – (Participation)

  1. These videos are a perfect example of just how much people are affected by their upbringing and their environment.

    Take the example of the last video. Even in the seventh grade, she still shows blatant racial biases, due to he fact that she’s in a predominately white middle school, If she were brought up in a more diverse environment, it is almost guaranteed that her biases will not be so much apparent.

    I’m not saying that it’s possible to have absolutely no racial biases at all (it’s pretty much impossible in today’s society), it still leaves something to be desired in terms of diversifying more communities. After all, people are significantly affected by their environment and those they interact with, so why not attempt to change that for the better?

    – Nicholas Cho

    • What do you mean by upbringing — these are the messages, lessons, and teachings of educational, the media, popular culture and every institution. How can one not grow up in such an environment? That is not to say, there is no space of opposition, but is there an upbringing where these lessons aren’t delivered in some context

    • Nick,

      I have to agree. Kids especially are influenced drastically by their environment. Girls at the same middle school is surrounded by primarily white girls and get most of the white boys’ attention. Because of this they automatically assume that the lighter skin color is more attractive.

      I think it is unfortunate because society teaches those kids to be self-conscious about their skin color. If children grow up to feel they aren’t good enough, it will be tough for them to build self confidence later in life.

      As far as the comment about diversifying the communities these kids live in, it will be hard without the people’s consent. Many people feel uncomfortable moving to a society where they know they will be the “minority”. I put that in quotes because minorities are usually considered to be races that are not Caucasian. Another form of diversifying would be having white people move to places that are predominately black.

      I’m just thinking out loud but going off the idea of putting whites in a black community, but I wonder if the same experiment was conducted in that community if white girls would think the black skin color was more attractive? What are your thoughts, Nicholas?


  2. When we watched a little bit of, Girl like Me in class on Tuesday it really took me by surprise. Watching young African American children pick the white doll over the dark skinned doll because it looked nicer than the other made me ache inside. Our culture has come a long way since slavery, the Civil War and the Civil Rights eras, but the study done with young school children found evidence that shows there is still a very strong white bias in our culture. The most significant finding was that children’s view of race changes very little or not at all as they grow older. They continue to stereotype even though the older children do have a natural filter, they still can recognize stereotypes. I think the problem with stereotyping cannot be stopped because from a young age they are all being constantly shown that white skin color is better by stereotypical messages TV, movies, and the toys we play with. These different studies are disturbing to me, but they are needed to show that the subconscious race bias is still very predominate in society and that must be recognized before there can be changes in attitudes toward stereotypes and race.

  3. All of these videos really took me by surprise. I think that I grew up in a very diverse area but I did not know that it made that much of a difference for how me, or the people that I was surrounded by thought about race. In the videos children of all different ages were interviewed and they all had negative views towards race, some even had the negative thoughts towards their own race. I honestly had no idea that this was still a problem in our country. Maybe I have been really sheltered or I grew up in an area where no one really talked about it, but all of this information is no new to me. I thought that all of this ended many years ago, but apparently I was very wrong.

    I know that I was raised to think that everyone was equal no matter what age, gender, or race. I have definitely heard stereotypes about people of different races but I had always thought that was all that they were. It really upsets me to see young children calling themselves “ugly” and “bad” because of the color of their skin.

  4. Watching these videos is so sad. Society needs to find a way to not get these images and stereotypes placed into children’s heads, especially at that young of age when they are still developing who they are. Maybe living in a more diverse environment would help give an image of more equality. If you are a minority in a school that is predominantly white the odds are greater that one of the white kids will receive an award for being smart or draw the attention of the opposite sex and that one sidedness may eventually lead the children to thinking that the white color is better. I am not saying that race doesn’t play a part in the children’s conceptions but I bet if they were in a more diverse community where other colors were seen getting awards or attention, they hopefully wouldn’t think so negatively about one color.

  5. I was so shocked and for a minute had so many things going through my head when we watched the video of interviews of all those little girls and the dolls. The little girls that were being interviewed had similar thoughts to those of the teenagers but they didn’t of course explain their thought they answered the question in a word or two. I couldn’t believe that even at a very young age those little girls saw themselves as ugly and as bad just because the color of their skin. I could not picture how someone so small can know and think what an older person does, like when they asked them which one was the pretty doll or the one they like the most and why. They knew right away which one it was and answered why. I was so surprised on how much beauty matter to African American women. I never knew that so many African American women had those kinds of thoughts. I knew what they thought was beauty and how it was described (light skin, long hair, exc.) but I would have never thought that it meant so much for African American women.
    Where I come from a Hispanic/Latino family, we too see light skin as pretty but it doesn’t mean so much for us. I mean we don’t try to do things that will get us close to looking like that. What I am trying to say that not even as younger girls we don’t think that were bad or ugly. I think that in Hispanic culture you know and learn and think about this type of things until you are older. Yes, we see American girls as pretty but we never have in mind that looking like them will make us any better or will make a change or difference in our lives.

  6. The last video was the most intriguing to me because of how vastly the girl’s opinion changed, in such a short time frame, just because the skin colors on the pictures changed. This really goes to show that this girl, already at such a young age, has some pretty strong prejudices against African Americans or other minorities. I don’t know if this came from her school or her home, but it does prove how much people are influenced by their society and surrounding environment. I think what her parents said is important, they do need to have a conversation with her about race, but it needs to be done correctly. She, and many other children and people in the United States need to learn to not judge everything based on how someone looks or what color their skin is. A persons character is the most important thing, and the only thing someone should be judged on, and that is not something you can see in a photo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s