You know there is hate and prejudice out there in the world, but sometimes you try to live your life pretending it’s not, just as long as it is not affection you or your family. It was surprising to me to see how early children notice differences in each other. Even children are already using (race) in some rudimentary way at six months (Stern, Larosa pg. 18). It’s amazing to hear about Dr. Phyllis Katz’s experiment. We know babies pay attention to their surroundings, and the people in it. Just didn’t realize how closely.
In her experiment it showed how a six month old baby got bored looking at the same pictures of the same faces, and then got interested when a face of a different color was introduced. These differences help babies form a secure knowledge of themselves as entities separate from others (Stern, Larosa pg 18). I was very shocked by how ignorant one parent was about prejudice. She says “It’s something I thought he didn’t notice… that wouldn’t be part of his consciousness… I sort of wanted him to be colorblind. ” Clearly children are NOT color – blind.
Unless they are taught to appreciate differences, their views can be quite early (Stern, Larosa pg. 27). With teenagers things get a little harder. They are torn between being a child and a young adult. You want to be sure they are not doing things they shouldn’t, but you don’t want to pry into their lives too much. They are trying to be independent from you, and do and make their own decisions. Parents of teenagers in our society must learn to listen to what their offspring are saying, especially what they are saying to one another (Stern, Larosa pg. 9).
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This book gives you so many heart breaking examples of how children have treated other children so wrong with hatred and prejudice. It also has given examples of how these children over came those hardships; it just would have been nice to hear more of the good instead of the bad. After reading this book, it makes you wake up and realize you can’t live your life as if hate and prejudice isn’t out there.
We as a society must teach our children that differences should ot be a threat, but that differences are what make the world go around. It seems that hate and prejudice has plagued our country for the entirety of it’s existence. You can go back and look in history books and find it almost any where in history. This is an issue that bears much consideration because it is not going away by itself. We were created equal in the sight of God, and when everyone recognizes that to be fact and teaches their children, then maybe we will be well on our way to a peaceful existence.
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