Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

In the US in the 1960s, we fought a hard revolution. It wasn't a revolution in the sense that most people would understand it as there weren't really "sides" in a well-defined sense, but it was a revolution nonetheless. Battles were fought. People died. The political landscape was irrevocably altered. No one particular side got everything they wanted, but great strides were made to fix some of the worst grievances in US society.

Some people say too much changed. I say not enough changed.

What a depressing way to start the day.
  • Current Mood: sad sad
Weird, I just semi-saw this (my girlfriend fell asleep with OPB on in the other room while I was working) and I turned my head just in time to catch the doll selection scene. Heartbreaking.
yeah, the kids with the dolls breaks your heart.Of course I know for a fact if it was me as a kid i would pick the black doll. i loved any thing that was different to me.
That's sick. Those girls are beautiful. And they don't know it. And the look on that one little girls face when they asked her to pick the doll that looked like her after she said it was the "bad" doll....That was heartbreaking. As inocent as that little quiz might be, she'll carry that test in her mind for life. I almost cried at the look on her face.
See I didn't take that to be a sad or negative thing. But I saw it not as a self hating answer but my thought was influenced by a group of people I talked to about this experiment not long ago who were a mixed group social workers and a couple people from CPS. The short answer is (I can't speak for the kids in the video only ones discussed), is many live in bad homes or bad neighborhoods so the "black" people they see around them in life scare them or may yell at them, etc. Many of the kids don't have any positive influences in their life that are the same color where as the white people they have come in contact with probably were very nice to them. So they associate "nice" with the white color. You'll notice in the experiment they always asked which the nice one was first. They may not actually associate black with being bad, but if they associate white with nice, then when asked the second question the only choice they have to to choose the black doll when asked which is "bad". It's a subtle difference but when looking at the big picture of psychological studies (esp with young children) but a things worth noting in a study like this.

There is so limited information presented in this mini feature that I can't really make any judgments into the findings of the test without knowing more about the children and their home life.

Now I do realize there are areas of the US that are still completely ignorant when it comes to racial equality. But as with any documentary, I realize they are created to express a point. It tends to be focused on proofing it to an extreme so any film like this is made to create a tug on the heart string and to inspire extreme emotion and should be taken with a grain of salt (as with any documentary, regardless of the issue being presented).

But again, that said, I realize this country has not always been quick when it came to racial equality. Heck it was over 100 years between the slaves being freed and the civil rights laws of the 60's. So I am definitely not implying we are "there". So regardless of the study and what the results really mean. I still do realize we still have a ways to go to enlighten the entire country that a person's worth is not based on their outer appearance.
Hi Kevin,

Excuse my language. I tried to think of another way to say this but:

Your first paragraph is a crock of shit.

Even in an environment that is "stable" black kids get tons of messages that they are not normal, less pretty, less smart, less interesting and have less value and it is a constant FIGHT to be conscious of the messages that are deliberately and unconsciously (the majority) being transitted when one is young.

The social workers are only seeing the worst scenarios. My mother - a black principal with a background in social work - worked in an elementary school with mostly white kids, and had to call the police and family services many times for children under her watch. I don't judge what these think of themselves as how all white kids consider themselves. Like you said, the kids in that video are not necessarily in a situation where their parents are not providing for them and caring for them.

There are other issues at play here. I grew up in a "stable" environment and the black people around me were 99% positive examples and I had two ultra-strong parents. I can't tell you how hard it was to try to hold on to my dignity as a black person and black girl/woman.
Thank you for sharing. No offense taken as I was only sharing what I knew to be about this scenario but being as I have never been back, that is as close as I can get to knowing "how it is". Though I grew up in the DC metro area, though all the black kids who went to my school were middle class and above, none of my friends who were black ever mentioned anything about feeling it was harder for them to "fit in". In fact I'd say hi high school, the most stressful part for them was the pressure their parents put on them to get into a good college. But hanging out with a diverse group of people, they never had trouble with outers from our school, or if we showed up at parties, etc. I never saw white people, black people,or asian people any different (at least at my school). If anything the only group that was sort of on their own and didn't mingle with the rest of the groups were the hispanic kids.

Anyway, I realize DC is a very tolerant and enlightened area in terms of multi-racial issues, so it may just be a fluke I had not witnessed much of what you have described. So I appreciate you taking the time to share your story. The more pieces to the puzzle people have the easier it s to begin to see the whole picture :)
Thanks for your reply. I was already going to write you to say I'm sorry for how I said I did not agree with your opinion. I understood it was well-meaning and you were working with the information you had.

However, one of the things that pushed my buttons was that the explanation of your social worker friends seemed to place the onus on dysfunctional family relationships of the black children in question and I found this extremely problematic. Also this goes very deep with me personally. Your privilege is based on you having the option to think about this when it occurs with no ill effects if you choose not to. I am glad you and others are choosing to think about it anyway.
Interestingly one of my best friends here is a gal from Haiti. Though she is part French, you'd never know it by the color of her skin. We have had MANY conversations about the issue of race and skin color... even culture. What I have learned from this has really opened my own eyes.

One thing I remember hearing growing up was someone questioning why there was black on black violence. My friend helped me to understand that Caribbeans feel that they are higher in society than Africans and do not feel like they can be considered a part of the stereotypes often associated with "black people". In fact she gets really annoyed with people who consider her to be African. I can't say for sure that this is the reason why there is black on black violence but it certainly seems to allude to it.

We have also talked about how we both have members of our families whom would bring trouble if she or I brought each other around. (And I mean extended families here.) Members of her family would never talk to me because of their hatred for white people and similarly in my own extended family. Yet she is one of my closest and best friends.

Add to this that I use to think certain parts of the country didn't have this problem. Growing up in California, I thought it was much more tolerant than other parts. However, this myth was destroyed when, in 1999, a roommate and I came across a gal who wanted to move in with us and when we were considering another roommate said, "I don't want to live with an Oriental." The original roommate was part Asian.

Changing people's perceptions and ideas in society takes time. Even in my own family my grandfather was a racist and called my parents "n-word lovers" for watching the Cosby Show. (Obviously this was years ago.) Now one of my best friends is black. That's 2 generations later but I grew up with a father who grew up in Asia (being the only white kid around a bunch of Asians... imagine the reverse of what blacks go through.)

So my point here is that if I had not had a father who had experienced being the "odd man out" and being looked at as "different" because he didn't have the same features and skin color as an Asian, then maybe I too would have been more my mom's side. Generations don't change unless something changes within them. Most are adverse to that change especially in certain parts of this country where tradition dictates who you are.

I don't expect this change to happen over night. Keep in mind it was our parents generation whom initiated the change and even at that it is the same generation which is fighting people their own age for this change. Parents pass down their ideals one to another until the generations change, this change will be slow going.
Black chicks are hot.
Asian chicks are hot.
White chicks are hot.
Latina chicks are hot.

Chicks are hot.