Monday, May 08, 2006

Why don't you pick on someone your own size? But of course, there's no one as small as you!

Here is ultimate proof that white guilt is destroying sanity in the west. In a normal world, wouldn't one want infants sitting up and paying attention to the many differences in the human world? Differentiation, after all, is fundamental to human language and culture and one cannot learn but through the differentiation of one's consciousness. Furthermore, humanity could not survive its conflicts if we were not continually deferring them by differentiating ourselves in one manner or another.

But it seems that this fundamental human survival mechanism is under attack in the country formerly home to free and independent British people. It is as if their traditional indulgence in eccentricity has morphed into a most perverse form of political correctness. You see, the three-year olds of Britannia have been revealed as racists and the state is out to wipe their minds clean of all invidious disctinctions.

Read it and weep for the children (because noting differences isn't bad, it's teaching people to be all righteous about them that is evil.)
They may still be in nappies and playing with sand and building blocks but many toddlers are already racists, nurseries have been warned.

To stop prejudice from developing while children are still three years old, staff need to ensure that different racial groups "play together right from day one", according to Herman Ouseley, the former chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality.

Nursery staff should "discourage separate play" and "help children to unlearn any racist attitudes and behaviour they may have already learnt", said Lord Ouseley.

"It is important to consider whether patterns of play are consistently based on racial or cultural grounds," he writes in the latest issue of the journal Race Equality Teaching.
Jane Lane, a co-author of the article and an early-years equality adviser whose publications are recommended by the Government's Sure Start scheme, said conventional wisdom that toddlers were "colour blind" was wrong.

"There is a view that children do not learn their attitudes until they are about five," she said. "But people in the early years know that children at a very early age - at the age of three - are categorising people. I am not talking about white children; I am talking about all children. Many, many are racially prejudiced, for all sorts of historical reasons."

Margaret Morrissey, the spokesman for the National Confederation of Parent Teachers Associations, said, however, that children did not generally notice colour until at least the age of six and that "artificial" attempts to force the issue could be detrimental.

"In all the time I have been involved in nursery education, since about 1975, I have never seen children segregating to play," she said.


Unknown said...


When I was three years old and my father was in the hospital, I looked up at his nurse one day and announced [to my mother's profound embarassment] "You're a nigger aren't you?" So it seems to me that it goes without saying that conditioning of one kind or another begins at an early age anyway.

Eric said...

Oh my. Well, childern do learn things fast.

What will be interesting from this is when the kids go home and parrot back to the parents what they've been learning in day-care.

Morgan said...

Here's my simple model of group relations, feel free to kick the tires:

There are identifiable "cultural" subgroups in most societies, these groups behave differently (on average), and people note that salient characteristics (like age, skin color, accent, dress, and maybe political viewpoints) are associated with these different behaviors.

Because the behaviors of other cultures are more likely to violate our norms of "correct" behavior, we are more likely to dislike people of other groups. In addition, we are likely to use those salient characteristics as predictors of those behaviors we dislike.

We are flexible enough to further divide the world based on context and other salient features - our expectations of teenagers may be negative, unless they are members of the History Club - experience has told us they're a fine bunch of bright, thoughtful kids (yes, prejudice works both ways). But until we learn the kid is a History Club member, we will tend to group him or her with "those lousy teenagers", and presumptively ascribe the characteristics we expect of the class as a whole.

Once we get to know someone well, he or she becomes a class of one, and our direct impressions and experience drive our expectations of that person's behavior, not more general salient characteristics.

I think that today most group-ism is the result of this kind of presumptive assignment of hidden characteristics on the basis of salient characteristics that have been shown (by our experience) to have predictive value. I have never witnessed "they are all like this"-type inculcation. Ever.

The upshot is that forcing children to play together is unlikely to result in harmony, unless they all play by the same rules (not just formal, but informal rules as well).

But I doubt that even that will innoculate kids against future prejudices. The future context will be different, and the distinction will be drawn if it is there. That suggests that the way to reduce prejudice is for everyone to share more-or-less the same values and notions about appropriate behavior. Homogeneity as the enemy of prejudice.

I believe, though, that if all the kids played by the same rules, there would be no need to force them to play together. Playtime segregation probably results from experience.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

It is so hard to achieve the pure world.

Unknown said...


I would go so far as to say it is impossible.

truepeers said...

Good advice Knucklehead. Morgan throws in one further key, however: the history club. If only my school had had a history club... I would have had a home:)