I can honestly say that I am a prejudiced person (and I hate it about myself). I can honestly say that I believe everyone is (because we are all so incredibly flawed). But I can honestly say that I have never ever ever been racist. I seek to love all people as Christ loves all people--equally and with a servant's heart. I can honestly say that I fail at this regularly, as my heart often chooses to believe lies instead of Truth.
I have been so very bothered about the video included in this CNN article.
Bear with me, here, but...where is the control group? To what are we comparing these children's answers? All I see here is a study on color. Not skin color, mind you, but color. The child in this video, as admitted by her mother, has not been exposed to much ethnic diversity in her short life. She probably has, however, watched hours upon hours of Disney princess movies and the like, wherein darkness is always, always associated with evil. What conclusion must she draw?
This study is reality. People with dark skin have a plight, and this is it: since the beginning of history, obscurity is bad and light is good. If the study had shown children pictures of identical children wearing dark clothing versus light clothing, I venture to guess the results would be the same.
There are also emotions associated with every color of the rainbow (anyone who has taken a marketing class has been taught this basic idea). Yellow is happy and blue is calm. Perhaps CNN should do a study showing identical children with skin tones or clothing of every color, and asked the questions, "Which is the happy child?" and "Which is the calm child?" I imagine the results would largely reflect how each child's mood affected by the colors represented.
I think I am most bothered because this little girl is Rachel. She's fair and innocent, about the same age, and having lived in a sort of protected bubble so far in her sweet little life. I felt preyed upon by CNN. This mother--presumably intentionally chosen for the interview because of her blond hair and southern accent--was upset to the point of tears, and then badgered (in my opinion) about her daughter having a "healthy ego." She was put on the spot and made to feel as if her child is racist--race being a subject that has probably never even occurred to the child.
I can't quite get my bearings on what point CNN is trying to make through this study. In the article, it seems as if black families talk with their children about race--because they have to. Their children automatically face obstacles that white and fair children do not--the darker their skin, the bigger and more frequent the obstacles. How can white people help? I think we must give our children opportunities to interact with people of other ethnicities. We must find ways to build relationships and to love them and serve them as equals and superiors. I truly don't think just talking about it will remedy much, because everyone has a fear of the unknown. We can talk ourselves until we are blue in the face (ha!), but until our children know through experience that it's okay, they will fear other races.
Practically, this can be challenging. Most of us live and work and play and socialize with people who are like us. And that's understandable. I think minorities do the same thing. It's comfortable. It's easy. The plight of dark-skinned people will never be reversed, in my opinion. But those of us who don't experience it can surely do something to remedy the problem, to aid in their course, to help them overcome--obstacles and fears of their own--and to display love and compassion, understanding and empathy. These are people, who live with a sort of inborn oppression that I can never understand. I simply pray that I don't add to it, and that, most of all, they see a glimpse of the character of Jesus in me, so that they will be drawn to a Savior who cares and understands and wants to carry their burdens for them, and who ultimately died for each and every person: "...and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9). Praise and glory to the One who is the very embodiment of unconditional, unwavering LOVE.