Skip to comments.On Babies And Bigotry
Posted on 09/14/2009 3:12:32 PM PDT by OrangeHoof
There was brief discussion this afternoon on Rush Limbaugh's show about an article in Newsweek regarding babies and racism. I'm not sure what the point of the story is although the slant from left-leaning Newsweek is likely to be similar to the University of Maryland position that all whites are born racist and must be taught how to reject this and adapt a multicultural worldview.
I see this issue differently. I agree that children (of all races) are probably born bigots but not for whatever reasons the liberals would like you to think.
As someone who owns birds, I have read (and experienced) that birds can be bigots. They have preferences for people based on appearance or gender. It is not a hatred based on anything natural, rather it is a combination of learned and instinctive behavior.
We've all seen the occasional news story where a kitten is adopted by a dog or vice versa. But, for most of the real world, species prefer their own kind in much the same way that newborns prefer the sound of their own mother and can tell if they are being held by a woman who is not their mother.
It's a survival and safety instinct. Children, like the animal kingdom, feel safety around what is familiar. That includes people and places that look like what they associate with safety.
One of my birds hates blondes, and isn't too fond of women in general. I suspect it goes back to an old girlfriend I had and how she would be lavished affection while we were together, inadvertantly setting her up in the bird's mind as a rival for my attention. The bird now has a visceral reaction to blondes - any blonde - becuase of her early experience with this girlfriend. I've tried to get the bird to like my blonde niece but the bird won't have anything to do with her.
Children, I believe, still have the survival instinct bred into them. This instinct means they will seek out those who look like their kind. It doesn't mean an active dislike of other races - only a preference for that which they know and have found safety in.
I do feel much of American society has gotten past the overt hatred of other races I sometimes saw as a child in the 1950s and 1960s. Even then, I was exposed to people of other races as a child and didn't see them as inferior or limited. They were capable of all the same good and bad that I found in my own race.
We have progressed a great deal in that people of various races can function together and socialize together without the stigmatization seen in some other cultures and societies.
But it doesn't change the fact that children seek safety as a need for survival and it is entirely natural that this quest for safety start with people that most resemble their parents or primary caregivers for which they were raised. It is no less natural for a child to feel this way than a bird does.
If someone wants to perceive that as racism, I disagree. It is selectivism, one that is normal and natural not something to be bred out.
The black basketball star Bill Russell wrote in his autobiography "Second Wind" that he hated how the word "discrimination" had acquired negative connotations. Learning to discriminate, Russell argued, was part of making choices - as to who were your friends, what neighborhood to live in, what school to send your children to, etc. A nation without the ability to discriminate too often accepts what isn't wise.
If racism is innate then it must be celebrated. Isn’t that what we are told about homosexuality? They say people are born that way so it must be good and wonderful and accepted.
Does anyone suppose the researchers in the Newsweek story tested black or hispanic babies and their reactions?
My tiny little girl dog, who weighs four pounds, hates large men regardless of their race. I take this as a survival mechanism, pure and simple.
A better study of bigotry would be children of four or five racial groups along with a subset of interracial children. If the interracial children show less bias than the “pure” children or show preference for “mama” over other groups, the premise is more strongly proven.
A friend of mine had a horse that suddenly became bigoted against Black people. A large palomino, the horse was boarded in a rural area and available for riding. One morning, the horse was skittish and its stall was in disarray with blood spattered around. Ever after that, the otherwise well behaved horse would try to attack any Black person it saw.
They forgot to mention that the racist gene is right next to the homophobe gene in white people....