When we hate we damage our own mental health. We subject ourselves to anger, resentment and frustration. When we hate because of irrational prejudices like racism or religious discrimination we find ourselves worn out by self-censorship as we try to deny the reality in front of our eyes.
This video really got to me. Not because little kids can be prejudiced – we all know that children tend to have some very fixed, black and white opinions. That’s the only way that their little heads can make any sort of sense of the nuanced world around them. They make snap decisions based upon very limited information because they have to. We evolved to do that as adults but even more so as kids.
What really pissed me off is the consistency of colour prejudice across different races. Even the black kids were dismissive of blacks and saw whites as somehow better. What are we teaching our children (and by ‘our’ I mean all human children) about themselves and each other?
It’s true that as they grow these kids will become more subtle in their thinking. They’ll start to understand that the world is more complicated than that and they’ll develop their opinions accordingly. But the early lessons don’t go away – they stick around to influence adult opinions too.
What have we done to these children?
More importantly – are we prepared to change it?
It’s incumbent upon us all to challenge prejudice in all its forms, be that colour, race, nationality, religion, gender, whatever whenever we come across it. Let both adults and children know that it’s neither correct nor fair to judge others or ourselves upon irrelevancies like skin colour.
People are just people – let’s make sure we treat them accordingly!