Parents criticize the Arizona Department of Education graphic that suggests you start conversations about race with your children at three months old.
The infographic titled “They’re not too young to talk about race” suggests that children as young as two years can use race to reason about someone’s behavior. The graphic shows the linear aging of a child and details how parents should talk about race and racism at each stage of their childhood. At the age of two, the graphic claims that children use race “to reason about people’s behaviors” and, by 30 months, they say children will use race to choose playmates. By four and five, children allegedly become racially prejudiced. The graphic also states that as early as three months children will prefer the faces of their own race over others. Parents are told to talk to their three-month-olds about racism because “babies look more at faces that match the race of their caregivers.”
According to the graphic, by the time children reach kindergarten they can become as racist as adults. Kindergarteners allegedly “show many of the same racial attitudes that adults in our culture hold — they have already learned to associate some groups with higher status than others.” The graphic serves to encourage parents to talk about race with their children, stating, “Adults often worry that talking about race will encourage racial bias in children, but the opposite is true. Silence about race reinforces racism by letting children draw their own conclusions based on what they see.”
The department also recommended multiple “anti-racist” readings. One of the readings tells white parents that avoiding talks about racism can make their kids racist. “White parents can and should begin addressing issues of race and racism early, even before their children can speak. Studies have indicated that infants as young as three months old can recognize racial differences,” the book “How White Parents Can Talk To Their Kids About Race” reads. “Avoiding the topic, rather than actively countering it with anti-racist attitudes and actions, simply opens the door for children to absorb bias from the world around them.”
The graphic was shared on social media and many people took issue with it. In particular, people were dumbfounded by the idea that babies may have racial biases. People took to the comments to voice their anger. “They’re completely over the edge with their insane critical race theory. Targeting three-month old babies now? The boredom must be immense & intense at the Arizona Department of Education”, one person wrote. Another comment read, “I’m a mom and little kids are completely a-racial until the parents and tv and movies and their local community influence them.” The Arizona Department of Education has stated that the graphic is currently under review. There have been calls for Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to have the graphic removed from the department’s website.
ARTICLE: DUSTIN RODGERS
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: 93.1 WIBC