We are first introduced to race when we are younger and it grows more complex as we get older as the stereotypes and daily encounters we see are reinforced. I blame our elders for any notions instilled in the current generation that impedes or even improves a child's idea of race, because we are first introduced to our ideas by our parents and they are reinforced by our encounters outside of the home.
I thought it was interesting in this article when it said:
"Relatively few studies have been done on how children of other races, including whites, become aware of racial differences. Those available suggest that skin color is not as salient an issue for white children at the early grade-school stage of development as it is for blacks. It is understandable that young white children do not tend to regard skin color as important, since racial prejudice is generally not a factor in their lives".
So how then is racial prejudice introduced to black children? Is it from their parents? Or could it be from these children who are unconcerned with racial prejudice at an early age? The article quotes, "Racism is not congenital; it has to be learned", when then is the idea of race learned? The author, who is black, converses with a young Australian girl completely oblivious to race. She asks the author about their skin color and lips as if they were carrying a normal conversation, but as it amuses the author, it creates discomfort with the other white adults.
By her parents' discomfort the child would clearly eventually see that there was a difference between her and the author. They make it seem like something is wrong instead of the letting the child discover on her own that there are others out in the world besides herself, but despite physical differences they are the same. They can have something as simple as a conversation and prejudices won't matter as the parents make it seem.
Could it be that because whites are more privileged than other races that are able to look past race than more inferior races? Are their parents trying to mask the fact that there are differences unlike blacks who make their children aware that they are different and that there are obstacles that they have to overcome and stereotypes they have to fight because history and society tells them that they are different?
How were you introduced to race?