Preventing Kid Prejudice: The Sailer (One Point) Plan
For several years, NBC
has been broadcasting a series of
public service announcements in which NBC`s lesser
stars, such as
Sean Hayes, who plays the sidekick Jack on Will &
Grace, tells us to hate "hate."
For example, Hayes
"You know what
doesn`t get a laugh? When you say hurtful things about
others. Telling an
ethnic joke or using a
racial slur can pass along hate and there`s nothing
funny about that. Hate is no joke and it should never be
a punch line."
Sean Hayes—of all
people—lecturing us that ethnic jokes aren`t funny is
Emmy-winning character is one gigantic (and, indeed,
amusing) joke about gays, using every conceivable
Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about Hayes` Jack:
"It`s as if someone
at NBC took
Homer Simpson`s directive `I like my beer cold, my
TV loud, and my homosexuals fa-LAMING!` and turned it
into the character of Jack."
NBC`s TV spots provide
the phone number of the
Anti-Defamation League and links to the ADL`s online
"What to Tell Your Child About Prejudice and
assertion "Although children are not born prejudiced,
they often learn to hate before they are old enough to
understand why," raises some interesting questions:
- Would children indeed not notice racial
differences without society conditioning them to do
- What is the best way to keep your children from
disliking blacks and Hispanics?
In polite society, it
is widely maintained that
race is purely a social construction—a factual
illusion. Deviating from this dogma is costly. For
example: back in 1994 neoconservative columnist
Michael Barone bravely defended
The Bell Curve. But by the time of his 2001 book
The New Americans, Barone had apparently
realized racial realism was dangerous. Therefore he
started making pronouncements about race that were of an
intellectual depth more appropriate for Sean Hayes.
"Babies do not
distinguish between people of African and European
descent; they recognize only other human beings. They
have to be taught to differentiate between blacks and
Bunk. That young
children have to be taught to distinguish races is
simply not true.
For example, when my
oldest son was starting preschool, he informed us that
his new friend Orville was "brown." Orville is
what American grown-ups call "black," but my son
had never heard that, so he used the more chromatically
accurate term "brown."
When we asked our son
what he was, he replied, "I`m pink."
"Well, how about
your friend Diego?"
pinkish-brown," he announced decisively.
What toddlers think
about race has been studied extensively in controlled
experiments. In his book
Race in the Making, the liberal U. of Michigan
Lawrence A. Hirschfeld sums up his findings:
"As comforting as
[social constructionist] view may be, children, I
will show in this book, are more than aware of
diversity; they are driven by endogenous curiosity to
uncover it. Children, I will also show, do not believe
race to be a superficial quality of the world.
Multicultural curricula aside, few people believe that
race is only skin deep. Certainly few 3-year-olds do.
They believe that race is an intrinsic, immutable, and
essential aspect of a person`s identity. Moreover, they
seem to come to this conclusion on their own. They do
not need to be taught that race is a deep property, they
know it themselves already."
For instance, if you
show preschoolers pictures of women and children and ask
them to match the kids with their mommies, on average
they will correctly tell you that the skinny white child
belongs to the fat white mommy, while the fat black
child belongs to the skinny black mommy (or vice-versa).
These toddlers have
already figured out that race is a better predictor of
family relationship, a subject that concerns them
deeply, than is body shape. They have already begun to
grasp a truth that eludes almost all adult
racial groups are extended families.
So your children will
notice racial differences, no matter what you do.
The next question: how to keep your children from
growing up to actively dislike blacks and Hispanics.
Last week, I mentioned that New Yorker writer
Malcolm Gladwell was deeply disturbed to find that,
like 80 percent of all people and 48 percent of blacks,
he scored as anti-black on the
Implicit Association Test, which measures how
automatically you associate words like "criminal"
with black or white faces.
"Could it be that
much of the
fanatical anti-racism that so richly abounds these
days is overcompensation? … Are outspoken and emotional
anti-racists, or people who seem to try "too hard" to
display their egalitarian acceptance of members of other
races, generally people who are merely trying very hard
to convince themselves that they do not harbor racist
beliefs or feelings? `I can`t possibly be racist
if I hate racists so much!`"
Nicely illustrating his point, a long
Washington Post article about the IAT by Shankar
Vedantam began with:
"… a 34-year-old white
woman sat down in her Washington office to take a
psychological test. Her office decor attested to her
passion for civil rights—as a senior activist at a
gay rights organization, and as a lesbian herself,
fighting bias and discrimination is what gets her out of
bed every morning." [See
January 23, 2005]
Unsurprisingly, this "hate" hater tested as
In contrast to Gladwell and the anonymous
anti-discrimination warrioress, I tested as slightly
pro-black. I`m a lot more skeptical than Gladwell about
the IAT, but my result does strike me as roughly
Of course, I get smeared as a racist a lot because, not
having a guilty conscience, I don`t feel constrained to
lie about race like Gladwell, and so many others, do all
just assume that the truth is better for everybody.
And, besides, at my age, my memory isn`t getting any
better, and the truth is a lot easier to remember
The most absurd lie that you read constantly these days
is that only racists think there is any
difference in the crime rates among races.
The fact is that even according to a liberal activist
group`s carefully calculated
data, blacks are 9.1 times more likely, and Latinos
3.7 times more likely, than non-Hispanic whites to be
ADL pamphlet on hating haters offers a lot of advice
on what you should say to your children about
race. But you already know how little they listen to you
What matters most is what happens to them.
So, let me unveil my
one-point plan for how to keep your kids from
disliking blacks and Hispanics:
Do what wealthy liberals do with their own offspring:
insulate! Move to an expensive suburb where the
schools have good students, or finagle your children
into a magnet program, or homeschool them, or pay for
private schooling. Do what it takes so that the
minorities they come in contact with are predominantly
Howard Kurtz wrote in the Columbia Journalism
Review in 1994:
"Equally revealing was
media response to the Clintons`s announcement that they
were sending their daughter, Chelsea, to Sidwell
Friends, an $11,000-a-year private school in northwest
Washington. When columnist Mark Shields praised Sidwell
on The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, he had to note that his
children went there, as did Jim Lehrer`s and Judy
Woodruff`s. Woodruff`s husband, Al Hunt, made a similar
disclosure while defending Clinton on Capital Gang.
Carl Rowan touted Sidwell on Inside Washington, pointing
out that his grandchildren attended the school. Howard
Fineman, whose daughter was in kindergarten at Sidwell,
said he "shamelessly lobbied" the Clintons to choose the
So don`t worry about being duplicitous. Do what the
Clintons and all those media liberals, white and black,
did—put your children`s welfare first!
It worked for me! My schooling was a lot cheaper than
Chelsea`s, but my parents, bless them, scrimped to
send me to the local parochial school. The great
majority of the blacks and Latinos I grew up with were
nice kids who had fathers and mothers who were also
making a financial effort to do right by them.
After I grew up, I spent a lot of a time walking the
streets of Chicago. But I`m a big guy.
Muggers didn`t mess with me.
liberal women who have to work in
Washington D.C. (where blacks are
56 times more like to be
in the slammer than whites), such as that anti-black
Garance Franke-Ruta of The American Prospect
who tried to ruin my career because I`m honest about
race—should be forgiven for their hysterical hypocrisy.
Still, it would be nice if they stopped being such
frauds. It wouldn`t be hard. They wouldn`t even have to
start telling the truth.
All they`d have to do is continue doing what`s safest
for themselves and their kids and cease
denouncing writers who publicly explain the facts behind
why they do what they do.
Writers like, say, me.
[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and