In the aftermath of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shooting and killing Michael Brown, I have been thinking about what young children are picking up from their parents, the news and their teachers about being a good white person.
Most parents of African-American boys will tell you that they are terrified of their children being killed or harassed by police who assume they are up to no good. But why aren’t more parents of white children worried about their children being the ones who discriminate or harass?
As a professor of early childhood education, I know that young children, particularly between the ages of 4 and 8, are learning who they are in relation to the rest of the world. They are branching out from the ideas of their parents and caretakers and entertaining the ideas of their classmates, teachers and neighbors. And they begin to form an identity as a member of a larger society.