2018-04-03 21:39:43 UTC
Infants have to be carefully taught not to hate things different than
them, instead of the other way around:
"Obamas viral tweet is wrong: Research shows babies are totally
Tristin Hopper, August 16, 2017
In what soon became the worlds most liked tweet, former president
Barack Obama this week responded to a white supremacist march in
Charlottesville, Virginia by posting a famous quote from South African
leader Nelson Mandela.
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin
or his background or his religion, reads the quote, which is pulled
from Mandelas 1994 autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.
Two subsequent tweets then finish the quote, people must learn to
hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For
love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
The quote is a nice sentiment, but it doesnt quite line up with
science. According to a growing body of infant research, racism is
often a default setting for babies. Tolerance, not racism, is what
needs to be hammered into young minds.
Parents do not teach children to be biased, said Kang Lee, a human
development researcher at the University of Toronto.
Lee said that while a racist parent can exploit a childs innate
biases, most children will organically begin to dismiss other races
soon after their birth.
Mandela was correct in that no baby is born with inherent prejudices.
But at around six months, the average infant will automatically begin
to distrust anything that looks and sounds different than their
Because most of us are born into monoracial environments we start to
show preferences for own-race individuals, and then we start to show
biases, he said.
The baby begins to associate positive things, such as happy music,
with their own race. Sad music gets associated with other races.
Foreign languages and accents, meanwhile, sound scary and unfamiliar.
. . ."
Human Nature is not a problem that can
be fixed by rules and regulations.
All solutions to the existing problems
must be based on how people behave, not
on how we think they should behave.
-- Kirk Chisholm