The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine
OUR IMPRESSIONABLE INFANTS
Regarding “Can Israel’s anti-racism czar succeed?” (September 30): Racist sentiment is typically handed down from generation to generation. If it’s deliberate, it’s something I strongly feel amounts to a form of child abuse: to rear one’s impressionably young children in an environment of overt bigotry – especially against other ethnicities and races.
Not only does it fail to prepare children for the practical reality of an increasingly diverse and populous society and workplace, but it also makes it so much less likely those children will be emotionally content or (preferably) harmonious with their multicultural and multi-ethnic/multi-racial surroundings.
Children reared into their adolescence and, eventually, young adulthood this way can often be angry yet not fully realize at precisely what. Then they may feel left with little choice but to move to another part of the land, where their own ethnicity/race predominates, preferably overwhelmingly so.
If not for themselves, parents then should do their young children a big favor and not pass down to their very impressionable offspring such bigoted feelings and perceptions (nor implicit stereotypes and “humor,” for that matter). Ironically, such rearing can make life much harder for one’s own children.
While there’s research through which infants demonstrate a preference for caregivers who look like them (i.e. skin color), any future such biases and bigotries generally are environmentally acquired.
The earliest years are typically the best time to instill and even solidify positive social-interaction life skills/traits into a very young brain/mind. And one can imagine this would be particularly important to achieve within one’s religious and educational community.
FRANK STERLE, JR. White Rock, British Columbia