Racist babies? In what has to be the most ridiculous, wasteful study ever, researchers at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst have determined that babies have 'racist traits'! In what is simply a display of babies recognizing familiar faces, the lead 'researcher' said, "These results suggest that biases in face recognition and perception begin in preverbal infants, well before concepts about race are formed. It is important for us to understand the nature of these biases in order to reduce or eliminate [the biases]."
The study took two groups of white babies who had little to no contact with babies of another race. A group of five-month-olds were more 'adept' at distinguishing faces from different races. When they took nine-month-olds and measured their reactions to the black babies, the babies were better at distinguishing the white babies faces from one another than the black babies faces. Yes, they actually said the results showed the nine-month-old group had 'racist traits'. What about being familiar with what you see everyday?
Medical Xpress says, "5-month-old infants were found to equally tell apart faces from both races, whereas 9-month-old infants were better at telling apart two faces within their own race."
The study was done with 48 Caucasian babies. Did they bother to check if the black babies had 'racial traits'? Or are they only concerned with 'fixing' the white racist babies? People who grow up in racist families are more inclined to be racist. Shocking, huh? Some people become racists because they are just screwed up. Crazy, but true. How much money did this study cost? How much of it was paid for by the government? Even more concerning, how exactly were the researchers planning to 'reduce or eliminate the biases' in the future?
Does the story just sound bad the way it's told by the DailyMail? Let the poor babies enjoy playing with each other for a little longer before they are subjected to the real world of racism. They're just babies!
© Margie Wilson-Mars 2012