Culture White kids, racism and the way privileged parenting props up an unjust system - Good parenting is white supremacist

Is this hot take any good?

  • Yes

    Votes: 3 2.9%
  • No

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • Noah Berlatsky is an exceptional individual

    Votes: 19 18.6%
  • Always look at the opinion pieces; they shape the style of the "real" reporta

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • Hahahahahahahahahahaha

    Votes: 23 22.5%
  • If good parenting is white supremacist, then call me a white supremacist Neo-Nazi alt-righter

    Votes: 55 53.9%

  • Total voters


Indra's net

This past October, my son and his classmates lobbied their small private school to change the official holiday of Columbus Day to Native People's Day. My son wrote a short letter to the faculty explaining why they shouldn't celebrate white imperialism, and that native peoples were too often ignored or erased or pushed to the side in discussions of American history. Some parents didn't like the change, but the teachers and administration were supportive, and they changed the name.

As you'd imagine, my wife and I were very proud. We’d hoped to teach our son anti-racism, and here he was doing anti-racist activism in his own small way. We were glad we'd sent him to a school that encouraged kids to speak up, and was open to change.

At the same time, though, the school is a private school. Sending kids to private school is an option you only have if you have a certain amount of money. In paying for him to go to that school, we were at least partially abetting a system that benefits more affluent people. And affluent people in the U.S. are often (though not always) white. We sent our son to a school that taught and encouraged anti-racism. But teaching people to be anti-racist doesn't necessarily address the structure of racism itself. In fact, racist structures often determine who does and does not have access to these kinds of educational opportunities. One of our ongoing societal challenges will be figuring out ways to move beyond individual education and address the root issues of inequality — and our role in upholding them.

Margaret Hagerman, a sociologist at Mississippi State University, talks about these difficult contradictions in her book, “White Kids: Growing Up With Privilege In a Racially Divided America.” Hagerman spent two years with 30 families in a midwestern city observing affluent white parents and their children and interviewing both groups about race and racism. She babysat, took kids to activities and listened in the car as they gossiped. Some kids claimed that black students in their schools sold drugs and were dangerous. Others talked about ways in which black friends were unfairly singled out for punishment, or even had their bathroom access restricted.


Hagerman found important differences in the ways that parents talked to their children about race, and important differences in the ways that kids responded. But she also found that white parents — even anti-racist white parents — actively reproduce inequality.

It may seem like there's already more than enough writing about white children. After all, the vast majority of children's literature is about white kids. But, Hagerman told me by phone, "while there is a lot of writing about white kids, there is not a lot from a critical race perspective. Much of the developmental psychology literature uses white kids as the sample, but doesn't interrogate what whiteness means or how it situates them in society." White children are everywhere, but their whiteness is effectively invisible and unspoken.

Some parents, Hagerman found, preferred to keep race unspoken. Families she interviewed in a wealthy, conservative suburb, for example, tended to avoid the topic of race with their children. "They adhered to a color blind way of thinking," Hagerman told me. "They would say that race doesn't matter, or that we're beyond race." One girl told Hagerman that in her school, they weren't even allowed to say the word "racist" — it was on a list of forbidden words that also included homophobic, sexist, and racist slurs.

Kids from these families were so worried about being labeled racist that they were reluctant to identify people as black or white. Yet, obviously, the children could see racial differences — and when pressed they would sometimes say things that were racist. Hagerman reports white children telling her that black children got in trouble in school because of the way they were raised. One 12-year-old white child told Hagerman that police treat white people worse than black people — an argument contradicted by a mountain of evidence.

People who identified as more politically liberal were much more willing to acknowledge the existence of racism, and to talk to their children about it. Many of these parents identified as specifically anti-racist, and were determined to teach their kids to work against bigotry and inequality. Parents encouraged their kids to do charitable work, for example, both in their own communities and on (expensive) overseas trips.

Yet, as Hagerman told me, "all of these families in their own ways were participating in the reproduction of racial inequality." Children were sent to private school, or when they went to public school benefited from private tutors or enrichment classes. Even community service can reproduce racist ideas. It's hard to see people as equals when you always have power over them, or when your primary experience with them involves giving them charity.

The spectacle of well-intentioned people working, half unconsciously, to solidify and perpetuate their own power is not an encouraging one. "I feel like my findings are pretty dismal," Hagerman admits. "When you have people who have a lot of wealth alongside this racial privilege, they're ultimately making decision that benefit their own kids, and I don't know how you really interrupt that."

Article ends here.

James Allsup take here:


Ramblings of a cultist. What I didn't got out of it was a solution: so have kids acknowledge their privilage and abolish... private schools? Have them go to public schools where they'll get a mediocre education? But the author didn't do that himself, so what is he advocating for?

EDIT: Just realized (((who))) it is again. "Just because I sent my kids to private school doesn't mean you can do that too, whitey."
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Digital Thunder

"Goblinoid tendencies"
So this dolt sent their kid to the most upper-middle-class, over-privileged, WASP-infested kind of learning environment fucking possible and then thought “hey, maybe this institution that expects me to pay tuition higher than the average college and is guaranteed to be mostly-white isn’t the greatest place to try and engage in racial conversations without encountering self-flagellating parents and faculty and egg-shell-teetering kids”?

It’s a fucking private school. I was in one that had the same dynamic issues. What did the writer expect to happen?

ETA: I can’t imagine how dense someone has to be request that a private school ought to be even more anti-racist. Diversity and inclusivity is all you can fucking hear about in an environment like that. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a good portion of students there that’re burnt out on all that, that’s how excessive it gets.

Also Jesus Christ, being so anti-racist that banning the word “racism” is a thing?
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Cable 7
"In journalism, a hot take is a "piece of deliberately provocative commentary that is based almost entirely on shallow moralizing" in response to a news story, "usually written on tight deadlines with little research or reporting, and even less thought""
Everything this (((White Male))) has written can be summed up like that. Shallow and worthless.

Sissy Galvez
I know this is a shitty, low bar op ed but I’m very surprised Noah got this opportunity at NBC. Been insane and many outlets have quietly stopped hiring him because his writing style is trash, his opinions and conclusions absurd, and he doesn’t use actual evidence to back his writing up. He just makes shit up constantly. Everyone fucking hates him and considers him a joke.


Things will change with time. Only in summertime.
The author didn't have to put their kid in private school, just put it in a predominately minority school and what is he suggesting? Have parents talk about race the way they want to? Allow private schools to admit poor minority students for free? Have the privates schools beat them over the head talking about white privilege?


For the Emperor?!
My son wrote a short letter to the faculty explaining why they shouldn't celebrate white imperialism, and that native peoples were too often ignored or erased or pushed to the side in discussions of American history.
The author should read more about Native Americans and then teach his son. He would know then that they founded Empires too. The Aztecs, Mayans, Inca, Comanche, Apache, etc., were imperialists. To do otherwise is to whitewash American history and to push Native Americans to the side.

Sissy Galvez
"They adhered to a color blind way of thinking"

Ummm isnt that what you fucking want?
No, not anymore. Color is now used to assign victim points, to win arguments, and identify who’s most deserving of opportunities.

Does anyone know who his wife is because he was complaining about not making ends meet recently per what I said above (outlets avoiding him, one even refused to publish a piece they commissioned because it was full of lies). Not sure how he can afford a private school.

ProgKing of the North

Close to the edge, just by the Riverlands
The author didn't have to put their kid in private school, just put it in a predominately minority school and what is he suggesting? Have parents talk about race the way they want to? Allow private schools to admit poor minority students for free? Have the privates schools beat them over the head talking about white privilege?
Many private schools do offer scholarships

Sissy Galvez
What happened?
I can’t find his tweets (he tweets non-stop because he’s deranged and obsessed with twitter) but a big site commissioned something from him. The lawyers reviewed it and told Noah to fuck off because it was full of unverifiable garbage and lies so he never got it published nor paid. Then he started whining about he wasn’t getting consistent work and how he wasn’t making enough money etc. (typical twatter whining).

Around this time movieblob threw him a bone and Noah wrote some trash for the escapist.

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