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White Parents Still Teach Kids ‘Colorblindness.’ That’s A Big Problem


Talking to children about race and racism is a difficult undertaking for parents, regardless of their background. And a small but timely new study published this week suggests white parents may have an especially long way to go in leading those conversations, finding that many are still espousing a “colorblind” ideology that does little to raise race-conscious children and that has been called “bad for everyone.” “There’s a subtle distinction between saying ‘race doesn’t matter’ and ‘race shouldn’t matter,’” Jamie Abaied, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Vermont and an author on the new study, published in the journal Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, told HuffPost. Abaied, whose research often focused on how parents and their children talk to each other about people who are different from them, added that the concept of “‘colorblindness’ is sort of muddying the waters.” “It might make it harder for children to understand that racism is real if parents are also saying ‘race isn’t important,’” she said. “Because it is important for people’s lived experience.”

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