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TomS
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« on: February 16, 2007, 08:46:41 PM »

http://www.cnn.com/video/player/player.html?url=/video/us/2007/02/16/lemon.kiri.davis.interview.cnn

CNN's Don Lemon talks to young filmmaker Kiri Davis about her re-creation of an old experiment.
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falafel333
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2007, 09:03:52 PM »

I'm not sure how accurate the interpretations and extrapolations of this experiment are considering certain cultural preconditionings and contextualisations...For as long as man has existed black has been considered a symbol of evil, darkness, wickedness, death, bad, etc while white has tended to prefigure holiness, purity, goodness, etc...
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2007, 09:09:13 PM »

Doesn't surprise me one bit.  There are too many aspects/places in society that re-enforce that stereotype.  The kids are smarter than they let on - they've picked up all the messages even at such a young age.

I did get a good chuckle out of Kiri's constant emphasis on the negative impact the media has had on Blacks' image - ironic, since she's on Turner TV, which is a major player in the formation of this image.
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TomS
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2007, 09:14:54 PM »

What saddens me is that after 50 years of various affirmitive action programs, Black Studies programs in colleges, and Black History Month's that there seems to be small progress being made in gaining a positive self-concept.

Of course, it is hard for me to relate. With me being a good lookin white boy and all!  Grin
« Last Edit: February 16, 2007, 09:16:04 PM by TomS » Logged
falafel333
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2007, 09:44:20 PM »

Perhaps a better experiment would have been to show pictures of black and white children and see which one they'd rather play with...
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2007, 01:57:59 PM »

They've done that already - and accuse toddlers of racism!  This can be cured by a new pill - watch for details on your TV or better still don't - especially during Great Lent.
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2007, 04:42:10 PM »

They've done that already - and accuse toddlers of racism!  This can be cured by a new pill - watch for details on your TV or better still don't - especially during Great Lent.

Did the black kids rather play with the white kids? Do you have a reference?
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2007, 01:05:21 AM »

Notice the select interviews.  The boy says that this doll is nice because "He's" white.  The girl says this doll is nice because She's white and this doll is not because He's black.

Subtly, they're not only sharing personal experiences on how they view race, but also genders.  It's a natural part of the growth of anyone to develop certain stereotypes in order to tell the difference of one from the other.  I don't believe it's merely a self-esteem issue so as to take away the stereotypical factors of a child (like the superheroes or cartoons they watch, the society they're in, the toys the usually play with, etc.).  If self-esteem was the sole issue, you would assume that they might have a constant feeling of not liking their own gender. 

Maybe it's "bad" because it's not something that they're accustomed to seeing in a toy, that toys should be white, or that this should be a strong boy that I'm playing with, not a girlie Barbie doll, because I'm a boy.

A better experiment with a more proper control is necessary to understand the real reason of most of these children.  I would venture to say that it's more so stereotypical than self-esteem.
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2007, 05:21:23 AM »

Now I can't download the video (internet at my university is a joke), but I kind of get the jist of the problem at hand. One thing I'd like to mention is sort of what minasoliman was getting at. I don't think that racisicm is really a very big problem nowadays . It exists for sure, but not in anyway that minorities are held behind in a systematic effort. The problem that I see is that each race seems to have certain stereotypes, but the black community is the only one who's stereotypes seem to be exclusive. What I mean by this is when a member of any stereotyped race breaks their stereotype, it isn't that big of a deal, but when a black person breaks a stereotype, I've seen that it usually causes him/her to be labeled as "white" or "not black". The stereotype seems to be a part of identity.

For example, I'm Coptic by birth, and as such, I'm Egyptian. However, I grew up in a small town in the Midwest, and all of my friends were white country-boy types (I know this is a stereotype as well, but it's the shortest explaination I can give). I still have that culture imprinted on me: I drive an old American muscle car, I listen to bands such as ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and I'll take an American beer over an imported one anyday. Glasslands and country scenery aren't boring to me, they're relaxing. I've had people label me as "the most redneck egyptian" they've ever seen. It doesn't bother me, but I sometimes wonder how it would be if I was African-American. Would people tell me that I was "not black" for my choice in music, clothes, etc.? I've never been told that I am "not-egyptian", and I don't think I'd respond well if someone did say that.

The problem seems to be that the stereotypes can be restrictive in terms of who you are culturally.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2007, 05:27:42 AM by FHL » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2007, 08:33:42 AM »

Like I said, the results don't surprise me one bit.  The brain forms many stereotypes in order to survive - we couldn't live without them (such as "all people with guns may be lethal" or "all foods with mold will make me sick" or "walking in front of moving cars will kill me").  So it doesn't surprise me. 

However, the point that she is getting to is that, thanks to whatever reinforcement the parents are giving and the kind of cultural and racial self-identity the kids should have, they should have identified the black dolls as being more attractive or preferrable - despite whatever theories there are about evolutionary preference towards white and whatnot.  Remember, theoretically you have a culture (modern African-American) which is trying to instil in its children the sense of racial pride (which isn't bad) - and their efforts are being fought by culture and circumstance, and in many cases being thwarted.

As for any other factors in the movie (mina pointed out possibly a gender element) - these are common to kids of that age, who are generally socializing voluntarily within their gender, and often have stereotypes about the other; this phase is considered pretty healthy in their development.  I didn't pay enough attention to the movie to catch anything like that, but it makes sense.
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