How To Talk About Race With Kids
This is one. A. I'm Celeste Headley in Maryland momentous news from the Supreme Court today. The court has now ruled on a program that protects seven hundred thousand Daca recipients recipients, these are folks who came to America as children and did not knowingly break the law. We're talking about the fate of the deferred action for childhood arrivals policy. It's better known as Dhaka. The program was created in two thousand twelve under President Barack Obama president trump rescinded the program twenty seventeen and then today the Supreme Court has ruled against the trump administration. on the case was a challenge to the decision to end DACA. The court says the decision by the trump administration was arbitrary and capricious with US Garrett EPPs a professor of law at the University of Baltimore and also covers Surpreme Court for the Atlantic, and he is here to help us break down hi Garrett. Hey great to be here. One is the summary from your view of this decision. What what's your takeaway? Well. You know I think that what the court? Majority has basically said is that the administration probably could have terminated this program if it wanted to. If it had put in though work, required to do it, and that the process by which the administration decided to do away with Dhaka. Was So slapdash and cynical, and basically just a sham that as in the census case. A year ago. The chief justice. Who is the swing vote? He said you know I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid. I'm not falling for this. You didn't do your the work you were supposed to do, and in particular, he says. The administration did not consider. The impact this decision was going to have on the lives of the dreamers daca recipients. Outlined some of the things that have been going on in their lives that they're in school that they hold important jobs that they have a American citizen. Children and. He basically says. That's that doesn't mean you can't do it. He says, but the administration said they didn't even need to consider that that since they thought the program was illegal, they didn't have to consider the effect on the recipients, and that's really quite important. Especially, because the opinion is careful not to say that the government had illegitimate or that it was inspired by by racism. There's A. Justice Soda, my or one of the five in the majority drops out of that port. She writes a separate opinion. Say, are you kidding me? Do you see the way Donald Trump talks about immigrants and people from south of the border, but that's only one vote. The court has a whole, said you know this is just purely a procedural decision. In what does this mean now for those seven, hundred thousand and some DACA recipients? Are they now safe from deportation again? Well, you know. Daca eligibilty was never you know the equivalent of a green card. It didn't mean that you were entitled to remain in the United States unless there was some reason to remove you. Know requires renewal every two years. And present, the administration is going to have to continue. As, it has a under court order. It's going to have to continue accepting. Applications for extension because DACA recipient has to reapply every two years, and it's going to have to grant them to the recipients who meet the criteria. this what this does is throw this decision like so many other things about our country, and it's very basic nature into the hopper for decision in November of this year because the court's opinion. Consciously not provides a erode mart map for the administration to take if they really want to. Go after DACA. I think that what really was going on with that. The administration wanted to pretend that Dhaka was illegal and it wasn't doing this voluntarily. It was just being forced to by the law. And the Supreme Court says that dog won't hunt because you know the the legal authorities you were relying on a. don't say what you said they said. Dhaka may be illegal, but it hasn't been decided, and you can't pretend you're not making this decision and blame it on the courts. In so to my yours Portion that you described, she said quote taken together. The words of the president helped to create the strong perception that the recision decision was contaminated by impermissible discriminatory animus. What does that mean in what? What significance is it when one justice writes their own portion of a decision? Well, you know this is? This is very similar to what happened. With, the travel ban case because of course in the travel ban case the issue was also. These extensive history of bigoted and hostile. Statements that Donald Trump had made both before, and after becoming President and to what extent should the court pay attention to those? When the administration says well, here's our travel ban and see it's neutral. It doesn't say anything bad about Muslims and the court in that case said that they were gonNA. Approve the travel ban and not pay any attention to what the president said. In in the the same thing is going on in this case but there are only four justices for that approach, and what's fascinating is of course that it's chief justice, Roberts, and then the courts other three liberals called Justice Breyer Kagan. And GINSBURG, who join in that, so there's there's some indication to me that there's a little bit of brokering back and forth at the chief justice did not want to tag the administration with the label of racism, and that label would have made it much harder to rescind Daca, again. If the president is elected to a second term so it to some extent limits the force of the decision, but I hasten to add. This is a very sweeping and important decision I'm not belittling at all. It's just fascinating to see how reluctant accord is to to say what most people really perceive which is that the president has? INSPIRED BY animus against! The immigrants from south of the border. The Supreme Court has been described as a conservative court, but we get this decision in which the chief justice joins the majority of five to four decision, supporting the rights of immigrants. we the? Ruling protecting lgbtq workers. Have experts been misreading the the makeup that least the political makeup of the court? Well I. Don't think that that's the case I. Mean I think that you know? There are two classes of cases, the ordinary run of cases that. Include things like civil rights, and then they're the administration cases. This is an administration case. President trump was asking the court to bless something. He had done and say that he could go forward with the policy. This administration has an absolutely rock solid block of four justices who are administration judges. You know I swear if Donald Trump wanted to to. Blow up, Mount Rushmore. Four justices would say that was a perfectly good thing to do. and you have of course, the four moderate liberals. Who are really very suspicious of this administration, and then the chief justice is in the middle. When you have a case like the title seven case that was decided. Earlier this week in which the court said that title seven prohibits discrimination against. On the basis of sexual orientation or transgenders status the administration. Took aside in that case, they were opposed. To having title seven extended that, but it wasn't a donald trump case. And in that case you know, judges do have their own judicial philosophies. Justice Gorsuch is very strong proponent of a certain kind of reading of statutes. And that reading led him in the direction of. Finding that the statute did in fact. Cover this kind of discrimination. Interesting to to watch there, of course, is that the chief justice also join that opinion making it a six to three. But that that's that's kind of a different judicial politics. Thing, it's not, it's not. Anything that helps or hurts trump. It's not anything that helps hurts the Republican Party. And that I think is where the fault lines are. I want to say. Thank you to Garrett EPPs professor of law. The University of Baltimore covers the Supreme Court for the Atlantic Gary thank you so much. Great to talk to you. After, a quick break, we'll get into how we're talking to children about racism, police, brutality and safety more in just a moment. I'm Celeste, head lead. This is one eight. This message comes from NPR sponsor legalzoom. We're all faced with new challenges these days. If you need legal help for yours count on legal zoom, have questions about setting up a will or a living trust. Do you want to start a business? As a DB A or LLC legalzoom can help, you can start online, and their network of attorneys can provide advice when you needed, and since legal zoom isn't a law firm. You don't have to leave your home and you won't get charged by the hour visit legalzoom dot com today for more information. Do you talk about the news with your friends, your family or perfect strangers, you can get all the facts. You need to be up to speed on the one A. News Roundup. Find The podcast in your feed every Friday. For James McBride racism in this country has been a disease as been the cancer that is has been killing us, and now we want to address the problem I mean. You can't address the canceled until you know you have it. And these people are seeing the cancer author James McBride on protests, pandemic and his new book listen to. It's been a minute from NPR. This is one A.. Heavily last month, the entire nation watched as a man, lay dying beneath the knee of officer. It was difficult to watch even for adults. So how do you explain that to a child? Some parents tell their kids again and again that if they're in trouble, they should run to a police officer. So how do you explain that the police can sometimes be a threat? It can be tempting to think you can protect your children from discussions about George Floyd or Ahmad armory or Briana Taylor or Tamir Rice or a Tatyana Jefferson or any of the others who've died violently at the hands of police officers, but any parent knows that kids are watching and they see more than we want them to. For Black Kids. This isn't just a lesson about politics. It's a necessary discussion about safety and possibly a call to action to join other black youth at a protest. How do you talk to a black child about the black lives matter movement when they may have never realized. There are people who think their lives don't matter. It's a lot. One correspondent, such and Simon's has had many conversations with her daughters about racial slurs, systemic racism policing and the black lives matter movement when she asked her twelve year old about. what the movement is about Mikhail, said it's a quote movement to make everybody equal especially black lives because people disrespect them, and they still do which is really sad and quote. Having to grapple with the possibility of violence at such a young age can have lasting impact on a child's mind. When a correspondent session and Simon spoke with some young protesters and psychologist, Rita Walker to find out what those impacts are. A. Viral video captures a seven year old black girl, marching in a New York protest, chanting with a scowl on her face, piercing Brown eyes her tiny fists swinging in the air, demanding the protection of black lives. It's a moment that should never have happened, but here we are. went to a more is the quintessential young black girl complete with missing front tooth, her hair and corn rows with pretty white beads fixed on the ends, but on that day long island went to a more was wise, well beyond her seven years after George Floyd, a black man was killed by a White Minnesota police officer, anger and outrage among black Americans spread from the GROWNUPS who've seen it all before to the next generation bearing the burden of putting an end to it. Wise manage. blocked. The. Listen. We're peacefully protesting I believe everyone should be treated equally no matter what color they are. We're trying to make people. Know that we are going to make history doing this. We don't want to do any harm. All we want to do is be heard eleven year old Jeremiah a black boy in Washington. DC has cerebral palsy news a wheelchair to get around still he attended protests with mom and dad. Of the White House and what's going on out here? We're protesting because. A white man killed a Batman May by George Floyd. Injustice? nope. In black families, the race talk comes early and it's painful. It's not optional because there's this odd transition where children of color are no longer viewed as cute kids rather some see them as threats. It's a conversation I'm having in my home where I'm raising my two daughters. They're twelve and thirteen excited to explore the world around them unafraid to speak their minds when I say black lives matter. What do you think of? It should movement to make everybody equal especially black lives because. People. Don't people disrespect to them? And they still do which is really sad. My teenager gets most of her from social media APPS. It was on Tiktok, where she I witnessed the officer neal on George Floyd's neck killing him. She's watched that video so many times and other videos of black men and women killed by police, and though my daughter hasn't been to a protest, she's fighting the cause virtually. Literally it got to the point where I couldn't scroll and find Anything, non-related black lives to the black lives matter protesting or George Floyd, but there was also a lot of all lives matter people on there. I literally have replied to so many comments. Yeah I put people in place. I've had to put restrictions on the girls. Social Media Use a talk with them about the unrest playing out across the country, the ugly history of systemic racism in America and try to assure them that they'll be safe to walk the streets and drive a car without fear of being hurt by police. And as their mother, who is a black woman, who also happens to be a news reporter? I know this is all just too much for them to bear. You can't have a certain level of psychological wellbeing when you're dealing with racism on a day to day basis, and not even recognizing it Dr. Rita Walker is a psychology professor at the University of Houston. She's also the author of the unapologetic guide to black mental health. She says black households are experiencing a high level of stress. Anxiety levels are up. Depression is on the rise, and they're just playing exhausted when parents aren't at their best. It. Is that much more difficult to help their child who is also struggling, but may not even have the words to communicate what it is they're dealing with. And so the child made themselves feel anxious if they've seen the news and heard about these stories and I'm children are being exposed to trauma for the first time, and they really don't understand or have word because adults do not have the words to explain what's going on right down. There isn't a roadmap for raising kids. Let alone. Alone talking to them about racism and two parents trying to decide whether it's okay for the kids to protests. Walker says it depends on the child. If it's filed, says I want to be out there, and this is important to me to make sure that there's a conversation about the expectations. Like what did they expect is going to happen as a result of being out there like what does this mean to them like keeping the dialogue open, not just before the event and green even. After the event to process. I met up with John Kelly at one of several black lives matter protests in DC this month. He's nineteen on me. I've been passionate about that issue. In different issues that impact US minorities especially by people here in. America, because you know get a fair shot. We have to overcome many obstacles. just to. Become successful just to To move forward in life. His twin brother was shot and killed in two thousand Seventeen and Zion has been on the front lines protesting against gun violence ever since he supports the current movement to define the Police in Zion is working to ignite the same passion and others. Of My friends, we plan on holding conversations talking to different black men different youth. to inspire them and to get them active in their community, and thinking about who they are the identity and you know. Educating themselves, so we can move forward as a black community. Alexis Jones is an eighteen year old activists in DC. Her fight for change began at her high school when she joined a gun. Violence Intervention Group gun violence police. Brutality is all related so. It's kind of frustrating me. Personally, that is like everybody's like. Oh, my gosh, this is happening. It's been happening like it's nothing new. It's easy for protesters on the front lines to let the unrest and trauma takeover. Their lives at times like this self care is key. And though that can be hard to do both Alexis and Zion say they're giving it a try. I've learned how to mentally cope with things not going necessarily how you would envision into go, but. It has been like. Very trying to think of word. Like I felt hopeless at times, knowing that I'm never gonNA. Stop fighting like this is all I've ever wanted to do is to help people. I do ups. But I work out I like to run. Jog. and. I listen to music that really. That really the form of Care to me for parents of younger kids, Dr Walker. has this advice for easing that mental toll, maybe third or fourth grade or being available to communicate, even if the child said I. DON'T WANNA. Talk about it or I. Don't know you know the common response or nothing. To say I am here whenever you're ready to talk and I love you. Look. We. Law For a younger child, maybe just be available to play whatever creative play they come up with. You know to present. The US things that any parent can do. Besides making sure they're okay is to be proactive, and if your children are still having trouble processing their thoughts and feelings in this moment. Says, it might be time to pursue some professional help. For one a I'm Sasha an Simon's. Up Next if you've avoided talking to your kids about race until now it's probably time to stir up your courage and have the conversation. Don't worry. We have expert advice to help you get through it. Steadily you're listening to. This message comes from NPR sponsor facebook. It's a challenging time for small businesses in communities across the country. FACEBOOK's business resource hub offers free tools to help manage a business support customers and employees and connect with other business owners who are facing similar challenges from information on how to bring a business online to setting up a customer service plan facebook's business resource. How can provide resources learn more at facebook dot com slash resource. Throughout America's history, small choices have compounded into big inequalities. I'm a immorality. Injustice gets ingrained. That's on the Ted Radio hour from NPR. Subscribe or listen now. I'm Celeste Headley. There's a conversation that every parent needs to have with their kids, and I'm not talking about the birds and the bees I'm talking about race for black parents, discussing race and racism is not a choice that talk has to happen at a young age, but many white kids can go their entire childhoods without ever having a real conversation about racism, and that possibly is because why adults can avoid talking about race if they really want to while black. Can't white parents who tell their children not to see? Color are not helping schools that have run of the mill black history month. Programs are not doing enough joining me now to discuss how we should speak to our kids about race and racism is author, illustrator and filmmaker Vashem Harrison. She's the number one new. York Times bestselling author illustrator of little leaders, bold women in black history and many other titles including hair love fast. Thank you so much for being with us. Thanks for having me. Dr Near. Garissa is a pediatrician and researcher at the end and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern University she's also chair of the section on minority, health, equity and inclusion at the American. Academy of Pediatrics Dr Garrison Welcome to one A.. Thank you. Thanks for having me and Bettina love is professor of educational theory and practice at the University of Georgia and author of we want to do more than survive abolitionist, teaching and the pursuit of educational. Freedom Professor Love Welcome to the show. Oh thank you for having me. So Dr Gary you're a guest on the CNN Sesame Street townhall. It was called coming together, standing up to racism. Let's take a listen I. Question? I wanted to be a neurosurgeon. When I grow up, cannot operate on races. To change them. Oh Dr Gareth. I want to tell Kyle. Yes, but you are medical professional here so I'm GonNa, leave that one, do you? Absolutely doctors and I'm still exciting. You're going to join us. You Operate, and you cure for everyone, no matter their Addison's, but with that being said we are working really really really hard to change people's hearts and minds and policy, so that later on you don't have to operate on raises evils brain. You can operate knowing that everyone is behind you in for you. So doctor. I don't know how much we know about whether racism can be inherited I'm assuming it can't, but we do know that racism. When it's present in a community or in a society, it can have negative impacts on children's development. Is that correct? Absolutely wild kids are in school around age, nine and ten, their attitudes towards race, racial identity, racism and the like are really starting to solidify, and it takes essentially life changing experiences to challenge or rethink those beliefs. And behavior, so it's really important to start to have those conversations before then, but certainly wants children are exposed to racism, and that can be directly so hearing name. Being called or witnessing. Racially charged events on TV or social media, those things can absolutely impact their mental health primarily, but we're starting to see more research that it's done in the physical health space, too, so when we say mental health, you know we're thinking about depression anxiety as well as PTSD and then behavior, so having more aggressive behaviors, but also being becoming more withdrawn, so there's a myriad of health impacts that racism can have either on the child directly by by being a victim of racism or indirectly by hearing. Hearing about it or witnessing it or seeing it some other way. I have a question from Olga who says my five year old has his mind set on being a police officer right now, so we've been talking to him a lot about being just and protecting people I feel bad, because with the endless wise I come to a dead end. Sorry, Buddy, I don't know why I don't know why. People are mean to each other I have no good explanation for him. Fash St. how can art like yours? Answer, wise for for people, how does the art the books that you make an and other authors? Step in at this point. And I think. That the process of understanding. How other people throughout history have experienced their lives I think will help kind of open up our ideas for what is possible for each of ourselves so in my third book. Legends exceptional men in Black History I tell the story of Bass Reeves who was the first black deputy US marshals in the states. And so it's a story about a COP. But what I tried to showcase was that he used his ingenuity, and his his quick thinking to solve problems, he actively tried not to use violence. He used traps to catch bad guys so I wanNA kind of showcase that there are ways that we can use our skills. We can use the things that are inside of us to help the world around us and to help other people, so I know that they're going to be questions and I don't think any of that's how all the answers but I. Think it's important to understand that that that's okay and that we can work towards getting their one step at a time. we do have questions about schools from our listeners and let me start with you. Professor Love Sailor tweets this I did my best as a white teacher of mostly black students, but I always had to do my own research to be able to teach about black figures in US history, who were not slaves? The textbooks basically leave it at mlk Harriet Tubman and slavery. What advice do you have for teachers? So I think the first thing teachers have to understand and sadly is that we don't do enough in teacher. Education programs to prepare teachers to go out and be what we call culturally relevant right so to be costly relevant means that you have study black and Brown folks culture, and so we want teachers to go out into the classroom and talk about black history, but honestly they haven't taught. They haven't learned any black history I can go through by entire teacher, education program, and not take one class and African American history, and so she's right much of the work she has to do. will be on her own, and so what? I try to tell my students. Is that start building a database and I'm not saying that you have to read everything today, but just have a running document of documentaries of articles of books and start to have conversations with. Your coat other teachers. Hey, have you read this? Have you thought about this? Start Building your database? Start Building. Places where you can go and feel comfortable to start having conversations about these things, and but it is going to be for a teacher to try on his or her own to learn a lot, because we just don't do a great job in teacher, education programs, telling the rich and beautiful history about black and Brown folks. So. Dr Heard Garris. How you see this as a positive and I approach this question, especially because you are in the medical field a lot of times. When you think about having discussions about race, it can feel very heavy. It can feel like a burden it can. You can sometimes people tell me that they feel dread about it. Are there benefits to it? That might give it a more positive reflection. No I think that's an interesting question. When that I haven't been asked before, but I appreciate it because I think there are positives, and I think one of the big positives. Is that if feels like now that? This massive problem that's been in the consciousness of black and Brown folks for a very long time is now entered. White consciousness, and then more the public space. It feels like that. There is energy in this tie that hopefully things will actually change and I. Think one of the things I think about is giving something a name so I think it's really hard when you have different symptoms of a medical illness and your you go to different doctors and you're trying to say this is what's going on. This is what's going on, and people can't give it a name, but somehow when you get a name for an illness, you get A. A Name for disease or whatever there's power that comes with that. Because then you can learn about it. You can do something about it. You can talk about it. You can join other support groups for until I think with US finally being able to name the problem us being society naming that there is a problem. empowers us to do something about it, and so I think that's one of the biggest positives I really feel like this energy is different than it's been in the past and so that's my hope. A net rights this. We assumed it was a good thing if we didn't talk about race of their kids. If we didn't draw attention to race as an important distinguishing characteristic about people, we made a point of watching sesame street, and not mentioning wrenching, racial or ethnic differences I think we managed to raise non-racist racist kids, but we would have benefited from this discussion. It's only white parents who have the luxury of trying to raise colorblind children. So when the minute or so that we have left professor love. I want to ask you that same question. Instead of seeing this as a conversation that parents. Have to dread, are there? Things to look forward to in this discussion. So I think that's a really wonderful question, and I just want to end by saying that. When we think about black folks, we think about trauma and pain and death, and that's part of the black experience, but that isn't everything, and so we also gotTA. Make sure as parents that were giving a full story, and so for me I find joy. In helping teachers and parents see the fullness of black life beyond just trauma in depth. That is University of Georgia. Professor Bettina Love. We also spoke with pediatrician and researcher Dr Neha heard Garris and author illustrator Vashinsky Harrison a vast. He's books include little leaders, bold women in black history, little dreamers, visionary women around the world and little legends, exceptional men in black history and professor Patina loves book is called. We want to do more than survive abolitionist teaching, and the pursuit of educational freedom thank. All of you for your insight and expertise today. This conversation was produced by Daniel Night in Charlotte frequent and edited by Matthew, Simonsen to learn more about them and the rest of the team visit the one eight dot org. This program comes to you from WMU. Part of American University in Washington distributed by NPR. I'm Celeste Headley. Thank you so much for listening. This is one eight.