Editor's note: Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Anderson Cooper and AC360° producers created a study exploring kids' views on race, and tune in tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
It had been a while since our production team hung out in elementary or middle schools, but while some things change, others remain the same. Some kids were still cliquey, bells still rang when it was time to change classes and students still walked in single file lines. But students today seem to be more affected by the constantly changing world around them, in a way many from my generation weren't. There was talk of bullying, Martin Luther King and equality - and those comments came from both 6-year-olds and 13-year-olds. From the mouths of babes!
Spending time with young people is always invigorating. However, for our team, working 12 straight hours, starting at 4 and 5 am, left us depleted by the end of some days. Also, we were on an early morning school schedule which is something members of our late-working AC360 staff aren't used to normally.
AC360° hired renowned child psychologist and University of Maryland professor Dr. Melanie Killen to design and implement our study that examines children's perceptions of race. The results are the basis for Anderson Cooper's special series "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture." We asked Dr. Killen to highlight key findings, offer advice to parents on how and when to teach about equality and shed light on the thinking behind her methodology.
Watch the series of Q&A videos to get deeper insight on the year-long investigation.
In part two of Anderson Cooper's special report, kids give honest feedback on racial and social issues.
Dr. Killen tells Anderson Cooper and Soledad O'Brien how adults need to approach the topic of race with their children.
Reporter's Note: President Obama has signed a new law. I’ve signed another letter to the White House.
Dear Mr. President,
So you signed this new law banning insider trading by members of Congress and some other government officials. Fair enough. It seems like an idea with strong public support, and presumably a lot of people will be happy the parties finally came together to take such a step.
Your notion that this will help restore public confidence in government, however, I think may prove optimistic. After all, even having to create such a law says something pretty awful about the natural ethics of some of our elected leaders. Seriously, do you think anyone should have needed to be told this was wrong?
I’m reminded of that Seinfeld episode when George is caught having sex in the office with a cleaning woman and his response to his boss is something like, “Was that wrong? Because if I’d have had any idea that sort of thing was frowned upon…”
I’m not wrecking on you, your party, or any of the backers of this bill. It’s just that, once again, it seems to suggest that DC types constantly make the mistake of thinking anything is ethical if it is not illegal. (Personally, I think that is a convenient misapprehension enjoyed by people who are basically not inclined to be ethical anyway.)
I think ethical behavior is specifically what we do because it is right; regardless of the law. For example, there may well be nothing illegal about me deceiving a co-worker. Let’s say there is a job open that I want, and I simply tell a potential competitor for the position that it won’t be open until next week. I could give myself a decided edge, and my actions would not be illegal. But they would certainly be unethical.
No, I suspect that new laws forcing our “leaders” to do what they ought to do anyway, will not improve the public’s opinion of government. Now, if some elected leader came forward to admit such misdeeds and said “It was not illegal, but I know it was wrong;” that might have more effect.
It’s hard to give credit to the cheater, who stops cheating only because he was caught.
Call if you have a moment. I’m around.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with