May 17th, 2010
09:45 PM ET

Kids, race and bias. Are children today really colorblind? Join the live chat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

We have our landmark pilot study on race and how children see skin color. Are kids today really colorblind? Plus, major new developments on the Gulf oil spill. And the Palin factor, how much with Sarah Palin's endorsements affect key Senate primary races tomorrow?

Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Racial bias also exists within the black community. I would like to see a study on that.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
  2. Emily

    @Brandon Boyd,
    I think that it would be interesting if they asked a group of kids the same questions with pictures going the other way.
    As I said, when I was young, if you were "good" you would go to the 'front' of the line, no matter what your skin color or race...it all had to do with your behavior & grades.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
  3. Kenya

    That sweet little girl thinks her skin color is "nasty". Just heartbreaking. 🙁
    Goodnight everyone.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  4. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Anderson, If these kids were told ahead of time that they would be asked about race how do you know they weren't coached by the parents?

    May 17, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  5. Janie

    this is horrifying!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  6. Ora

    Anderson, Regarding kids and race in America-this is a taught behavior. Even during slavery darker skinned blacks were pitted against lighter skinned or bi-racial blacks. We know this problem exist, How many years will we continue to just talk about it? What will programs like this do to correct the problem?
    Thank You

    May 17, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
  7. Sharon Hastings

    While the variables are numerous for this "experiment", it is nevertheless pretty powerful how quickly they answered and the obvious white biased answers. I'm not hugely surprised but change is slow. We have an African American president now.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
  8. Shanny

    doesn't matter about the person asking the question. Even if the child thinks they have to please them shows that they are aware of others' bias regardless of their own

    May 17, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
  9. Catherine

    I wonder how much can kids perpective about race be biased by negative experiences at school. The whole thing is that this should make parents aware of it, and generate parent-children talk. This study should also make teachers and administrators think about how much we are talking about what makes you unique, starting in K-4.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
  10. Sree Nanduru, Richmond, VA

    I get the feeling that the results probably are skewed – due to questioners, order of questions, sequence of colors etc – random order on the graphic and reverse questioning orders randomly probably would have helped...also a sample size issue

    May 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
  11. Roland

    @ Jo Ann: exactly, this type of "study" would only be used as something to laugh at in any real educational institution which conduct valid studies.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
  12. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Good point there, People....... I agree all of you! 🙂

    May 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
  13. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    IMO, the children in these videos sounded rehearsed and coached. Some of the questions sounded leading, with the desired responses of the questioner contained within the question itself.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
  14. Diane Berube Canada

    I feel that these tests do little to show how far North American’s have come. I’ve lived in other counties where true racism still exists.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
  15. Lori, S. California

    Anderson, please tell that child that she is beautiful.

    Hi Everyone!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  16. Starr, formerly known as vincent

    I agree with many fellow bloggers re: tone of voice by the questioner, and other potential influenence.

    We need to realize that children are far more aware and receptive that many people give them credit for.

    Even, and especially young children are very perceptive to the world around them.

    Great interview by Anderson with the little girl.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  17. Alex

    I am interested to see if the color of the person asking the questions had an impact on the choices. In other words if the person was white was it more likely the child would respond that way. In other words if most of the persons asking the question of white kids was white did that cause the child to choose someone they thought would please the person asking the question. Similar if the questioner was african american with an african american child. How was this potential bias eliminated from the study? Having a background is statistics and not being white myself this would be an important question to be confident in the results.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  18. Emily

    The person asking the questions, of both the 'white & black', what color were they?
    Perhaps these kids were just trying to please this person?

    May 17, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  19. Jeff

    The little girl in pink is so cute, I wish she did not think that way...........

    May 17, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  20. matthew

    Were are Sarah Palin and John McCain saying drill baby drill. Maybe Mrs. Palin should donate her hair to BP to help in the clean up efforts.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  21. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    Young children use reference to somthing they heard or saw. They are much to young to even known that there is no different in race.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  22. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    I disagreed with Po Bronson's suggestion that children this young are capable of racism. They don't even know what that is.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  23. Simmie

    AC...i think there is a flaw in the study. the researchers ask the child "which child is the dumb,mean etc. child". the question should have been "is there a dumb child , etc.? the first question expects the child to choose one of the figures. the child does not know that they can choose none of the figures. this is especially true of the 5 year olds. some of the older children realize they don't need to choose any of the figures.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  24. David, Indiana

    Paul Begala noted a good pt about Sarah Palin, it does take courage to back a candidate trailing in the polls. Also, though I'm not in agree with Sarah Palin policywise, she does have actual policy positions that possibly bring the tea party more focus.

    I noticed that the young girl in the first segment of the study was older than the children in the first part of the segement. Did study result vary with the age of the children?

    May 17, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  25. Renee

    Who uses words like "dumb" and "stupid" to describe peers? This is crazy.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  26. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    I don't see anything surprising in children identifying with their own race over another. The surprise would be if they didn't. I bet you get the same kind of bias with fat/thin, short/tall, etc.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  27. Emily

    "I noticed the voice tones and the cadence of the interviewer varied so they used different interviewers."

    I noticed that too!
    I also wonder just how much the media has to do with this like other bloggers.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  28. john

    I think your study was ridiculous and even sick because it forced kids to make racial statements from the lead in questions and to make racially oriented decisions they may have never made before the were introduced to the silly gradient cartoons.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  29. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    MIT student is so stupid kid.... He was cheating their paper work at college school and fool their parents, professer, among other students, What was he thinking right now, Shame on him!!!!!!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  30. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    @Renee and Mike, It would be interesting to see if the answers remained the same no matter if the questioner was black or white.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  31. Sanela

    I am an immigrant from Bosnia. My children 6 and 5 year old 1st generation Americans are color blind. They think that all children look different (and talk different) depending where their parents come from. We went to Florida and my doughtier said Faith (her black friend) must be borne in Florida since its hot and skin gets dark. She added that her mom probably did not put sunblock.Upon my arrival to Us, I was shocked to see how un-united United States is when it comes to racial issues.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  32. Connie

    So, give Johnny and Jane all white teachers to ensure they'll learn from their preferred color of teacher i.e., color determines intelligence?

    May 17, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  33. lisal -canada

    i always had a problem with the original study – i would have liked to have seen questions preceded with those such as "do you think any of these children are bad"? (then, if Yes, which one/s).

    most children (and adults) will not answer "i don't think that question has just one answer". i would hate to suggest that the questions were leading, but only the last girl questioned the question.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  34. Janie

    learned behavior!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  35. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    The value scale should have been scrambled and the children should not have been given such "black and white" questions. By asking them which child is "good" or "bad", "ugly" or "pretty" they are forced to make a decision based on only two choices.

    If a black child says that a white child is good then they may believe that it means that the opposite is true of themselves as the black child. What child is going to say they are the bad child?

    May 17, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  36. Brandon Boyd, Henderson NC

    Great point Emily! I don't agree with that study at all. I mean come on people, it was a picture of a character the color of dark night and we asked a 5 year old who was the mean one... That's not the world we live in. Or at least I've never seen anyone that "black" before..

    May 17, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  37. Renee

    Did they say how old the children were in the testing? Views vary based on experiences.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  38. Todd Abrams

    In looking at the drawings of kids with different skin tones that kids were asked about, I believe there may be something else going on. Not only are the skin colors different, but the darker toned drawings show less facial expression. I am concerned that the lighter skin drawings show the pleasing smiling facial expression more obviously than the darker ones. I believe this biases the results.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  39. Connie

    It is very sad to see these beautiful children with ideals that are so far from where we should be as a nation. I was raised by a beautiful black woman as a white child in SC in the 60's and I grew up loving all races, for a white child from the deep south I am still suprised but it shows that love can conquer all! Let's teach our children to love each other and celebrate our differences!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  40. Starr, formerly known as vincent

    I am disappointed to see that there has been no apparent change in how some children see attributes through color.

    My 1st daughter was lucky enought(1973-76) to attend a pre-school that was very diverse. As a result, her best friends were of other races than her own.

    I know, that in part, i was supportive of inclusiveness, however, i feel that schools, TV and other elements of societal exposure very much influence even our youngest children.
    I don't believe that parents are necessarily always the root cause of their children's perceptions.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  41. tanyia

    Some parents say things in front of their kids thinking that they do not understand what they are saying.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  42. George

    If some of there questions were asked in a court, would not a judge inform the lawyer that they're asking a leading question? So, what exactly makes these questions non-leading? Why not an open-ended question, like "what is a good child look like?" without any images before them? Too difficult to quantify such questions?

    May 17, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  43. Emily

    That one girl seem to know what that test was all about! Good for her...
    very interesting to see....
    I wonder why?

    May 17, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  44. Soledad Gomez

    We should ask a bunch of adults these same questions to see what they say.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  45. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Dan in WV,
    I think there will be few months until leak stops. We will wait & see if leak stops.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  46. Sree Nanduru, Richmond, VA

    I am afraid that some questions could affirm beliefs that probably could change as the kid grows up....but these questions will only make a kid think that they are on the "Acceptable" level of analysis with the world

    Ever wonder – how many other things that the kid could think, they have the proper understanding of?

    Did any one tell them after the questioning that it should not be this way, that the skin tone reflects behavior? Please tell me some one did!!!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  47. Diane Berube Canada

    It is symmetry not color that defines beauty, visually.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  48. Sharon Hastings

    @ Starr. I see it. Thanks. And by the way to everyone, I did love the new format on Friday night. Anderson is now a talk show host too. I was shocked at the kids and skin color portion. Is it all parents though? I don't think so.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  49. Renee

    @ Jo Ann: I noticed the voice tones and the cadence of the interviewer varied so they used different interviewers.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  50. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    @Jo Ann, I was just thinking the same thing. I would hope they had both white and black people asking the questions.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
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