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. Emily

    Good night Anderson, 360 Team, Jo Ann, Mike, David, Megan, Nancy, Starr, Gloria, & Bloggers!

    thanks for the answer to the question of the race of the interview of the children!. Have a great night.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:58 pm |
  2. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Anderson, Why were the Asian and Hispanic children omitted from this "test"? It would be interesting to see what they would have to say.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:58 pm |
  3. Kary May Malone

    I am just wondering if black women or men question the black children and white women or men question the white children and vice versa would it make a difference?

    May 17, 2010 at 10:58 pm |
  4. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA


    Good night Anderson, Megan, Joe, Jessica, Candy, David Gergen, Ed Henry, Martina, Nicole, Kim, Emily, Gloria, Dodie, Mike, Casey, Milan, Vivan, Gabriela, Cessy, Paula, Isabel, David-Indiana, JoAnn, Monica, Kathy, Gayle, Renee, Caroline, Danie, Lori, Adelaide, Heather, BettyAnn, Starr, Sharon, Casey, A. Smith, Devin, Karin Dulcie and my friend Twitter/Facebook Bloggers!!!!
    See you tomorrow night, Have a great night & Sleep tight everyone!!!

    Thanks for coming in, for join us tonight! 🙂
    Have a great night & good sleep at home after work!!!
    See you tomorrow night!!! Just a plenty sleep at home!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
  5. Kyle

    I have trouble believing this study. Wouldn't children naturally associate light or "white" with good and dark or "black" with bad? I'm no "psychologist" but that seems to be a basic part of child development. What child is scared of the light? Maybe the study could go further in that it takes samples from areas of the world that are predominately black or predominately white, or areas where children don't have any interaction with other colors of race? I think that the study is an interesting one, but has some serious flaws that need to be addressed.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
  6. Lori, S. California

    Good night everyone! Sweet dreams. Love you!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
  7. Starr, formerly known as vincent

    Thank you and good night Anderson & Team 360-great show.

    Good night all, i wish you a safe and pleasant day tomorrow.

    How do you con your way into Harvard unless you might belong there?

    May 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
  8. Diane Berube Canada

    Thank you for another great show.
    Personally, I’ve always defined beauty by the light I feel from others; the more light, the more beauty.
    I see it most when I travel, on faces and sometimes just a jolly good twinkle in the eye.
    Di 🙂

    May 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
  9. Idris

    The picture portion of the study is all wrong. Firstly, the pictures of the kids should have been spread out haphazardly across the page, and not lined up in a row. Secondly, I think the pictures should have been of actual kids and not cartoons. I'm a grown African American man and even I think a jet black cartooned kid looks a little off putting.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
  10. Shanny

    Some times I hear something said and it doesn't hit me for a few seconds or until later that it was unkind or condescending or dismissive. It's hard to go back and correct those situations.

    I tell my Cree (First Nation) friends to give me a whack if I ever say something offensive or ignorant because as a white person, I really believe we some times say rude stuff unwittingly and until it is pointed out by the people we offend we can't correct it. my friends know I'd never be unkind on purpose so we have that rule.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
  11. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    Race is not something that we have to keep sweeping under the rug. We need to air out race more.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
  12. Emily

    That is another outstanding judicial ruling! 2 for 2!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  13. Karen, MN

    Wow, that was a great study on race bias! Thanks for sharing. I'll make sure to have a talk with my teenagers.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  14. Janie

    you have to talk about it with your kids, but certainly not to the point that it's taking the child into a belief that exemplifies a negative.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  15. Emily

    @Jo Ann,
    "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. "

    Just two choices on that test was not good at all! People are not just one-dimensional. I agree with you 100%...esp. to young child.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  16. Nancy Novak

    It would be interesting to research children in families segmented according to education, economic, and regional data. I surmise that there are vast differences in north, south, east, west and mid-west regions. I surmise vast differences in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  17. Aleta Pahl

    This is my first time making a comment. I watch the show all the time, but this issue of the Gulf Disaster is too devastating to not speak up. We have to follow the oil and the oil leads straight to Ken Salazar.

    Why is the media not grilling him and pinning him down, keeping him honest. He has deep ties to the oil companies and allowed BP to drill without the basic environmental impact statement. His conflicts of interest that go so deep, he should not be at the helm of the Interior.

    He needs to resign.... or there can be no reform at all.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  18. Renee

    @ Jo Ann: The race issue is just like talking with your kids about sex or drugs or alcohol. You don't just send them out to the world with the ONE big talk. It evolves over the years based on what they are ready to discuss. Soledad summed it up. You ask children open ended questions and you sit back and listen. They have their own ideas and views. If they are too off course, you re-direct them to the facts.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  19. veronica

    My 8 year old thought all of the dolls were ugly; I agree. Are the results the same when different shades of the same person are used?

    May 17, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  20. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    @Renee, "Children are very, very curious about race."

    I am not saying that children are not aware of race, I am saying they are not deliberately racially insensitive. I think they choose out of aesthetic preference. .

    May 17, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  21. andersoncnn

    in the pilot study, the interviewer was always the same race as the child. that is proper methodology for a study like this.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  22. Arthur

    i wonder how early I can start talking to my son about this. How young is too young, or is there no such thing as too young? Being black, my parents didn't warn me about certain things and I often found out the hard way. Like when I attended a predominantly white school.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  23. Miranda Fountain Valley CA


    fantastic show tonight

    you did a really brilliant job

    night everyone


    May 17, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  24. debbie

    hi everyone I think this story is sad.. I have created a boycott bp page on facebook. spread the word. let's boycott bp memorial day weekend to hurt them the way they hurt the gulf

    May 17, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
  25. Barbara

    Anderson, I'm trying to figure out., "what's the purpose of the children colorblind survey?" I'm African American and I wouldn't want that ugly doll myself and why are "you" doing this survey? Kids aren't the problem. What you need to do is go and ask the adults. One question asked, "which doll is dumb?" If they pointed to the black doll on that question, where do you think they got it from...their parents!!!!

    This is really stupid! Seems like you're guys are trying to cause tension between the kids. Leave them alone and start with the parents.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
  26. Bobby Kalsi

    Did the color of the person interviewing the children make a difference? There was one clip I saw where it looked as if the interviewer was the same ethnic background as the child.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  27. Kelly - Harrisburg, PA

    This is a really great segment, although I am surprised at the results... means that I am out of touch.

    I remember a conversation in college with a Hispanic friend – she was being discriminated against and I said "I think of you as just like me" and she said, " that's the point, I'm not just like you." Appreciating our uniqueness and realizing we complement each other.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  28. mike babinec

    The race of the moderator could significantly bias this study( eg kids trying to please the moderator)..... use a computer/video based survey system to research this topic!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  29. Kary May Malone

    I wonder if answers would have differed based on the race of the person asking the question?

    May 17, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  30. Tanuj

    May be instead of using the words just ugly and dumb, May be you should also use the words, who would you like to help or who would you think most likely to help others, which is what this world needs at this time. Called philanthropy and giving.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  31. Emily

    All parents should be talking to their child(ren) about how to conduct themselves with the police & others in authority...

    May 17, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  32. Phuong

    Parents are critical in nurturing their children and educating them on race. More often than not parents are not educating their children enough. Public school education is only 1/2 of a child's education program. I recommend continuing research on the same children at an older age to determine the delta between ages of the same group of children. Also expand research to rural areas. I believe it would reveal an interesting mix of answers. great work on the pilot research program.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  33. Johnny


    The factual results of the study are probably correct.
    However, the reasons are not.

    Humans naturally associate bad things as dark and good things as light.

    I challenge the researcher to do this study somewhere in rural Africa and rural Asia. I predict the results will be similar.


    ps as a disclosure I am not white

    May 17, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  34. Lori, S. California

    We are biased. However, this bias is not just for African Americans. Everyone faces these things in one way or another.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  35. Ron Zucker

    Your study is extremely flawed, none of these children were given the option to answer "None" hence they are forced to make a choice of black or white. Be big enough to re-run this study giving the children the choice of one of the children or None and see if not forcing them to chose alters your results.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  36. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    I think that it is wrong for that mother to put negativity in the mind of her child.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  37. Brad

    The study of race was interesting, but I believe they children are answering a color question more than a skin color question. They believe that evil is dark, and kindness is lighter than dark. Not many people have fears of white things coming during the day, however they might feel or have fears of the dark or dark things coming out at night. I know I feel a bit better walking the streets during the day, than I would during the night.
    Brad – Anderson, SC

    May 17, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  38. Martina

    Children learn what they see and hear at home. Even within each race black white or in between there is color bias. example "dark Italian" see what I mean? Blacks have that also...light colored blacks are cute black is not. Where do the children get this? parents and the parents "friends"

    May 17, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  39. Kary May Malone

    Tears are running down my face. This hurts my heart and soul. I am a woman with 5 children and I hope to God would not answer in these negative ways! My color does not matter my thoughts do!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  40. jenny

    Wow – as a parent and a human being, I believe and I also teach my children is that intelligence and kindness have nothing to do with skin color. It is troublesome that so many children don't question the test itself - why aren't they questioning the questioner as to why the pictures don't differ on face expressions or something other than skin color? Some of the kids got it and I contratulate their parents.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  41. Emily

    They asked kids what color of skin "they want"?
    How many people are happy with what they have?
    So many think that the grass is greener on the other side...I don't find that answer to be a surprise at all!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  42. Jane - Vt

    Evening all: I wasn't going to log on tonight, but I just have to say how sad this is. Brings tears to my eyes that the kids feel that way.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  43. lisal -canada

    i love the distinction this mother made. the difference between what the boy ACTUALLY thought, vs what he thought OTHER people think. he has his own identity. what a beautiful young man. that mother should be proud.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  44. Eric

    I feel that you can not directly relate the children's picking of darker tones as being racially bias, rather that they are just picking a darker shade as evil because, in at least our culture, Black/red colors are usually associated with evil, while lighter colors are associated with good. not necessarily that the children associate any of these tests with the skin color of people at all..

    May 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  45. Renee

    @ Joann: I read Po's book cover to cover . He and his associate Ashley Merryman did some interesting research.

    I have to disagree with you. Children are very, very curious about race. They are especially curious with Asian children and white parents and white mothers with black fathers and the children being light skinned. They just don't know what to say about it and when.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  46. Sree Nanduru, Richmond, VA

    It comes from you mom – because you talk about race, as you have to!!! do you talk about your race or about all races?

    May 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  47. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    That is good point question ask little girl! I like it, Tell her, she have good girl & beautiful, too. 🙂

    May 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  48. Nancy Novak

    White parents need to have more images in their homes of black people and culture such as. art, books, and photographs. There is only one race – the human race.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
  49. Jack, Long Island, NY

    The black children who answered the question, "which color child do most adults like?" may not be the child's feeling, but the way they see adults interact with black children.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
  50. Starr, formerly known as vincent

    Not to leave my step daughter and foster daughter out.
    Although they arrived in my life older, both girls were very open and reeptive to all races.
    Both girls had friends that were other races than their own.

    Parents are important, but i still beleive that there are other factors that influences our children.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
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