April 6th, 2012
04:26 PM ET

Your response to 'Kids on Race'

Tune in to CNN at 8 and 10 p.m. ET and on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET for AC360's special series.

For the past year, Anderson Cooper and the producers at AC360° worked on a project that explores how children form opinions on race. The purpose of  "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture" was to find out more about when they notice race, what informs their views and how all of that differs for black and white children.

We commissioned an original study and partnered with renowned child psychologist and University of Maryland professor Dr. Melanie Killen. Dr. Killen's role was not just to design and implement the study, but also to help us analyze the findings so we could inform parents and teachers.

Anderson wrote in his blog, "I hope this study helps us all consider how our perceptions of race impact our thoughts and behaviors, and also what messages adults are passing down to children."  The data we gathered is attention-grabbing, but what's equally fascinating is hearing the raw, unfiltered thoughts of kids as young as six. Their honest comments along with the results paint a picture of how far we've come in teaching the next generation about equality and acceptance - and how much farther we have to go.

All week we've presented the study to you, and in return you've given us your reactions and shared your personal stories. Thank you for contributing to this ongoing national discussion on Twitter, our Facebook and Google Plus page, our blog, and iReport.

LauraLynn Dangelo I taught my two boys at a very early that we all are one, we are the human race and not segregated into colors. I told them that no matter who they chose to love is their choice and I will accept it as long as they are respected into their relashionship.

Linda Desai Huh...Racism is Ugly...it does not need to be swept under the rug....pretending it does not exist!!....Bravo to Anderson Cooper for his attempt to educate us and show our ignorance!!!

Kristina Wood Dunn I think even when there isn't racism in a home kids notice at a young age that we are not all the same colors. It is how parents address the issue with them that is important.

Becca Mertens fascinating study. it brings up a lot of questions I never really considered. I hope I raise my kids to know that God made everyone different and theres nothing wrong with being friends with kids of other races and dating anyone of a different race.

Appreciate this special – it's always helpful to see abstract concepts lived out in real life. Would love to see Asians, Hispanics, Polynesians included more in this conversation to understand the construction and consequences of race in more than a black-white dichotomy. DanekaS

April Boutilier-Ferguson I believe it starts as early as they open their eyes and observe their environment that is either negative or positive toward other races -religion n so forth. Remember, we r all born with a clean slate that is determined by our environment.

I watched this and I was amazed by what I saw. I live in South Africa and I grew up during the apartheid democracy transition Although we had a black domestic worker, I was taught that we are not different even though she and her children were black, and they lived in a seperate area in town. George

Shelly Sidhu My daughter is seven and honestly I'm not ready to think about her dating ANYBODY for at least ten more years but I would hope we would approach it the same way my parents did when I brought home her father for the first time. They didn't just see him as an Indian, but as someone who treated me well, was of good character and sincere.

My daughters are five and three and if they were put on video, I don't know what they would say - I know what I think they would say about race, but you never know until the camera is on front of them...The reason why I'm optimistic about the video (Kids on Race) is because it shows when kids are exposed to diverse environments, they respond to the diversity that they see and they're more able to accept people..." Omekongo

I think racism definitely still exists. The solution will be more dialogue and more understanding. liereport

We never, as parents, brought up the subject of racism with our children...We just assumed our children would learn to like most people, hopefully...racism will probably always exist no matter what. Joanniebalon

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Filed under: Kids on Race • Race in America
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. John

    I thought this study was interesting. I go to college at a school I would consider very diverse and I do look at diversity positively. One of the things I thought was interesting about this study is that white kids tend to see race as a way to get in trouble. Perfect example is Trayvon Martin. All a black person has to do is say "It's because I'm black" and it creates a firestorm. Kids (most kids) don't play with guns because they're afraid of the consequences that come with guns when things go wrong. The same thing could be happening with race because of our racial bias and we don't even realize it. Another example of why I think this study makes sense, my uncle applied for a job at a fire dept. He was turned down because they needed to meet quota for the number of black people, even though he tested better and was more qualified than any other canditate. A black man got the job just because he was black and my uncle didn't get the job because he was white. Black kids in the study had a more positive outlook on race than white kids. Could that have something to do with it? What do you think would happen if we started a White Panther Party? My first thought is to think of Nazi's and evil and the public backlash that comes with it, but for some reason a Black Panther Party is perfectly justified. Also, whereas adults get in trouble with the law, kids get in trouble by their parents. Parents usually try to teach kids the laws of the society so when they become adults, they know the laws and ethics of the society. Parents learn right and wrong from our laws and that is then taught down to their kids. It may be a much deeper problem than just parents not talking with their kids about race because kids pick up on how their parents are affected by race in our society. It's just something to consider.

    April 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  2. Tom

    We as a world have racial bias inherent to our varied cultures. These ingrained conceptions are based on eons of the inability to communicate. In this modern world of knowledge at your fingertips; we are finally seeing that we are not so different in our goals,beleifs and dreams. Maybe we can someday come to the conclusion that there is only one race on this planet. The human race, with all of it's diversity, it is a singularity.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:47 am |