It is nice to know that the British are, if nothing else, the world's radar when it comes to spotting racist attitudes, especially in children. As if it wasn't ludicrous enough when British Airways announced it would remove meat dishes from its meal selections, (at least in coach) for fear of offending Hindus, now comes the startling revelation that even the littlest of tots may harbor racism in their dear little hearts. How might that happen, you ask? Perhaps
they were raised in a white supremacist cult? Perhaps they had parents or other relatives that would speak derogatorily of other cultures? No, nothing so blatantly obvious.
Yes, you see parents of the world, your little ones may one day grow up to wear a white hood or throw a "Sig Heil," all because you gave them something to eat that was just a little different from their normal fare.
According to the London-based National Children's Bureau, it "says to be aware of children who "react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying 'yuck'." Let me get this straight: Little Johnny or little Jane, who may be no more than say, 3 or 4 years old, whose taste buds are not yet the same as an adult, and who may not like certain textures and tastes, are to be labeled as having "racist tendencies" when they don't even have an inkling of what a racist or racism is? Hmm? What if they don't like certain foods that are associated with their own ethnic group? Should we then label them as "anti-social" because they exhibit tendencies that are different from the norm within their ethnic grouping?
What if they don't like broccoli? Are they prejudiced against vegetarians, and disrespectful of their lifestyle?
Political correctness has run wild in this world, and this is only the latest in a long series of examples. I would never, ever deny that one should be respectful of another person's culture, belief system, sexual orientation, etc. However, taken to the extreme (as this is an example of) it can only serve to have the opposite effect of what one is intending to do.
Now, the article states that, ""Racist incidents among children in early years settings tend to be around name-calling, casual thoughtless comments and peer group relationships," the guide says." Ok, I can understand the premise behind that statement, but it is so broad as to be meaningless. What separates racism from plain old bullying? It would seem that is a step up, from just your garden variety thing that kids do and say to each other.
The bottom line in my mind is this; it is one thing to spot racist tendencies in children early, but to my reckoning, you need a far better parameter than a child turning up his nose at ethnic foods, or foods they are not used to. If that were the case, then I should have been branded a racist long ago for saying "yuck" to oxtail and collared greens, and that was as an adult. Most children's tastes change with age, and they find that they will like foods as an adult that they could not stand as a child. It is a normal part of development.
I don't want to even think about what a child would be labeled if they used the word "bleech."
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