Last week, a mom from Louisville, Ky. went viral after she posted a sweet exchange with her 5-year-old son on Facebook.
In it, she shared how her son Jax wanted to shave his head so he could look just like his best friend Reddy.
The kicker? His best friend Reddy is black.
“He said he couldn’t wait to go to school on Monday with his hair like Reddy’s so that his teacher wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. He thought it would be so hilarious to confuse his teacher with the same haircut,” wrote Rosebush. ““If this isn’t proof that hate and prejudice is something that is taught I don’t know what is. The only difference Jax sees in the two of them is their hair.”
Her post has since received more than 221,000 likes and has been shared more than 100,000 times with many leaving comments praising Jax.
“Damn that gave me chills reading that, love children man wish they could keep that innocence forever,” wrote one commenter. “You are an inspiration to us adults Jax,” wrote another.
However, some people see this as proof of something else entirely.
A few have noted that this is another example of white privilege. Jax can shave his head and believe that he looks exactly like his black pal Reddy — but Reddy is probably hyper aware of the differences in their skin tones.
Research shows that kids as young as five displayed racial bias viewing white people as “kinder” and “prettier” than black people.
Sociologist Debra Guckenheimer thinks colourblindness, as Rosebush’s post suggests, shouldn’t be the goal. Instead, embracing colour and race is.
“So what are we doing when we don’t talk to White children about race and racism? We don’t stop the process of them being socialized to racial bias. Instead, we socialize kids to perpetuate racism,” she writes in a post on Medium. “Racism is now upheld by people who do not see themselves as racist and would not think of using racist terminology. They see themselves as color-blind, denying their racial biases.”
Guckenheimer suggests parents discuss race with their kids to dismantle the colourblind framework encourage race-consciousness, as well as teach children to embrace and respect different races.
What do you think? Is this an example of white privilege? Let us know by tweeting us @YahooStyleCA.