ATR 60 – Anti-racist parenting – 02/19/2007

Carmen is joined by guest co-host Jason Sperber. Jason Sperber is a former stay-at-home-dad living in California’s Central Valley. Currently a writer, blogger, and online community manager, he taught high school social studies in a former life and has a background in ethnic studies and education for social justice. He writes the blog “daddy in a strange land,” coordinates “Rice Daddies,” the group blog by Asian American dads, and is a columnist for New Demographic’s own Anti-Racist Parent.

They discuss anti-racist parenting, specifically, how parents need to consider the diversity of their environment when raising kids.

This episode features the songs “Crash Test Dummies” by Loer Velocity courtesy of Spectre Entertainment Group.

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Duration – 48:27
File Size – 44.5 MB
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5 thoughts on “ATR 60 – Anti-racist parenting – 02/19/2007”

  1. Interesting episode. My boyfriend and I moved to NYC a few years ago from the Midwest. We love NYC partly because it is so much more diverse than where we came from, but my boyfriend has noticed that the racism in NYC is different. Recently he said that some of his co-workers actually use the diversity around them to “prove” their racist beliefs. For example, saying that people of a certain ethnic group really are like that because they know people from that ethnic group. So I think that underscores the point made in this episode that just having diversity isn’t enough.

  2. I have to agree with the importance of raising your children in a multi-racial community. I grew up in a middle-class suburb not too far from San Francisco. There were a good number of Blacks, Asians, Mexicans and Indians. When I was in early grade school I got to know people of other races before I became aware of racial issues. This experience gave me the understanding the people of other races are human beings too. As I got older, I became aware of how stereotypes can not be applied to individuals. For each stereotype of a race, I knew someone of that race who did not fit that stereotype. It also made me less tolerant of racial jokes and “all those people always ” statements because I knew people that would have been offended.

  3. Thanks for another thought-provoking show. Here’s an interesting bit of irony: the expensive private girls’ school I attended was more racially diverse than the public school in the very white suburb where I lived between the ages of 10 and 18–and much less so than the Ivy League university I went to afterwards. This is just one of those things that has to be decided on a situation-by-situation basis. But when I’ve had a choice about it, I’ve always opted to live where there’s a lot of racial and ethnic diversity. It forces me to re-evaluate my white middle-class assumptions and live in a more conscious way.

  4. I have to agree with Lin. I have lived in Houston, Atlanta, DC and, for the last five years, New York. The frequency with which I have heard racist and derogatory ethnic statements is BY FAR greatest in New York City. The below statements were all spoken directly at my New York workplace:

    – Swiss-born US resident: “I don’t eat Indian food because they are dirty.”
    – American-born Italian: “I didn’t contract with [company] to perform work on house, because I didn’t want to have to worry about the Mexicans while I was away.”
    – First-gen Chinese: Jewish jokes based on the stereotype of their being cheap.

    None of them “missed a beat” in making these statements to me, an African-American woman. (Ironically, none of them seemed to realize that I would only think that they would be saying negative things about African-American as soon as I “turned my back”. )

    The other strange thing I find about New York is that with all its diversity, people are far more segregated. There are Haitian, Greek, Irish, Italian, Puerto Rican, Russian, Jewish, Russian Jewish neighborhoods – and the list goes on. I don’t object to such ethnic enclaves. I do, however, believe those people that rarely seek meaningful interactions outside their enclaves tend to make more steoreotypical statements. Those who build relationships with other ethnicities make less of these statements.

    In short, I agree that diversity is not enough. You can brush up against diverse people all the time, but it takes a genuine desire to understand people in all their varieties to gain from diversity.

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