No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
Before Racism™ posits that the next significant frontier in reducing racism in America is to reach and teach very young children at their very earliest stages of cognitive and social-emotional development—at the first moments they start to notice and feel differences between themselves and others. It is at these times when they begin to sense and internalize racial identity and, by definition, the potential for racial bias.
There is significant research to suggest “that efforts to challenge negative attitudes and promote positive attitudes toward other racial groups need to begin early in a child’s life. Because teachers are important socialization agents, their behaviors and the curriculum they implement can play an important role in the formation of positive attitudes in children even in very early childhood” (Sutterby, 2015).
Such research frames the nature and scope of both the challenge and opportunity that exists: to help shape and deliver early childhood learning experiences that will have a lasting impact on children’s attitudes and behaviors toward others.