The effects of Racism on children are many and harmful to them. To cite a few; depression, health issues, and school performance.
Louise Derman-Sparks states (Racism and Young Children, What does Research Say?) Questions and confusion about racial issues begin early. Though adults often talk about the “colorblindness” of children, the fact is that children as young as three do notice physical differences such as skin color, hair texture and the shape of one’s facial features. (Tatum 1997,p.32)
Depression: Studies have shown that encountering racial bigotry can lead children to suffer from depression and behavorial problems. A 2010 study of 277 children of color presented to the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Vancouver revealed a strong link between racial discrimination and depression. Study lead Lee M. Pachter asked the youths if they had been discriminated against in 23 different ways including being racially profiled while shopping or called offensive names. Eighty-eight percent of the kids said they had indeed experienced racial discrimination.
Health issues: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, new research illustrates the unhealthy effects racism can have on children with reported exposure to discrimination tied to higher rates of attention hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) anxiety and depression, as well as decreased general health.
School Performance: Minorities are suspended more and less likely to be pegged as gifted. Children of color face bias in schools. They are disciplined more harshly and, less likely to have access to quality teachers.
It is important for children to have supportive parents, friends and teachers to combat the negative effects of racism.
Academy of Pediatrics, “Exposure to racism harms children’s health.” ScienceDaily. 4May 2017.
ThoughtCo. How Racism Affects Black and Brown Students in Public Schools.
Suggestions for Action in Congregations: Heighten your awareness to this subject.