The study was conducted by the Yale Child Study Center and involved preschool aged black children and white children as well as black and white educators. Its purpose was to identify which children received the most scrutiny or were singled out as displaying challenging behaviors. As an in-depth study, it also identified additional behaviors on the part of the educators that are too numerous to include in this post.
One part of the study involved white and black educators watching video clips of young children: a black male, a white male, a black girl and a white girl. The teachers were told the purpose of watching the clips was to provide data about how teachers identify potential challenging behavior.
What the educators did not know was that none of the video clips contained any challenging behaviors. However, through the use of eye-tracking software it was found that the teachers scrutinized the black boy more than the other children.
Interestingly, even the black teachers singled out the black boy as a potential “problem.” When they were asked directly which child needed attention to circumvent negative behavior, 42 percent of all teachers identified the black boy.
The responses of the educators suggest teachers expect negative behavior from black boys regardless of their own race. Using simple deduction, it is reasonable to assume that these negative expectations are shared by the majority of the nation’s population. The study provides a clear example of how male racial profiling begins before children even reach adolescence.
If you take nothing else from this blog post, please remember that all American citizens have civil rights. Anytime these basic civil rights are violated in New York or other areas of the nation, it is extremely important to speak out. In the most egregious cases, consider consulting with a lawyer who can help you find the justice you seek.
Source: AlterNet, “Racial Profiling of Black Men Starts in Preschool,” Kali Holloway, accessed Nov. 16, 2016