Mon | Mar 27, 2023

Passing down bigotry is child abuse

Published:Thursday | February 9, 2023 | 12:49 AM


Re: ‘Racial discrimination alive and well in Jamaica’, Letters, Feb 7

Racist/xenophobic sentiment is too-often handed down from generation to generation, regardless of colour or creed. Often it is cemented by a misguided yet strong sense of entitlement, perhaps also acquired from one’s environment.

If it’s deliberate, rearing one’s impressionably very young children in such an environment of overt bigotry amounts to a formidable form of child abuse.

Not only does it fail to prepare children for the practical reality of an increasingly diverse and populous society and workplace, it also makes it so much less likely that those children will be emotionally content or (preferably) able to live harmoniously within their multicultural and multi-ethnic/-racial surroundings.

Children reared this way well into their adolescence and young adulthood may often be angry yet not realise at precisely what. If not for themselves, parents should do their young children a big favour and NOT pass down to their very impressionable offspring such bigoted feelings and perceptions (nor implicit stereotypes and ‘humour’, for that matter). Such rearing can make life much harder for one’s own children.