When should we start teaching children about racism, is it ever too early? Young people are living in the same world; they learn about racial difference regardless. Is proper education about racism and its origins the key to unpicking it? Karen Murphy and I discussed how racism shaped history and how it permeates our lives as adults.
“In history there are victims, there are perpetrators, and there are people who don’t do anything. Bystanders have shaped history by their inaction.” – Karen Murphy
Karen Murphy is the Director of International Strategy for Facing History and Ourselves. Karen is immersed in a longitudinal study of adolescents from divided societies with identity-based conflicts (South Africa, Northern Ireland, and the United States), and the ways these young people develop as civic actors, including the factors that impede and support their development.
We cover a wide range of topics, including:
- Identity and belonging: the role they play in the development of societies.
- The idea of racism throughout history in different places across the world.
- Informal or formal rules of membership in our communities and countries.
- Where should facing history in ourselves begin.
- The importance of trusting young people with the truth about history and how to approach the conversation.
- Creating an environment which facilitates discussion about race.
- Is it possible to simply “get over” acts of abuse throughout our history?
- The role each of us plays in our own communities to combat acts of racism.
“We do have to trust children with hard conversations. There’s this idea that they are innocents and by delaying a conversation is somehow protecting them.” – Karen Murphy
And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of Racism at Work: The Danger of Indifference and connect with Professor Binna Kandola OBE on LinkedIn to join the conversation or share your thoughts.
You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or in any other podcasting app by searching for “Racism at Work Podcast“, or simply by asking Siri and Alexa to “play the Racism at Work podcast“.
Mentioned in the show
- US modern era [2:25]
- Amendment XIV [2:30]
- Amendment XIII [2:40]
- Jim Crow laws [3:00]
- Eugenics [6:05]
- Apartheid [6:55]
- Northern Ireland sectarian conflict [7:38]
- Treyvon Martin [18:10]
- Democratic citizenship [21:05]
- History of slavery, the Atlantic slave trade, American Civil War, British Empire [24:45]
- How slavery shaped American universities [26:45]
- Voting Rights Act of 1965, Shelby County v. Holder [27:32]
- Affirmative action [29:00]
- Murder of Kitty Genovese, Genovese syndrome/bystander effect [32:00]
- Srebrenica Genocide, Rwandan genocide, Samantha Power’s work about genocide [33:50]