The media is one of the most powerful sources of information in the world. News and Internet sources are quick to announce and promote negative stories in social media, on television and on radio. If announcers or stories are racially biased, how does the parent of an interracial child discuss the world and media with a child?
Step Back from the Story and Discuss Media Influence
We all know how media can influence decisions, both mental and physical. When a child is faced with negative press involving race, parents of the interracial child need to address the impact of media on social situations and decisions.
Remind children that media often tells only one side of the story.
Discuss ad revenue and how money is made when stories are exciting and thought provoking.
Encourage an interracial child to research the entire story before making any judgments.
Once the interracial child understands they have the power of knowledge, they will be less apt to take media at the first word and instead research the story further before becoming emotionally or physically involved.
Take on the Story as Part of a Family Discussion
One recent news story discussed the educational gap between African American students and Caucasian students in America. This story could be deemed negative for the interracial child if they are half African American. Instead of allowing the media to convince an interracial child they have fewer options and less chance of making it in the world, talk with them about education and limits some children have based on financial background and the area in which they grow up.
Turning the story away from race and discussing it more on a uni-racial scale can help interracial children see things a bit more clearly. Sometimes stories with a racial twist affect more of the population than the media is willing to admit.
Never Get Angry – Get Educated
Parents of interracial children should never get angry at the media or situation in front of children. There are certainly adult reasons to be mad about negative media and stereotypes, but interracial children need to learn how to educate themselves about these problems and they learn that gift from parents. If a situation make the parent of an interracial child mad, or makes the child mad, discuss a plan of action such as writing an editorial or blogging about the impact on interracial children and a biracial family.