Prof: Parents should discuss racism with their children 'beginning at 3'

This was part of an online alumni lecture on “parent-child conversations about race-related issues.”

Stephanie Irby Coard, a professor at University of North Carolina-Greensboro, claims that children are “racial, ethnic beings.”

Stephanie Irby Coard, a professor at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro said during a lecture that children are “ethnic, racial beings” and that parents should begin discussing racism with their children “beginning at 3.”

The “Supporting Parents Through Courageous Conversations” webinar was hosted by Coard at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro on September 22, and was intended to “help parents of color find the right tools to have the necessary conversations with their children and navigate unique challenges together.” 

Coard is a professor of Human Development and Family Studies at UNCG. In her biography on the school’s website, it is explained that part of her teaching philosophy is to “create agents of social change.”

At one point during the lecture, she stated, “I believe that racial ethnic socialization is something that starts even before a child is born.” 

When asked about the optimal time to begin discussing racism with one’s children, the professor explained, “I would say beginning at three to have those conversations.” 

[RELATED: Prof explains how to talk to White children about racism]

The professor recommends using candy to communicate racial messages. 

“I often times will use M&Ms, I will use Jelly Beans, or, um, gummy bears, you know…”

The professor believes that it is important to start discussing racism as soon as possible, to avoid children coming to their own conclusions about racial issues. She explained, “What you don’t want is your child to make their own meaning of the conversation…” Later, the professor warned parents, “You don’t want your child to be navigating spaces and places in the idea that somehow his color is invisible because it’s not.”

Coard espoused ideas widely accepted within intersectional theory: “You could have two poor people, both poor, with 2 dimes in their pockets. Make one Black and one White. There is race- again, it means nothing, but it has been used in this country to marginalize and oppress.” 

The professor earlier explained that she believes “it’s important for White families to teach their children about privilege and what that means and how you can use that for good, and to bring about equality and equity for all.”

[RELATED: Professor pounces on Amy Coney Barrett’s family: ‘Some White colonizers adopted Black children’]

She also explained that “it’s what we call emphasizing cultural pride messages, wherever that culture and that ethnic heritage is, and then we balance that with what we call preparation for bias or preparation for racism messages.” 

She continued, “It’s my belief that all families racially socialize their child.”

Coard did not reply to Campus Reform for comment in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @loganwashburn76