Does talking erase the weight of race?

In ARP Links yesterday, Elena Perez pointed us to her post on the California NOW Web site:

It struck me that, although her family is racially diverse, Millie doesn’t see it.  Maybe that’s a function of many of us having lighter skins, or maybe that’s a function of the fact that we live out our ethnicities, but we don’t necessarily talk about it with her as an aspect of skin color and race.  Now that I know she’s noticing skin color, we’ll be more explicit about the different races and ethnicities of our family members and friends.  Hopefully that will help her gravitate towards the kids on the playground who are her age, or doing things that look like fun, and not just the ones who look like she does. Read more…
Yes! I think this notion is what was missing from the Best Life article. Talking to kids about race helps take away stigma and bias. Being silent, I think, allows prejudices to cement. Going to great length to avoid race gives a social construct undue weight.
Your thoughts?
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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek,, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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