Ethnic Diversity and Raising Children

Posted: December 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

I’m wondering why I can’t find any toys and figurines of children of all races playing together. This may not seem important to some people… but I’ve seen figurines of dramatically enhanced black children to the point of cartoonish racism, and I’ve seen asian figurines…

I’ve seen figurines of every culture and racial ethnicity on the planet, but the only display of figurines I’ve seen where they are all multiracial is the old Nativity scene that my parents had when I was a child of Mary, a fair-skinned woman (from the middle east?) with blonde hair and her husband Joseph with brown hair and fair skin, their son, also pale skinned, a shepherd, almost identical to Joseph, and three wise men who were the only figurines NOT white and European, an Asian, an African, and an Arab.

Is it any wonder why the races seem to have such problems getting along as adults?  Maybe they just needed the right toys to teach them as children?  I spent a lot of my childhood listening to my mother and she used to watch TV shows in the afternoon with experts like Dr. Joyce Brothers and other doctors of psychology who all touted the same line over and over again, “If you want children to grow into well-adjusted adults, give them the toys they need to develop healthy behaviors and attitudes in life.”  I guess those would include sports toys and games that teach teamwork and diversity, but what about the figures we give them to shape their minds?

You can tell a lot about a child by watching how the child plays with the dolls and action figures that they use.  The action figures I had were mostly Star Wars and G.I. Joe. and while they were ethnically and racially diverse, they often represented conflict and battle.  G.I. Joe were racially diverse and often worked towards defeating the common enemy, a faceless tyrant.  Star Wars were diverse to the nth degree, but mostly seemed to focus on a bunch of aging white men flying around in star cruisers trying to take over the universe.  Ever notice that there was not one non-Caucasian Commander or General of the Empire fleet in Star Wars?  Of course, it’s obvious that George Lucas was drawing parallels to Nazi Germany in WWII.

Food for thought, and something I’m going to be pondering while my wife and discuss further plans for having children.

Racism in toys and prices

The one on the right is worth LESS than the one on the left?

  1. Nancy says:

    My kids are 13 mos and 26 mos and for their birthday and Christmas this year they both received Fisher Price Little People sets that had multi-racial figures included. Such as the birthday party set which had white, african-american and asian little people. Both their buses also had a mix of ethnicities…
    Maybe you should start your quest with Fisher Price.

    While the Little People have come a long way from their old school ball on a cylendar look they are all still a bit characaturish but in a way pleasing to a small child, not in a way that is any way a slight or a slur to the race represented by the toy.

    I think you might be pleased with some of these play sets…

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