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Does Saying "Yuck" Make Your Kid a Racist?

Does Saying "Yuck" Make Your Kid a Racist?

Britain's National Children's Bureau recently issued a 366–page guide to play leaders and nursery teachers with guidelines to help them identify and expel racism in their learning environments. Clearly some behavior can be identified as hateful or xenophobic but this report spells out incidents that are more common to the everyday child yet less obvious to those surrounding them.

Some are taking the guidelines quite literally and claiming that if a child says, "yuck" to a certain cuisine, it can be construed as racist. Giving the NCB the benefit of doubt, I'm going to assume that one particular line is being blown out of context. The UK's Daily Telegraph reports:

The guidance by the NCB is designed to draw attention to potentially-racist attitudes in youngsters from a young age. . . The guide goes on to warn that children might also "react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying 'yuk'".

If a child finds a certain culture and its cuisine disdainful, then it makes sense that caretakers would try to intervene and educate that child about the positive offerings of that culture. If, however, a child says, "yuck" to a plate of curry chicken, I wouldn't immediately assume the NCB would call the tot racist. If the youngster genuinely hates the taste of curry, "yuck" may be appropriate. If, however, the child simply says "yuck" because the dish is associated with Indian food, there probably is a lesson to be taught and learned.

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