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Children must be taught about race

Racism has never really disappeared from South African society, with events like the Malema attack on Indians or Alochna Moodley using the k-word.
Racism has never really disappeared from South African society, with events like the Malema attack on Indians or Alochna Moodley using the k-word.
Image: 123RF / VKARA

Racism, when allowed, breeds hatred, violence, disharmony and destruction. South Africa does not need any of this divisive behaviour.

As South Africans, we need to come up with answers for the dilemmas of economic poverty, political inequity, social injustice and the like.

Racism has never really disappeared from South African society, with events like the Malema attack on Indians or Alochna Moodley using the k-word.

Our society has become a whole lot less inclusive for families of different religions and races.

The media, parents, teachers, friends and siblings can all influence children's attitudes.

Let's teach our kids that racist remarks hurt more than feelings.

We talk about safe sex and respect in primary schools.

We teach our kids that bullying is not on. So we shouldn't assume that they will learn respect for cultural diversity by absorption.

Learning - at an early age - the benefits of multiculturalism and how to embrace the differences that make us special is crucial in preventing racist attitudes from developing.

The reality of racial divisions in our country means parents of all backgrounds must teach their kids about race and racism, ethnic difference and discrimination.

Like it or not, the reality of racism means we'll be forced to have these uncomfortable conversations with our children.

This makes far more sense than waiting to address the effects of discrimination after it has occurred.

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