tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN April 2, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
34e78ry that are going to be bothering me for a while. i wasn't burned. i had a little bit of an irregular heartbeat. >> he recovered in time to learn he wasn't one of the three mega million winners. the odds of being president are are 1 in 10 million. the odds in climbing mount everest, 1 in 50 million. undeterred, bill did what all good americans would do in that situation. he dusted himself off and bought ten more lottery tickets. i wish you all the luck in the world. that's all for us tonight. ac 360 starts now. >> thanks, piers, it's 10:00 p.m. on the east coat, we begin tonight with breaking news. another campus shooting and sadly another string of casualties. young men and women at the wrong place at the worst possible
time. a small christian college in oakland, california. oikos university. dan simon is on the scene for us, he joins us with the latest on fatalities and the suspect. reporter: investigators are still here at the scene, just minutes ago, the suspect was identified, goh. at about 10:00 local time, he went into oikos university and began shooting indiscriminately. police describe what is it looked like when they got here. take a look. >> when we got there, officers found several victims throughout the classroom, throughout the building. there were several people hiding in locked buildings, locked doors, behind desks, as you can
imagine very frightened, very scared. some of them were injured, we had to rescue them out. we had to force our way into a number of rooms because they were locked behind doors. >> reporter: after the shooting, the suspect fled to a grocery store and confessed his crime to a supermarket worker. he was arrested in the parging lot of the grocery store a short time later. police do not have a motive, but, of course, the investigation continues. we know that seven people are dead, three more people are injured, they're at a local hospital, suffering from nonlife threatening injuries. wolf? >> dan simon, thanks very much. also tonight, keeping them honest. a fresh look at two key pieces of evidence in the trayvon martin killing. newly enhanced videotape and newly analyzed audio. one lending credence to george
zimmerman's claim of self-defense. the other, perhaps, undermining a key part of his story that he cried out for help before fatally shooting the unarmed teen. by now you're probably familiar with that grainy surveillance footage of george zimmerman being brought in for questioning at the sanford, florida police department. tonight we've seen a higher resolution version of it and enhanced it even further so you can better decide how seriously injured george zimmerman was. reports of the new york daily news and local media say sanford police initially called for a second ambulance. presumably to take him to the hospital. it was later canceled. also, remember this. zimmerman claims that trayvon martin sucker punched him, then repeatedly slammed his head into the ground or pavement. police say he was treated at the scene for injuries to his nose and head. however, it was hard to tell much if anything from the original videotapes about the extent of his injuries, or
whether they were consistent with the story he tells. the newly enhanced video which you'll see in a moment may shed new light on that question. then there's the audio evidence. the 911 call. one of many that night on which you hear someone cry out three times for help. the question has always been, who is it? first, zimmerman's father on local affiliate, wofl. >> all of our family, everyone i know who knows george knows that is george screaming. there's no doubt in anyone's mind. >> you and i talked before, without a doubt that is trayvon's voice on the 911 call calling for help. there is now an eyewitness who says, who has been interviewed who says that he saw george zimmerman crying out for help. >> people can say anything they want to. i just personally don't believe it. i know that it was my son that was crying out for help. so right now, we are hearing a lot of speculation and people just want to say whatever they want. >> so who is right?
no one can say with absolute certainty. today on starting point with soledad o'brien, a top forensics expert says the evidence points to martin, not zimmerman. >> we have the tape of zimmerman. we have the tape of the screams. and then we can start to comparison. and basically, it will do this comparison, if you can see the screen now. and it will give me some false rejection rates. some false exception rates. and a likelihood ratio, okay. and this gray dot over here designates the very lower end of the stale which in essence translates as it is not him. >> two pieces of evidence, audio and video. we'll talk about both shortly. we'll also be joined by the family lawyer who wrote to the justice department civil rights division, questioning whether the decision tonight charge george zimmerman was made fairly and impartially.
we respectfully request, he writes, that the united states department of justice investigate the circumstances surrounding this meeting between chief bill lee and state attorney norm wolfinger in which they disregarded the lead homicide investigator's recommendation to arrest george zimmerman for manslaughter. late today, mr. wolfinger issued a statement, and i'm quoting saying he is outraged by the outright lies contained in the crump letter. as always, a lot of ground to cover tonight. we begin with the videotape. how it was enhanced and what it may show. here again is the tape as you've been seeing it for the last several days. it is grainy and certainly not easy to make out details. now, here is the higher resolution version. the sanford police department recently posted to their website. you can see it is much sharper, much easier to make out detail. in addition to what you see here, we've also taken the tape into an edit bay and made some enhancements.
details literally from deborah ferrick. >> so i'm here with jason, one of our great editors at cnn. and we'll show you a surveillance tape but in a very different way. this is the night of the shooting. let's take a look at this and play it down. and you can see george zimmerman. he is sort of talking to police. the police officer right there looks at the back of his head to see if he can see anything. so take a look at this. this is something you actually do see what appears to be some sort of a bump. >> yeah, there's a few things i can do to enhance it. i'm going to put a little contrast on it now to see if we can bring this out a little bit more. throw in another color correction tool on it.
i'm going to oversaturate it too, so you can see the reds. >> that's interesting. it definitely looks like something's popping out. >> we'll raise it. you see his jacket getting redder and the area getting redder. and i'm growing to lighten it up a little bit. raise the whites. there you go. >> again, tonight, nothing conclusive there but a fresh look at two key pieces of evidence. videotape showing george zimmerman's head injury. audio tapes suggesting he was not the voice on the 911 tape crying out for help. joining us now is benjamin crump, thanks very much for coming in. this letter that i mentioned earlier, you sent it to the justice department asking them to look into why the sanford police chief met with state attorney norm wolfinger on the night of the shooting and why
they allegedly chose to ignore a local detective's inclination to arrest george zimmerman. mr. wolfinger issued a statement accusing you directly of lying. it reads in part. let me read it to our viewers. i am outraged by the outright lies contained in the letter by benjamin crump. no such meeting or communication occurred. i have been encouraging those spreading the irresponsible rhetoric to stop and allow state attorney angela corey to do her work. that's a quote. he is flat out calling you a liar. we would love to get your response. >> yes. on behalf of the family, we're outraged at his for whatever reason, refusal to arrest george zimmerman for killing their son. and it took our letter to finally get him to comment on why george zimmerman has not been arrested. we hear all these things from the media. we don't get anything from his office or the police department. so these folks have been left
out in the cold when it's them who should get all the information about why mr. zimmerman is still free for killing their son. and we'll keep writing letters and asking people to investigate anything that is suspicious. they deserve answers. this family only wants answers. >> mr. crump, have you seen the affidavit that your letter hinges upon? in other words, can you prove your claim? >> no, and when we told the state -- the special prosecutor for the department of justice, we're hearing all these things, mr. wolfinger knew that this was out in the media. the family asked these questions. why were they overruled? why is george zimmerman free? who made this decision? this is something they've asked repeatedly from the beginning of this thing. why was not he arrested? that's at the crux of this matter here. >> if there was a disagreement between the investigator and the
prosecutor who thought there wasn't enough evidence to charge zimmerman, what does that tell you? >> what it really tells us, this investigator who's on the scene, he makes a decision where he recommends manslaughter. and then he is the person who's evaluating his statement, evaluated the evidence, observed it. why would you overrule him or reject his notion if it is said that zimmerman's claim isn't credible. and remember, wolf, let's be absolutely certain. nobody is saying that he can't make a self-defense claim in a court of law. all we're saying is he should have been arrested. if that was trayvon martin who was accused of pulling the trigger, he would have been arrested right there on the spot. we only want equal justice and fair and impartial to be a part
of that across the board. and that means simply stated for again, a cry, and a demand that he be arrested. and we will have a court of law decide his innocence or guilt. >> very briefly, there is new evidence, enhanced surveillance video that shows what could be an injury to the back of his head. could this video support his claim that he was in an altercation with trayvon martin? >> again, it has to be at a court of law. is that enough to justify deadly you have to look at it -- is that enough to justify deadly use of force to kill an unarmed teen? and more importantly, the crux of the matter that we keep harping on. if he does not get out of that car, if he does what a neighborhood watch person is supposed to do, report it to the proper authorities and let them deal with this matter. then trayvon martin is here living and breathing and we're
not dealing with this, his parents saying why is my son in the ground and nobody has been arrested for killing him? >> benjamin crump, as usual, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you, sir. >> as always, more on this at cnn.com. let us know what you think. we're on facebook and google plus. you can follow me on twitter @wolfblitzercnn. more on bringing women out to vote. and how big a gender gap there is in some key swing states when it comes to a race against president obama. oll over my old) into a fidelity ira. man: okay, no problem. it's easy to get started; i can help you with the paperwork. um...this green line just appeared on my floor. yeah, that's fidelity helping you reach your financial goals. could you hold on a second? it's your money. roll over your old 401(k) into a fidelity ira and take control of your personal economy. this is going to be helpful. call or come in today.
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[ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. raw politics tonight. the gender gap. a new polling from usa today and gallup shows president obama beating mitt romney by 9 points in swing states and women. the reason why. take a look at the gengder breakdown. among men, romney has the one-point lead. among women, an 18-point defense significance. he and the republican party apparently paying a price for supporting policies and making statements a lot of women simply don't like. to counter that, governor romney is putting his wife ann romney front and center with her take on what matters to women. >> do you know what women care
about? this is what i love. women care about jobs. >> she talks to women. they're concerned about the jobs their kids are going to get. >> women are talking about jobs. women care about the economy. they care about their children and they care about the debt. >> she is going across the country and talking with women. you've got moms that are driving their kids to school. >> women are talking about he deficit spending. >> women, women, women. >> thank you, women. >> and romney trying to bring women home to the party and to her husband's campaign. she is also trying to humanize him. >> well, you know, i guess we better unzip him and let the real mitt romney out. because he is not, it is so funny to me that is the perception. he is funny, engaging, he is witty. always playing jokes. he's -- when i met him when i was a teenager, he was the life of the party. that's why i like getting out there. it's being able to let people
see the other side of mitt. >> more now on the woman who sees the other side of mitt romney from randi kaye. >> in the romney household, a number of titles. mother and grandmother and trusted adviser. she is also the great protector of all things romney. >> the last person on earth you would want to cross would be ann romney. if you go after one of her kids or after her husband, she is going to be there. >> ron scott has known mitt romney since 1985 and just wrote a book about him. he says ann is no pushover. >> she got into a tiff with one of her teenage boys, and he was being a smart mouth and she was trying to get away to go to the cape for the weekend. and he was going back and forth with her. finally she got in the car and slammed the door and said see you later. she took off and left him in the driveway. >> scott said ann even stood up to her mother who voiced concern
when ann and mitt started having so many children. >> her mom said, gee, you're overpopulating the earth. and ann at one point, she said if you want to see your grandsons on a regular basis, you need to knock this stuff off. >> ann romney humanizes her husband calling him the most disobedient child. she shares his love of chocolate milk and his obsession with peanut butter and of course, tales of romance. >> we are high school sweet hearts and we still are sweethearts, which is nice. are we have five wonderful sons, 16 grandchildren. >> like mitt, ann grew up wealthy in michigan will her father manufactured auto parts. she and mitt fell in love in high school. mitt proposed when ann was just 15. they married while in college at bringing ham young university a mormon school in utah. ann had converted to mormonism in high school. their love affair has been part of the campaign rhetoric, dating back to this ad for mitt's 2002 senate run. simply titled, ann. >> our first real date.
>> night of senior prom. >> mitt pulls up to pick me up in a goofy looking car. >> it was an amc marlin. >> he was a little embarrassed about it. >> it was awful. >> it was very romantic. >> mitt admits without ann, as he bit lost. >> if i'm away from ann for longer than a week or association i get a little off course. she has to bring me back and moderate me back a bit. >> still, ann may not be perfect. in 1994 during mitt's senate campaign, she told the "boston globe," money was so tight in college, they considered selling stock from their portfolio. critics painted her as out of touch. >> everybody that read that gasped. >> ann's greatest challenge had nothing to do with politics. in 1998 she learned she had multiple sclerosis. >> it was a devastating thing in my life. it was very tough. i went from being a very active, involved, and hands-on mom to hardly being able to take care of myself. >> to feel better, she turned to
holistic therapies and horseback riding. but her battle didn't end there. in 2008, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. whether it is cancer or the campaign trail, ann romney is a fighter. she has beaten two life threatening diseases, but she knows with the gop nomination still up for grabs, there are many more battles ahead. cnn, new york. randi kaye, cnn new york. >> a short time ago i spoke to two members of our political panel, republican strategist mary matlin and maria cardona. how worried should the romney campaign be with this huge swing with women voters and how crucial with ann romney be in trying to win them over? >> well, as we talk about often, the number in the primary are not determining or predictive for the general election. we always need to be concerned about women and the poll numbers i'm looking at now, resurgent
republic poll numbers show that women asp as men as much as anybody else are concerned about the jobs numbers, the unemployment, the underemployment and the lack of jobs that are family sustaining. they'll vote in the end on the same concerns that everybody else does. they'll be aired out in the fall. >> maria, describing ann romney in politico today called her the romney democrats fear most. is that true? how big of an asset do you think she is? >> she is a tremendous asset. no question about that. i don't think at this point, fear would be a word that i would describe any democrats have about anybody in the romney campaign right now. it will be a tough election. there's no question about that. and ann romney is very charming. she is articulate. she gives the robotic mitt romney a human factor which he desperately needs. but to mary's point, she's not
on the ballot. and as charming and articulate as she is going to be, it will be mitt romney's policies which right now and all the polls showing, this independent women do see those as anti-woman. and that's why 53% of the electorate right now is not supporting mitt romney. and that is not the kind of chasm that you need going into the general election. with 53% of the electorate. that's not a trend that will be easy to make up. >> you do know the gender gap was one of the biggest factors behind the obama win back in 2008. and as of right now, that gap is even bigger this time around. here's the question. can republicans win the white house again without reversing this trend? >> when mitt romney is running against barack obama and he is not being attacked every day in his own party and every day by this president who has declared that he is going after women in the superficial way, and talking
about things as if they have no other concern in their mind about where they're getting their next box of birth control. it is not a trend. we'll reverse these numbers and women will vote the way they'll vote on their pocket books. they'll vote on their gas tank. they'll vote on their grocery bags like everybody else. >> a lot of crowing from democrats about these latest poll numbers that i mentioned earlier. but this sort of sudden spike, as you well know, can't necessarily be relied on, can it? it can certainly evaporate as quickly as it appeared. >> no question about that. yes, while these numbers make us all feel happy, we feel happy for one day, two days. but the election is not today, or tomorrow or next week. it is absolutely true that we cannot sleep on our laurels, we need to be focused. and this president is very focused on making sure he continues to talk to women and frankly all voters, about how he is continuing to create jobs, create economic growth, and to focus on the issues that middle class families are really concerned about. this, i think, is where mitt romney is also running into
trouble. mary is right. women vote on the issues that everyone else votes on, that is economic growth and job creation. right now, those women feel like mitt romney is not speaking to those issues. and it's a reason why they're supporting president obama on all of those. i think today the mitt romney campaign not at def-con 1 but at 2. they have to be worried about all this. >> thanks for your time. >> thank you. syria's government is making a new promise tonight to pull its troops and heavy weapons out of syria cities by april 10th. the veteran war photojournalist paul conroy has seen it up close. he barely got out of there alive. coming up, his take on the latest promise from the assad regime.
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one comes as the death toll is rising. opposition activists say at least 65 people were killed in syria today. more than half of them in homs. this video was reportedly shot in homs earlier today. as always, we know that it is still a target for assad's troops. veteran photojournalist paul conroy was inside homs during some of the worst shelling. two other journalists were killed in the siege. he barely got out alive. he was hit in the leg and stomach by shrapnel. he recorded this as he was fleeing the city. >> we took a lot of hits on the house today. all of a sudden, the guys, they run in, run in and just said, get ready to go.
we've just been through a very arduous journey to get out, and we're now in a relatively safe place. >> you can imagine how painful that ride must have been with his injuries. i talked to paul conroy earlier. let's talk about the syrian media activist. the filmmaker whom you know well. he has been arrested by the syrian army, allegedly tortured. you say you think he will be killed if the world doesn't come to know his name. why would the assad regime want to silence this man? >> this man's been instrumental. he is one of the people from the beginning who picked up a camera. he was there with the staff. he has assisted the international media in china and shining a light on the situation
in syria. he has become a thorn in their side and now the city has been completed, the destruction is complete. the assad regime paying attention to the very people who have given us an opportunity to look into what's happening in years. i can't i think he is for them a very dangerous man. >> you know there has been international pleas for his release. what else can the international community do to try to help him? >> i think keep up the pressure. as i say, the international police in an attempt to let the regime know we have them. we know he has been tortured. he's been making telephone calls and two other activists arranging meetings. they've shown up and been arrested. so we know he is under duress at this point in time. otherwise, he would never have made them telephone calls that he has done. >> you once described the situation in syria not as war but as indiscriminate massacre. your words.
do you have any confidence that better days are ahead, particularly if the united nations' peace plan gains any real traction? >> reporter: if the united nations peace plan gains any traction, i would think there was room for optimism. i think what this regime has done, and has proved itself to do is to continually take anything they can. hide behind it and continue the slaughter. continue the massacre. continue the clampdown. i fear this is the same. i see no realistic change in their outlook. why change their spots now? they have a track record. i don't believe there is going to be any change. >> as you know, the only acceptable ending for this crisis, at least as far as the syrian opposition is concern, as well as the united states, is that the syrian president bashar al assad must go. there is no indication that he is going voluntarily at any point. that he is ready to leave power,
is there? >> no, not at all. and i think it's something in the minds of these dictators, gadhafi was the same. he had many opportunities where he could have left the country and taken his money and left. there is a mental block with these people. i think he is in it for the long haul. and it will be a great day when we see him taken in front of the haig war crimes tribunal to answer for his crimes. >> thank you very much for everything you're doing. thank you for your time. >> it's been a pleasure, wolf, thanks for having me. a ground breaking 360 report on kids and race. it's a window into how and when children's perceptions of race are shaped. coming up, the results of anderson's year-long investigation. >> you've heard people talk about other people's skin color. and what kind of stuff do they say?
>> they say, they say to the teacher, i don't like their black skin. can they go to another school? >> you've heard people say that? actually, it's cruze e-co, not ec-o. just like e-ither. or ei-ther. or e-conomical. [ chuckling ] or ec-onomical. pa-tato, po-tato, huh? actually, it's to-mato, ta-mato. oh, that's right. [ laughs ] [ car door shuts ] [ male announcer ] visit your local chevy dealer today. now very well qualified lessees can get a 2012 chevy cruze ls for around $159 per month. e.p.a. estimated 36 miles per gallon highway. ♪ home was an airport lounge and an ipad ♪ ♪ made sure his credit score did not go bad ♪ ♪ with a free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ app that he had ♪ downloaded it in the himalayas ♪ ♪ while meditating like a true playa ♪ ♪ now when he's surfing down in chile'a ♪ ♪ he can see when his score is in danger ♪ ♪ if you're a mobile type on the go ♪
really important 360 special report called kids on race, the hidden picture. a project over a year in the making. race relations, one of the most explosive issues in this country. for many adults, the most taboo to talk about with kids. what a lot of adults don't realize is that kids as young as 6 years old, are already talking about or thinking about race. what they say is making friends with kids of other races is hard and only gets harder as they grow up. we teamed up with renowned child psychologist to scientifically measure children's attitudes on race. take a look at this. the doctor and her team showed 6-year-old children this picture and asked them questions like, what is happening here? are these children friends? would their parents want them to be friends? the picture is designed to be ambiguous. what is happening is in the eye of the beholder. then they showed them this picture and asked them the same question. the only difference in the
pictures, the race of the children was flipped. both white and african-american children were tested and in addition to the 6-year-olds, the psychologist showed a similar set of pictures to 13-year-olds. at our request, they also asked open-ended questions about race to fry to understand how it plays into their lives. the responses were raw. some of the experiences they shared were shocking. this is the reality of what kids see, hear, and think about race. >> if you have the same skin, you can play together. but if you don't have the same skin, you can't play together. >> so ya why can't you play together if you have different colored skin? >> because your mom might not want to you play with that friend. >> that's okay to tell people they can't be your friend because of the color of their skin? >> uh-huh. >> why is that okay? >> because your mom would not want them to be the same, be a different color friends.
>> do you think it would be easy for a kid to convince his parents that it would be okay to have other type of people over? >> why not? >> i don't know. probably because you might get in trouble. >> why would a parent want you to get in trouble if you wanted someone to come over to your house who was a different skin color? >> probably because they don't allow. >> why not? why would some parents not allow other skin-colored kids to come over? >> probably because they might not like that skin color. >> like the way i looked and the way my skin at my previous school that i went to. and they just kept on bullying me. and i didn't like it. i just asked them to stop over and over again. and then i tried to, i tried not to break. but i couldn't hold on anymore. so i asked my mom, can i leave? >> my grandparents have a lot
of, they're very racist against african-americans and like other races, but it's 2012 so they have to like push that aside. and they'll be like, no, that's wrong to be, you want to stick with your own race. and i'm like, no, i'm friends with everyone. >> there was more. our cnn study found signs of hope and progress as well. >> if somebody has a different kind of skin color, if they're their friend, you always should be friends. so like i have tons of friends that are black and i'm white. >> it doesn't matter what skin color you are. it is just inside here like in your heart. >> this is the second time that 360 has scientifically studied children and race. back in 2010 we discovered that kids as young as 5 picked up on racial attitudes in the world around them. and all of the ugliness that can sometimes come with that. at this time around, we wanted to understand why children have
these attitudes on race. how these attitudes change as kids get older and how the race of their classmates may shape the adults they would become. we begin tonight with the results of the younger children in our study. >> oh, you don't have the right color skin. >> we tested 145 kids at six schools spread across three states. the schools had three different racial make-ups. the majority white, majority african-american, and racially diverse. >> why do you think that brenda pushed sarah? >> because she wanted to get on the swing. >> what the research found might surprise you. the first headline, overall, young white children are far more negative about interactions between the races than young black children. when white children were shown these pictures, they had a negative interpretation 70% of the time. meaning they were much more likely to say this -- >> how did he fall off? >> bobby pushed him. >> i think brenda pushed sarah off the swing. >> do you think that he did something that was good or bad? >> bad.
>> -- than they were to say this. >> how good would you say what bobby is doing is? >> super good. >> super good. >> white kids are also far more likely to think the white child and black child in the picture are not friends and think their parents wouldn't approve of them being friends. but why? the responses like this might begin to explain. >> do you think it would be as easy to ask your mom to have someone over who is the same skin color than someone who is a different skin color? >> that might be hard. >> what about it might be hard? >> because all my people in my family are white and not mostly people that my mom knows and dad knows are black or brown or anything. >> so it might be hard to ask your mom to have a friend over who is black or brown? >> uh-huh. >> what do you hear? >> i don't want to be your friend because i have white skin and you have black skin.
>> okay. what is it about skin color that sometimes kids think they might not want to be friends? >> because they don't like their color. they don't like brown so they want a white color skin friend. >> say this is an ambiguous situation -- >> our expert says children's own experiences with race, along with the messages they hear at school and at home, the characters on the tv shows they watch, or they see online, all of those have an effect. but the subtle messages adults might not even realize they're sending also have a huge effect on children. she calls it implicit bias. >> when we're in a situation in public, we're in a room and we have an opportunity to ask two different people for help for something, and we might just be more likely to ask the person of the same race than somebody of the opposite race for help. all of that has a very powerful influence very early in
children's lives, much earlier than we think. >> if all kids internalize what they see and hear about race, why are young black children more positive about race than young whites? remember, 70% of young white kids saw these and thought something negative happened. when black children looked at the same pictures, only 38% saw something negative. meaning they were much more likely to see this. >> what's going on with carey? >> she was sad that her friend got hurt. >> what's going on with chris? >> he was waiting his turn. >> positive attitudes despite experiences like this. >> my friend's mom wanted to be only her daughter's friend because he's only white and i'm black.
>> so it happened with your friend's mom? that only wanted him to be friends with people who were the same color? >> uh-huh. >> so he didn't want you to be friends? >> yes. >> oh, how did that make feel? >> sad. >> was it something that they said? >> uh-huh. >> how did they say it? >> you can't be my daughter's friend because you're not the same color. >> they said that you can't be friends because you're not the same color? >> uh-huh. >> she dropped her -- >> 6-year-old ciara was so vocal about race, i asked her more questions afterwards. you've heard people talk about other people's skin color. and what kind of stuff do they say? >> they say, they say to the teacher, i don't like their black skin. can they go to another school? >> you've heard people say that? so why are young black children more positive about race than young whites? the doctor said the
misperception from some parents that kids are color-blind has a lot to do with it. >> african-american parents are very early on preparing their children for the world of diversity and also for the world of potential discrimination. in contrast, what we find is that a lot of white parents, they sort of have this view if you talk about race, you are creating the problem. what we're finding is that children are aware of race very early. >> we're joined now by melanie kill an and soledad o'brien. you found that the racial make-up of the school can have a profound effect. how so? >> it really can. it gives children the opportunities for having contact with other kids and potentially making friends. we found that it makes a big difference for kids in thinking about who they're going to play with and who they're going to be friends with. >> if you're a white parent whose child goes to a majority white school, this study gives you a lot to worry about. what do you say to a parent who is concerned? >> we hope it gives them a lot
to think about in thinking about how they're exposing their children to people of different races and ethnicities. you can think about the level of communicate. maybe your school isn't diverse but the larger district we live in is more diverse. maybe there is an opportunity to have your children encounter other skids. or if not, then to use other kinds of media. whether it is books or televisions. to think about the whole issue of exposing your children, other children from different racial backgrounds. >> soledad, for you, what was one of the big takeaways of this? >> i think it is fascinating kids as young as 6, and that's pretty young, are very articulate and really understand the nuance of differences in race. they talked about what their parents may or may not like and i was surprised at the high level conversation. you look over and the kid is 6 years old. but i do think it sends a message to parents, if you're in a majority white school, that's it, that's the school you're in. but there are many other opportunities to reach out and have your kids meet other kids.
if you're not doing that, you're really limiting your kids' opportunities in a lot of ways. >> you found that young african-american kids are a lot more optimistic than white kids. >> what was really interesting about the study, the young african-american kids are much more positive about the potential for friendship. when they're looking at a picture card of a white child and a black child and you ask them, can these two be friends? they're much more likely to say, yeah, they can be friends. whereas we found a different finding for the white kids. much less likely they could be friends. it makes you think about why is that? what goes into that? >> why do you think that is? >> a lot of it has to do with children's exposure and contact. and also, the messages they get from all over. you're going to get messages from the broader community and the media and that have a lot of stereotypes, and negative stereotypes often. and it is a parent's job to challenge that for children and counter it. doing it through all the interactions. the conversations you have with children about who you're going to play with.
who are you going to stand with at the bus stop. the every day interactions that are really important. >> i think it is a matter of a minority, a black child who is in a white school, is going to have to be friends with people who look different than they do. a white child in a white school doesn't necessarily have to get to know children different than themselves. i think it is an effort to understand differences. >> i think what she said earlier, these kids talk about it he shall. at 6 years of age they're talk b race. >> and are aware of it. i think a lot of parents you talk to will say my child is color blind or i want my child to be color blind or i'm color blind. what we're seeing in this is that kids are forming impressions about race very early on. >> i have never heard a child ever in my whole life say color-blind. i've only heard the parents use that term of i think parents are more blind to what's happening than their kids are. >> fascinating, thank you. tonight you saw how 6-year-olds reacted to questions about race.
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