From 1939 to 1940, African-American psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark conducted an experiment to prove that segregation was inherently harmful, especially to children. They took a sampling of both white and black children and showed them two baby dolls, identical except ones skin was painted white with blonde hair and the other was brown with black hair. They asked which doll was the good doll and which the bad, which the pretty and which the ugly, which one is nice and which is mean, and more. What emerged was striking – it wasn’t only white children that preferred the white doll; black children, too, attributed negative attributes to the black doll. The experiments demonstrated that institutionalized racism taught children to hate themselves.
Now it’s 2011, and Mexican organization 11.11 Cambio Social has recreated the experiment with a wide sampling of Mexican children. Whether or not the results are surprising, of course, depends on how cynical you are on the issue of race. The video makes us at Remezcla sad (especially around 2:15) but, frankly, we’re not at all surprised.