Home Racial Justice Adultification Bias: When Black Kids are Exposed to Racial Superiority Efforts

Adultification Bias: When Black Kids are Exposed to Racial Superiority Efforts

by Eli Mshomi
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Black adults are not the only ones impacted by the rigorous racism present in the United States.

The racist practices are intermingled in a way that even Black children are prone to the damage that the racial supremacists can cause to them.

One such phenomenon that is endangering Black children, especially girls, is the adultification bias with which the African American children are consistently threatened. 

Adultification bias is racial prejudice in which minority children, primarily Black children, are being treated as if they are more mature and adult than they are. This leads to a variety of issues, ranging from mental torture to career destruction. 

This is one of the first times when Black kids are exposed to the institute of racism. It warns them about a much crueler world that lies ahead of them, which they have to tackle in the near future.

Secondly, when they see their white counterparts being treated differently in a better way, the sense of racial inferiority imparts into them, which haunts them for the rest of their lives.

A visual representation of racial adultification where Black children are considered higher than their ages, resulting in the discriminatory treatment

A visual representation of racial adultification where Black children are considered higher than their ages, resulting in the discriminatory treatment.

Black Girls: The Frontline Fighters Against Adultification Bias Curse

The female children of African Americans are more vulnerable to this curse. Research suggests that this bias can start from the age of five and that adults believe that black girls need less protection and care.

That Black girls are less innocent than white girls of the same age is the crux of this bias.

This way, the societal attitude of thinking of Black girls as “adults” compared to white girls, while both of them are of the same age, is interrupting the childhood of various female Black children.

This discrimination is pervasive all over the United States. According to the study named “Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood,” many adults believe that Black girls of ages ranging from five to nineteen years do not require as much social support, comfort, and nurturing as the white girls do. 

The misery of the Black girls does not end here. It is common among the masses that Black girls are more mature, independent, and informed than white girls of similar age.

Black girls are the most vulnerable in adultification process. They are likely to be punished harder comapred to the White girls of equal age for the same type of deviance.

Black girls are the most vulnerable in adultification process. They are likely to be punished harder comapred to the White girls of equal age for the same type of deviance.

Ignorance: The First Step Toward Persecution

This is pushing the situation toward chaos. Ignorance is the beginning of most cruelties. When adults believe Black girls of the same age are more independent and mature than whites, they are likely to give favorable treatment to the whites.

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This is perhaps the beginning of racism in the United States, where Black kids are prepared for the tough life ahead. They are being informed practically what they can face moving forward.

They start believing that Blacks are lesser than whites as they are exposed to the white gaze in their childhood. They learn code-switching at this age to make others happy so that they can escape adultification somehow.

The end-stage of this racial discrimination in social normalization is where this narrative becomes the norm of the society, encouraging upcoming generations to follow suit.

The alarming feature of this discrimination is that it is not restricted to civil society only. The police brutality against African Americans starts at this stage.

According to studies, black girls are 2.7 times as likely to be treated by the juvenile justice system than white girls. Moreover, as teachers consider them as more mature in the schools, Black girls are likely to be punished twice as much as white girls for minor violations. 

 

Adultification Bias: An Instrument to Institutionalize Racism in the US

This seems to be entirely propaganda to institutionalize the concept that Black kids are not children. 

This attempt to snatch the childhood from the Black children feeds a concept that they are somehow different from their white peers.

They are not allowed to learn from their mistakes, as they are considered “adults” by racists.

Unlike white children who often get away with their mistakes because people think of them as innocent, Black children have no such privilege.

The social expectations in the case of Blacks are too much that cannot be fulfilled by a child of a mere ten years of age.

 

Final Thoughts:

Things are getting out of hand now. At times when Black kids need support as they see their parents subjected to systematic racism, they are also being pushed into chaos. 

As the communities of color suffer from physical and mental health traumas amid the rising brutality of Police and the negation of the fundamental rights to live and vote, issues like these and the residential crisis like gentrification demand urgent inquiry so that the menace can be tackled from the grassroots level.

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