Start Talking Early
Because systemic oppression is a fairly complicated subject, some parents may feel like it's not appropriate to talk about with young children. However, as Principal Killins says, because systemic oppression is not always as overt or noticeable as racism is (especially to children), leaving kids to form their own opinions can be damageing. "Talking to your children about systematic oppression should start as soon as they begin to ask questions, particularly the uncomfortable ones," Principal Killins says.
Developmental psychologist Erin O'Connor, Ph.D., and Ph.D. Candidate Robin Neuhaus, the founders of Scientific Mommy (a website that aims to demystify child development research), agree that it's never too early to start having these discussions. As they say in an email to POPSUGAR, children as young as two have already developed racial awareness, which means they need to be taught how to contextualize these differences. Even saying something like, "She has skin that looks like yours," as you read together, can help with this process.