How does Aibileen see racial prejudice being passed down from parents to children?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the unique advantages that people like Aibileen have in examining White culture is that they are able to see the genesis of racism and discrimination.  Women like Aibileen raise White children who are not their own.  They teach they values of resepct and understanding of self and others.  This has been Aibileen's pattern in all the children she has raised in her capacity as "the help."  Yet, she remarks that there comes a point where these values are twisted by the outside world.  In her own mind, Aibileen is able to see racial prejudice from the parents and the outside world absorbed by the impresssionable children, a distinct moment when they "begin to think that colored people are not as good as white people."  

Aibileen has seen this repeated throughout her time in working with White families and hopes this does not happen to Mae Mobley. Aibileen recognizes that there is a great propensity for it to happen because she sees how Miss Leefolt treats Mae Mobley.  The ornamental way in which White parents treat their children is one in which racism and discrimination is the only condition shared between them. Prejudice is the testament and bond shared between parent and child as it is passed down from one generation to another.

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