Being 12 is an ongoing series which airs on WNYC in New York City. The compelling program features the perspectives of a diverse group of middle-school aged children in New York City on everything from police brutality, to family and relationships. The age of 12 is recognized as a major turning point in social and cultural development for many young children. The series hopes to serve as a teaching tool to better encourage understanding and empathy between children from different communities.
In one of the latest episode of the series, the kids talk about race and racial identity in light of current events. We meet Lamine, a muslim boy, who expresses a fear of being racially profiled by the police. We also meet Becky, a transracial adoptee, and James, who is biracial and talks about having his identity questioned.
Eki, another pre-teen recalled a troubling incidence of racism which occurred when her family went out for dinner,
I remember when I was younger I went with my family to a restaurant, and they made us pay in advance. Just in case we, like, didn’t pay afterwards. And that was kind of upsetting.
Two of the pre-teens, who are white, also talk about white privilege and racism.
White privilege is the idea that in your everyday life, you’re getting treated differently, and sometimes with more respect, or people just trust you more, or they have certain expectations of you — because you’re white. It makes me feel guilty sometimes for having a privilege I don’t deserve.