Dr Susan Carland believes children are not born racists

‘Kids can really just accept’: Waleed Aly’s Muslim convert wife Dr Susan Carland believes children are ‘not born racist’

Dr Susan Carland believes that children are not born racist, but instead learn hateful attitudes from the people around them.

The 39-year-old wife of Waleed Aly, who converted to Islam as a teenage, said she became convinced that kids are innately tolerant when she met a contestant from her SBS quiz show, Child Genius.

She told Huff Post that this contestant had a younger sister who would perform impressions of her, complete with a headscarf, while playing dress-up. 

Not born racist: Child Genius host Dr Susan Carland believes children are not born racists as she recalls a sweet story of a young girl pretending to be her by wearing a head scarf

Not born racist: Child Genius host Dr Susan Carland believes children are not born racists as she recalls a sweet story of a young girl pretending to be her by wearing a head scarf

Dr Carland said: ‘Apparently his little sister, who is four or five, whenever she would take on the role of me, she would put on a head scarf. It was the cutest thing that I ever could have heard. 

‘I think it shows how kids, if something is portrayed to them as it’s not a big deal or this is just who someone is, kids can really just accept that.’

The Monash University academic added that children accept diversity on screen at face value and don’t overanalyse it or view it in political terms.  

Sweet: 'Apparently his little sister, who is four or five, whenever she would take on the role of me, she would put on a head scarf. It was the cutest thing that I ever could have heard,' she said (Pictured: Dr Susan Carland with husband Waleed Aly at the 2018 Logies)

Sweet: ‘Apparently his little sister, who is four or five, whenever she would take on the role of me, she would put on a head scarf. It was the cutest thing that I ever could have heard,’ she said (Pictured: Dr Susan Carland with husband Waleed Aly at the 2018 Logies)

She also said that Child Genius gives its young contestants the opportunity to meet other children from different backgrounds whom they wouldn’t normally encounter. 

‘If you can just see them represented on TV in a multidimensional way, not as a stereotype or a caricature, but just as a regular person doing great things like these kids being the delightful, cheeky, smart, funny kids that they are, that in itself plays a really important role as well,’ she added. 

It comes after Dr Carland was award the 2019 Churchill Fellowship last month. 

Academic achievement: Dr Carland was presented with the prestigious 2019 Churchill Fellowship last month

Academic achievement: Dr Carland was presented with the prestigious 2019 Churchill Fellowship last month

‘Islamophobia, like any form of prejudice, is dangerous to everyone in our society,’ she said after receiving the honour. 

‘Just by looking at me – a woman in a hijab – people can see that I understand their experience of bigotry. They can see I have a real investment in the conversation.’ 

Churchill Fellowship will will allow Dr Carland to travel the world in 2020 and meet  with global experts involved in the fight against bigotry.

Crafting a road map to social cohesion: The highly coveted award will allow Dr Carland to travel the world in 2020, meeting and working with global experts involved in the fight against bigotry

Crafting a road map to social cohesion: The highly coveted award will allow Dr Carland to travel the world in 2020, meeting and working with global experts involved in the fight against bigotry

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