The Null Device
The UK's National Children's Bureau has issued new guidelines to nursery teachers, saying that expressing a dislike for spicy or foreign food should be considered racist behaviour, and corrected.
The guide goes on to warn that children might also "react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying 'yuk'".
Staff are told: "No racist incident should be ignored. When there is a clear racist incident, it is necessary to be specific in condemning the action."
Warning that failing to pick children up on their racist attitudes could instil prejudice, the NCB adds that if children "reveal negative attitudes, the lack of censure may indicate to the child that there is nothing unacceptable about such attitudes".I wonder whether disliking spicy food is absolutely unacceptable, or whether it is acceptable if one has a doctor's note saying that one has a sensitive stomach. And, indeed, whether the authors of the guidelines have been influenced by Sasha Frere-Jones' assertion that expressing a dislike of hip-hop music is racist.