Every day the wonderful happens…

and I'm here to blog about it.

Heads Up, People February 21, 2011

Filed under: transracial parenting — Elizabeth @ 9:45 PM

I don’t do a lot of linking to other blogs from my blog.  But sometimes I read things and they simply must be shared.  This post is from a few weeks ago, and I linked to it on my Facebook page.  If you didn’t see it there, I beg you to go read it here.

It is a beautifully written account of the bullying that a Chinese man lived with during elementary school.  It shocked me.  I know it happens, but to read about it, from someone who lived it.  Even worse, to hear how that bullying led to self-loathing.

Granted, this man’s story took place years ago.  It would be nice to think that things are different now.

But then I read this.  First grade students engaging in the age-old eye-pulling to mimic Asian eyes.  A great example of “innocent racism”.  But then it gets worse–a student telling an Asian and Indian classmate that they wouldn’t talk to them because they were “dark-skinned”. That’s not so innocent, people.

Later, I read a post by another blogger (I won’t link because I do not know her and do not have permission) whose Ethiopian children were told by a “friend” that they couldn’t join in a game because there were “No Blacks Allowed”.

That’s downright scary.

I don’t know why I feel like I must share these stories.  But I must.  Because I think that we probably like to think that we have come so far, but in some ways, we are just as backwards as ever.

I think we need to be reminded that this might happen with our children.  Not so we can get all down and depressed about it, but so we can better prepare them as they go out into the world.  So we can better prepare ourselves to deal with it.

Because I want my Korean son to eat his shrimp chips in the lunchroom with his head held high.

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9 Responses to “Heads Up, People”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    Thanks for these links. It is something that we should be aware of and something that we should be prepared for, sadly. And now too, I need to help prepare my children. Which I hate doing because I want to believe it won’t happen, and maybe it won’t now, but something will happen someday. And that just makes my heart ache.

  2. deb jacoba Says:

    i HATE how this has not gotten better. it sickens me. i just want to slap the parents of these children.

  3. Shilpa Says:

    Try growing up in South Alabama as a nationality no ones even heard of before. Then again, it goes both ways. This little Indian kid brought tears to my daughters eye by saying she was not Indian because her skin is white. The world is too globalized for this kind of nonsense folks.

  4. Lori Says:

    The scary part to me is the sentence that goes like this: “I’m not a racist, BUT…. (fill in the blank)” The even scarier part is these are normally Christians, but they can somehow justify these thoughts and feelings with themselves?? Thanks for these posts. I have realized in the last few years that sometimes you have to speak truth when it comes to things like this. It is easier just to let it go b/c it really is a more common way to think where I live (yes, we love everyone, but let’s not mix it up to much, ya know?) – God really convicted me a few years ago that not speaking out against this kind of thinking was just becoming part of the problem. We will shine a light, pray for God to change hearts and minds, make sure we and our children aren’t part of the problem and teach them how to love all equally as someone Christ died for AND try our best to instill in them the courage and character they need to become the people Christ created them to be! And maybe their generation will be the one that really does come a long way!

  5. Thank you for the reminders. I found myself both enjoying and squirming while reading that post. But I can’t say I was shocked… I grew up in a mostly white small town and things like that were said too much. So with each horrible passing comment, I thought “yep, that sounds familiar.”
    I wish I had known then what I know now… that standing by and letting it happen is just about as bad as being the one doing it.

  6. beth Says:

    Kids are so very cruel. If they only knew what it did to each other. Some of it is innocent, but a lot of it is not. It is also so hard being the parent – when you really want to tell your child to knock the crap out of the mean kid – or better yet, let ME knock the crap out of that mean kid. 🙂

  7. Becky Says:

    The post at Love Isn’t Enough is beautiful and poignant – it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for writing about this subject. I have tried to share with friends and family that this is something that may happen to Joshua andI need to be prepared to help him, but unfortunately most of the responses have been fairly dismissive. So many people think we are beyond these things, but sadly we are not. We need to be aware. And we need to be prepared.

  8. Kristen Says:

    I do think its so easy to tell ourselves that things are so much better now and that we don’t really need to worry about racism. I know it hurts me to even consider the boys facing discrimmination and offensive remarks. Yet I know its important to acknowledge the reality of racism in our culture. As you said so perfectly, its not about being depressed and overwhelmed, but about preparing yourself and your children. Thanks for providing these great links to help me continue to do just that!

  9. Grace Says:

    thank you so much for sharing this…it brings back some harsh memories from when i was a kid and teased myself — kids can be SO mean. and as much as i would like to think that we, as society, are better than that now, i see it in my own classroom, too. as a teacher, the *one* thing i want students to walk away with when they leave me at the end of the year is that they are valued and cherished for who they are, no matter what and that they are worth being proud of. i hope to instill that in my own son and nurture in him the words and strength to know it and share it.


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