Ewww, They’re From China

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ewww they're from China

We were at the park.  My kids were playing with each other when two other boys started yelling something.  I actually didn’t even process what they were saying until my husband got up off of the bench and got closer to what was going on.

He heard these two boys saying eww, China.  Ewww, they’re from China.

They weren’t saying it directly to my kids, but they were definitely saying it loud enough for my kids to hear. Loud enough for my husband to hear.  When they saw my husband they ran off.

Racism is alive and well in 2020.

I’ve never in my life felt the roar of a mama bear than I did at that moment.  I looked around for their mother as I was NOT going to let this fly – but I couldn’t find her.

My boys didn’t understand why they were yelling that because my kids aren’t from China.  They are Chinese and Japanese but they were born here.  But just because they are from here doesn’t mean everyone thinks they belong here.

My husband, on the other hand, knew full well what was going on.  He’s been called every slur you can think of – as a child – by adults.

Sometimes I forget that the world I live in and the world my children live in are two separate worlds.  I also forget that the world I live in with my circle of friends and relatives is different from the world other people live in with their circle of friends and relatives.

The world I live in is of a white woman.  Being a woman comes with its own set of hurdles.  But, I am white.

My children live in a world as mixed-raced boys with a white mother and an Asian father.

We tend to think, especially those of us with extreme privilege, that the sins of our country are long in the past – but if this last weekend has shown me anything it’s that the past is a lot closer than we think.

My husband’s mother and her entire family were taken to internment camps right here in the United States.  His grandmother and grandfather were separated from each other.  The hotel in downtown Los Angeles that they owned was taken away and NEVER given back.

It wasn’t all that long ago.

So, yes, when I hear two little boys talking about how gross China is it stings like a wound that’s just been reopened.  Because the wound has never fully healed.

china

5 COMMENTS

  1. Wow! I’m so sorry your boys had to experience this. I think we all want to believe that racism is a thing of the past but instances like this are a terrible reminder that it’s not. 😢

    • Thank you! It totally sucks – but it is a reminder for us all to do better. To teach our kids to do better and to always be using our platforms and privilege to aid those who do not have the same!

  2. Please don’t take this as condoning those incredibly rude kids, but if this was a recent incident (March 2020), I wonder if it was because of the paranoia created by the Coronavirus stories running on every single feed all over every social media and news sites, in addition to all the safety alert emails sent to parents and students, alike. If their parents are paranoid and they’ve been talking about it at home, or at school, their comments may have been paranoia-fueled instead of hate-fueled. Either way, it was cruel to make your children feel unwelcome, and I’m sorry they had to experience that. I’m also sorry for your husband to be reminded of the cruel treatment he endured throughout his life. Regardless of the motivation behind those children’s behavior, I’m glad to know you’re ready to stand up for your kids by talking to the parents. Any hurtful behavior needs to be addressed! Brava!

    • If your theory is correct, it still highlights a huge failure on the parts of the parents and other adults in the childrens’ lives to educate them that discrimination for ANY reason whatsoever is wrong!

  3. So sorry! I am white, my grandparents were born in Italy. I experienced slurs my entire childhood. 1960s and 70s. Luckily my family instilled confidence in me whuch allowed me to basically ignore that treatment and to view it as ignorance and stupidity. As it appears you are doing for your children.

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