Yes, yet another. Maybe even several.
First. You white parents don’t have to worry about teaching your children not to be “oversensitive.” Because what you’ll really teach them is that you’re insensitive. And then they’ll probably learn not to tell you anything at all.
Second. It seems that many of you feel that you have suffered from discrimination. I would bite my tongue until it’s bloody if you were telling me about some painful incident you experienced and you deemed it “racist.” Because I know that there are many things in our lives that can wound us deeply. So I would be trying to listen to the emotive content and not to your incorrect word choice.
But that said, I have to wonder why this experience didn’t cause you to learn any empathy?
How can you detail some experience that obviously hurt you and yet ignore the hurtful nature of racism? How can you want your son or daughter to experience that hurt? Yes, it’s probably true that everybody has painful experiences as a child. But is that an excuse for witnessing hurtful actions and doing nothing?
Third. White parents of Asian children (and I’ve heard more than a few of you say this): Just because you made this gesture in the past and don’t think you’re racist doesn’t mean anything. Just because your Asian child makes this gesture does not mean it is not racist. Undoubtedly the child does not understand the underlying racist sentiment. I mean, you don’t. How would you expect your child to learn?
Your five-year-old is not going to say, “Excuse me, mother, but that gesture has its origins in anti-Asian racism that has been around since the 1800’s. The problem is that this type of unexamined racism feeds into stereotype and discrimination. It furthers a racist system of exclusion.”
And finally. You may assert that your nine-year-old has never faced racism, but I seriously doubt it. It’s more likely that she has never told you. And why would she? Because “those people” play the victim. They’re always offended about something. They’re making a big deal out of silly stuff. They don’t know how to fight “real racism.”
Why would she want to be one of “those people”? Nobody takes them seriously.