Saturday, November 8, 2014

Standing Up Against Racial Ridicule

An incident happened when Monkey was still in public school that made me so proud of him.  Monkey is a shy, soft-spoken kid, who doesn't often speak out for himself when other kids tease him or exclude him. He's not one to make waves. But one day, he told me about something that happened in the lunchroom.

Boys at the lunch table were pulling their eyes into slants and making 'ching chong' mimickry of the Chinese language, and doing that old rhyme 'Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, look at these'. I've heard all this before growing up, and I'm saddened that it still goes on. This school and town certainly has a lot more racial diversity than the one I grew up in, and there's a lot of Asians in this general area. This type of racially-charged ridicule was new to Monkey though.  He felt bad hearing it. And he spoke up and said quietly, "I'm Chinese". It was met with some surprise, since Monkey doesn't look Asian, but thankfully, the boys stopped their antics.

I don't know if it stopped it long-term, or if they just did it behind his back. But for that moment, he stood up against racial prejudice, and the kids stopped.  It doesn't come easy for him to speak up for himself, but I'm so thankful that he did.  Thank God for victories both big and small!


  1. That's great he spoke up. Maybe next time those kids will think twice before making racial comments like that.

  2. That is great that Monkey stood up for himself!! That takes a lot of courage. I have clear memories of being teased for being Chinese in elementary school, and I am so, so sad and disappointed to hear that kids today still do that kind of thing. :( I am very upset that Monkey experienced that kind of meanness, but I hope he is proud of himself for being brave and speaking up! He took a bad situation and made it into a learning / growing opportunity, and he will be stronger for it!

    I am thinking... That kind of teasing really falls under the "bullying" umbrella. I am totally a non-confrontational, don't make waves kind of person, but if that happened to my child, I think I would make an appointment to speak with the principal. I would make it clear that that kind of behavior is unacceptable, and ask what the school does / will do in terms of their social curriculum that will ensure that all students understand that the type of behavior exhibited was wrong. The principal just needs to know if some kids in the school are making fun of others' ethnicity, and if some kids are feeling marginalized because of that teasing. A good principal in a good school district will take the issue seriously.