Kids

I have decided that my children are the most courageous people that I have ever known. Every morning I set them off into their world as true minorities at their schools. Both of my children are Asian….one was born in Seoul, Korea and the other in Kyzyl, Tuva. They look enough alike for people to ask if they are ‘real’ brother and sister. I used to go into the ‘two parts of the world’ litany. Now I just reply that ‘now they are!’ Of course they are real brother and sister. They fight with one another constantly. My daughter has a more generous nature than her brother and we have to constantly watch that it’s not taken advantage of. They play games together. They share funny things they have found on the computer with one another. But they also have a tremendous amount of courage.
We have tried to raise them with nationality in mind. One is very, very proud of her Russian heritage and loves to hear about it. The other has shown very little interest in anything Korean. He is more interested in China and Israel……and Russia. He doesn’t like to be different…..and yet maneuvers in a world where he is very different just by being there. I wish there were more Asians for him to interact with. One summer I took them for skating lessons at a rink closer to a bigger city. It dawned on me, as I sat in the bleachers watching them on the ice, that for the first time in their lives they were actually in the majority. Of the maybe 100 kids on the ice, only 10 of them were non-Asians. The funny thing is, they never even noticed.

Our federal government has decreed that all public school classrooms must do something to acknowledge Martin Luther King’s birthday. I think the biggest testament to Dr. King is that it is the adults the worry about this. In my classroom, with 1 Arabic student, 1 Hispanic student and 15 white students of various shades….no one had a clue to what I was trying to say about discrimination. In order to celebrate the abolishment of racial discrimination….we have to TEACH racial discrimination. Go figure.

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