I wanted to share with you this [now gone] post from “Ask Moxie” — the topic is powerful and uncomfortable, and definitely needs to be addressed…
A (Chinese-American) mother was out with her two kiddos and confronted with blatantly racist comments directed at her:
We were having a picnic by a river — my kids (ages two and four) and I were feeding ducks along the bank, where some several other families were having picnics and had rigged low-fi equipment for fishing or catching crayfish or whatever. I’m talking about twine held down by some rocks and a pack of ham next to it, not actual fancy fishing equipment.
A little girl who probably didn’t quite see what we were doing got nervous that we were messing with her stuff, and told her mom. This woman came up to me and said, accusingly, “You know it’s really rude to touch other people’s stuff without asking.” I was kind of shocked by her tone, and explained that we weren’t actually touching her things — just picking up bread that we had dropped. She said, still accusatory, “Well, my daughter wouldn’t lie to me.” Essentially cutting off the conversation.
No asking her daughter if anything had actually been disturbed. No asking me, a grown-up who was there the entire time, what had happened. I was about to walk away when she made a comment to her husband loud enough for us to hear: “That Chinese American woman… which is just the worst kind.” I just COULD NOT BELIEVE MY EARS. My kids were there, sensing the tension, and I thought, “Really? Did she just make a racist comment in front of my kids AND her own kids? About what was just a misunderstanding?”
What would you do if you were in that situation? Have you been in that situation?