Yesterday I took my kids to the state park playground, which is next to a large campground, and picnic area, most of the kids are from out of town, anyway I'm american of Irish euro descent nd my kid's dad is Japanese. The boy my 5 year-old son started to ply with was aboout 9 or so and was African-American, after a little while he asked DS "are you Chinese?" Ds said "No, i'm Japanese and English" I think he says that because he see's the difference in language rather than race. so they play some more and the kid starts calling him Chinese boy, and yelling it while playing tag, the other two girls age 5 and 11 starting calling him that too. I called out he's Japanese not Chinese! they kept it up and i walked over to where DS was playing and said "we don't have to stay here and play if people aren't being nice....the kids could hear what I said, Ds said he wanted to still play They kept saying it and I said we don't have to play with people who are being racist, the 10 year old girl said, i didn't mean to be mean...so i said, I understand but it hurts people's feelings when you say stuuf like that." i had noticed the girl's Grandpa had an accent and seemed to be a native speaker of a language other than English, I said, asked where is your grampa form? She said he's from here, but he's Italian, I said how would you feel if people yelled at you Italion girl? . I was not mean or mad when i talked to her because i knew whe wasn't rying to be mean but was following what the other kid was doing. Do you think this was too much on my part? I asked my son if he felt good that I stepped in or he'd rather i didn't, he said he was glad i did. I wanted to let him know he doesn't have to put up with it though and thought by calmly questioning the girl I could show an example of how to stand up for himself in a non-threatening way, he is still 5 though, any ideas on a better way to handle situations like these?? The girls stopped calling him Chinese boy and started calling him by name, the 9 year old boy kept calling him Chinese boy though :( I did not ask him how he would feel if people called him "black boy" rather than his name cuase.....not sure why i hesitated, I guess caue in this area african americans have a long history of being discriminated against.....also it seemed he was doing it to be mean, cause he kept saying it when i said it was hurtful, wasn't sure what to say to him
Unfortunately there aren't to many Asains where we live, so once in awhile kids say things out of ignorance, my pet peeve is that many people here think anyone Asian is Chinese, even after you specificaly tell them which country, argh look at a map!