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Pretending to be another race (not nice)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure I'm posting this in the right place, perhaps the GD forum would be better but... I'm asking here because it pertains to racism.
The situation is this:
DS1 (8 yo) has taken lately to using his "stupid" voice to pretend to be Chinese- saying things like "I'm Chinese." or "You lost so now you have to go to Chinatown." It infuriates me and I'm not sure how to get him to realize how incredibly rude (and, imo, racist) it is. What I have done is asked him if he would feel good if someone used the same voice and pretended to be him. He still persists in doing this and I really have no idea how to get him to quit it. To make matters worse, one of his good friends is "half" Japanese and I'm worried that if his mother hears this, she will *freak*.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Am I over-reacting?
post #2 of 4
books are my answer to everything. maybe because i am a librarian :, but try getting books on people from different places and the ones that talk about how people live in different places seem to work well because they all seem to fall back on the fact that there are the same basic needs everwhere. i would get him a book on china's people and also a book on racism/prejudice so that he could understand how this hurts people.

then couple some conversation like you have been with the material. also ask where he got it from and if he really thinks it is right after reading the books.
post #3 of 4
Jacqueline, I don't think you are over-reacting because we all want our children to grow up to be good, considerate people, not rude jerks and you are just worried that his behavior could offend someone unintentionally.

Usually getting them to put themselves into someone else's shoes work but it seems that just went right over his head.

I agree with Bad Mama Jama to try to use books to help facilitate a conversation. It will help him to imagine himself really in someone else's shoes. I think the book "A Day for Vincent Chin" by Jacqueline Turner Banks might be good. It's about a young Japanese American boy whose mother is working on the Vincent Chin case. Vincent Chin was a young man who was killed just because he was Asian. It's barely a hundred pages so he can finish it in a day or two.

I also think your son might benefit if he participated in programs/activities that are culturally Chinese or Korean or whatever ethnicity lives close to you. He has probably heard one of his friends say that phrase or they equate negativity with Chinatwon. But if you take him to the area he will see how wrong he was about Chinatown.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
There aren't very many people of different cultures in this town, so there aren't very many cultural events. I'm not sure how far we'd have to travel to find a "Chinatown" type area, DH might have a better idea of that. I only asked if I was reacting because one of my brothers said I was (though I generally take his comments with a grain of salt considering the racist crap I hear coming out of his mouth on a regular basis Thankfully, he lives no where *near* us to have an influence on DSs).
I like the book idea and I appreciate the suggestion of a book for which to look.
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