Slant Eyes

I’m musing over how to “handle”, if I handle it at all, discussing with my children the whole Spanish Basketball Team making slant-eyes for an advertisement thing.

I have nothing really insightful to say about this yet, except that I’m not really interested in some deconstruction of power and privilege as it relates to race.  That’s grad-school intellectual wanking, and, as enjoyable as that might be, such thinking is not helpful when you have the immediate situation of a child looking to you for guidance.  I have to put away youthful introspection – it’s time to be a grownup.

Middle school is approaching.  As I recall, if middle school students can’t find something about you to make fun of, they’ll just make something up.  The chances that my kids will have ‘slant eyes’ made at them are, IMHO, pretty good within the next few years.

I realize that most likely I will be teaching my kids to react to ‘racial’ things the way a white male thinks a person of color should react.  But, I don’t see how I could do anything else – I bring who I am and my own experience to the table.  Some might say that this is a good argument against interracial or international adoption, but to Hades with that.

This even ties in with still larger issues.  We want to raise healthy, happy children (like everyone else), but Lintilla and I must do that in the context of a fallen world.  There are dangers, toils and snares everywhere, and, as much as we’d like to only teach the kids how to navigate the clear waters, we would be doing them no favors if we didn’t cover thoroughly the dangerous, rough seas.  And most importantly, how to discern between the two.

It’s a fine line; I want them to be strong and confident in who they are, not taking crap from anyone.  Yet, I don’t want them to be knee-jerk, overly sensitive  jackasses, either.

So, I guess I need to think some more about this.  But not too long – time’s a’wastin’.

Posted in Kids, Race. 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Slant Eyes”

  1. bridgett Says:

    I work with some American Indian guys and they’ve had every ignorant thing thrown at them that you can imagine. They suggest the following responses:
    Nice try, but you won’t ever look as cool as me.
    The Korean word for that is “wannabe.”

  2. Katherine Coble Says:

    I realise that maybe I’m ignorant on this topic because I’m white and have no human kids.

    But after reading you for several years I think there is a level to which you are hyperconscious of your kids’ nonwhite genetic makeup. I have no doubt that stuff will arise over the years, but I would think the best way to deal with it is to teach your kids to be smart, cool and good Christians. Then they can just handle any negative thing thrown their way–racist, sizeist, ageist, classist–with grace.

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