My daughter came home from the gym and said, “I saw a truck with a large Confederate flag and Trump signs all over it. Why do we have to live here? Why did you move us from San Francisco?”
I chuckled. “Actually, Mesa, AZ is more like most of the country than not. In San Francisco, we lived in a bubble. And even that place has changed a ton in the past 15 years.”
“I want to live in a bubble!” She whined.
I get it.
It reminded me of the time I came home crying after a particularly grueling day of racial taunts in elementary school. As a 100% ethnically Korean-American girl growing up in Davenport, Iowa in the 70s, life could be challenging. Each day, someone called me chink or told me to go back where I came from.
My father reacted sternly to my tears: “Caroline, life is going to show you much harder times. Don’t be weak and cry.” His jaw grew hard and his face turned red.
“Go. Wash your face.”
And we never spoke of racism again.
And I’ve yet to find the answer to the question I had: “How do you convert racists into kind human beings?”
Locals (Phoenix/Mesa, Arizona): Please boycott the Breakfast Club in Phoenix. A young man had the “n word” written on his ticket by a coworker. The owner says it was just a joke and no one has been held accountable. In fact, this young man, Rakevion White, has had his hours cut with no explanation.
I used to read Highlights Magazine from cover to cover as a kid. I loved the stories, the nature articles, the riddles and, of course, Goofus and Gallant. I was heartened to read the CEO’s plea of humanity in his letter to the public lately. Indeed, we need to separate politics from “human decency”:
“As a company that helps children become their best selves—curious, creative, caring, and confident—we want kids to understand the importance of having moral courage. Moral courage means standing up for what we believe is right, honest, and ethical—even when it is hard.
Our company’s core belief, stated each month in Highlights magazine, is that ‘Children are the world’s most important people.’ This is a belief about ALL children.
With this core belief in our minds and hearts, we denounce the practice of separating immigrant children from their families and urge our government to cease this activity, which is unconscionable and causes irreparable damage to young lives.
This is not a political statement about immigration policy. This is a statement about human decency, plain and simple. This is a plea for recognition that these are not simply the children of strangers for whom others are accountable. This is an appeal to elevate the inalienable right of all children to feel safe and to have the opportunity to become their best selves.
We invite you—regardless of your political leanings—to join us in speaking out against family separation and to call for more humane treatment of immigrant children currently being held in detention facilities. Write, call, or email your government representatives.
Let our children draw strength and inspiration from our collective display of moral courage. They are watching.”
I’m in a room of about 100 teachers from all over Arizona. I feel blessed to be here. We’re all pursuing National Board Certification. Sure, we get a (small) financial award, but the biggest reason that we’ve shown up is that each of us will deepen our teaching practice and bring more to each of our 30 – 180 students each day.
The great majority of teachers are exceptional people.
And then there are these bigots (who ought to lose their jobs):
13% of their student body is Latin-American. Idaho needs to do better for the children.
I’m typically identified in my country and community as “Asian-American” because I’m 100% ethnically Korean (but I was born in Iowa). We have Mexican-Americans, African-Americans, and Native-Americans but rarely do we ever call white people European-Americans. What is the ramification of this?
Why not do away with these labels?
Who cares if someone is gay or straight? Religious or not? Conservative or Liberal? Poor or rich? Why not label everyone simply “human” and treat each other humanely?
A religious woman I know told me, “I love my gay son, but too bad he’s going to go to hell.” Labeling her son and categorizing him as a sinner effectively created an unnecessary distance and one I believe she could regret.
Labels are used to create differences. It’s time we emphasize how we are the same.
Here is an in-depth, research-based study on the effects of labeling people: