Sunday, November 15, 2009

Racism Around the World

This morning, President Obama arrived in Shanghai, the third leg of his four nation trip to Asia and his first visit to China. I was struck this weekend with the timing of his arrival to China with a photo that I just happened to see…..a photo of President Obama and his Chinese American niece taken during a vacation in August. As I looked at the photo, I thought of how much I wish our country could truly look beyond race.

China is now dealing with the issue of racism as well. As Chinese society opens up to the outside world and more Chinese marry foreigners, they are now dealing with very similar issues. There was an interesting program on NPR last week called “Mixed-Race TV Contestant Ignites Debate in China” about a young girl whose mother was Chinese and father was African-American. She was raised in Shanghai and recently appeared on a Chinese reality TV show. Her appearance has caused an online racist debate.

Hearing about this young girl, I was so struck by how similar her story is to many in our own country. And how much the story of differences causes stereotypes and judgments. I hope that as our world becomes smaller and smaller, that there will be more acceptance around the world with all people in all nations.

As you read news stories, do you feel that worldwide we are becoming more accepting of other races? Do you feel that the media runs stories to sensationalize race? What are you doing as a parent to raise an open family?


  1. I just read today about an American movie - something like Couples Retreat - not a movie I would go see so not sure of the name. But there were three white couples and one black couple, all of whom appeared on the poster in America below their names. On the UK poster for the same movie, the black couple and their names had been removed so to better attract viewers in the UK to the movie. Sad.

    I think we have come a long way in the world and many amaze me, particularly elderly people, at how open they have become, but there is a long way yet to go. My two 12-year-olds and I talk a lot about racism and how people of different races and religions should respect each other as we want to be respected. We are constantly seeking out books, music, food and movies from other countries and having discussions of how the many ways of thinking and believing and living are what makes the world so rich and full. That in itself is one of the top reasons we homeschool.

  2. As a multicultural family in the deep South we see it ALOT..but here is what we do...we meet it head on. We have friends of all ages, shapes colors, sizes, and preferences. On any given day my van is filled with White kids, Chinese kids, African American kids, and bi-racial kids. It never fails that I will have someone ask me "WHAT SCHOOL DO YOU WORK FOR". When I tell them that half of them are MY kids, it always opens discussions about adoption , children, and love.
    We teach our children to "love the heart" & to have sympathy for those who are missing out because they can't.
    We don't deal with it at school because our children are educated at home..a definite perk.