Our instinct as parents is to protect our children. How can I guard them against racism?


My kids are Chinese. I am not. It makes me particularly ill-equipped to help them negotiate an ugly symptom of the global pandemic. Even prior to COVID-19, they experienced schoolyard racism – mocked for the shape of their eyes, or made the butt of jokes about eating dog meat. We have discussed the inherent racism in such comments and, for the moment, my kids have seemed to embrace their Asian identities as they move into adolescence and young adulthood. But history shows all too well how off-handed comments can become something more, particularly when frequency or bully pulpits turn them into a norm. Even passing racism can cause long-lasting damage when left unchecked and unchallenged. Our instinct as parents is to protect our children. I can give my kids masks, remind them to wash their hands, and take them for COVID-19 vaccinations. But how do I vaccinate them against the hate and scarring that results when they see people who look like them being targeted for their ethnicity?

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