Friday, March 22, 2013

Resisting Racism: The Anti-Bias Classroom

 ©  Sharon Chang and MultiAsian Families Blog, Mar 22 2013 

So what does an anti-bias classroom look like?? I’ve certainly thrown the idea around a lot. Here in Seattle “anti-bias” is also thrown around quite a bit by schools trying to speak to our increasingly diverse population. It’s become a sort of buzzword in education. Fashionable and trendy. But as I have mentioned before, many schools don’t practice what they preach. In fact, it doesn’t seem they even know how. And I sense from parents a total sense of bewilderment when they stumble across the term. They like the idea. Looks good on paper. But they’re not exactly sure what it is, or how to ask administration/educators about it. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mongolian Spots

 ©  Sharon Chang and MultiAsian Families Blog, Mar 9 2013 

My son was born with a large bruise-like birthmark on his low back and buttocks. Not overly concerned, but curious, we asked our white nurse about it. She told us it was called a “Mongolian spot.” Both my husband and I must have had a visible reaction, because she quickly followed with, “I don’t know why they call it that. They just do.” A year later I recounted this story to a white family member (whom I am close to and love dearly). He didn’t see a problem. Thought I was overreacting. The conversation quickly deteriorated into a heated argument. Not knowing my history I was helpless to defend myself. Wasn’t “Mongolian,” he wondered, just a harmless - maybe even nice – reference to the people of Mongolia?

Um, no.