Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I've often wondered when and how Jada would perceive race. We have tried to put her in as many multi-cultural settings as possible, so she can interact with and observe people from a wide range of skin tones, socio-economic backgrounds, and professions, and not build up any incorrect or unhelpful stereotypes. It helps that our neighborhood, church, and closest playground and park are all pretty balanced.
Important to this discussion, we have not had as many opportunities to be near other Asian folks. For example, her past two schools were all black kids except for her and Aaron, and her current class has six white kids, six black kids, and only one other Asian kid. We tend to see lots of Asian people when we visit my parents in San Jose, but we only get out there once a year.
So Amy and I were intrigued when, one evening last week, Jada announced that one of her new friends at school was "dark," and another new friend was "white." Amy and I looked at each other, and then Amy asked, "And what are you?" Jada replied confidently, as if it was patently obvious, "I'm dark white." When I asked about another Asian friend of hers, she said, "She's dark white, too."
Dark white? I love it.