Chi*g C*hong Ch*ing Ch*ong....
Do you remember the whole Rosie O'Donell ch*ing ch*ong incident? ....then there is this eloquent response by the poet beau sia which points out the ignorance of the comment and the pain it can cause.
Well, we have our own personal ch*ing ch*ong incident -please excuse all the stars, I am trying to control who finds the site through nasty google searches- one of the teachers at the kid's school cracked a ch*ing ch*ong joke, and for good measure one about Native American languages too. Though the teacher implied that there is only one indigenous language in the Americas, neglecting the approximately 150 languages in the South American continent, which are the few survivors of the approximately 1,500 languages present at the time of European -read Spanish- contact in that region. This also neglects the approximately 28 Central American and Mexican indigenous languages, and the approximately 300 North American indigenous languages.
This joke was racist.
The fact that the teacher did it for a laugh and not in the context of trying to build cultural awareness and what can hinder peoples open-minded approach to the diversity of our world...
made it worse.
The fact that the teacher is a teacher...
made it worse.
We are drawing up our own response.
We do not anticipate being able to approach the eloquence of Beau Sia, especially as we have to have the conversation in Catalan, this however does not remove the importance of the issue.
I truly do not believe that this teacher is a racist. In that, I truly believe that he would not treat a child in his class differently if he or she came from another culture...that said, racism is alive and well here. I also truly believe that this teacher made an ignorant and harmful comment and needs to be called on it. Let's be nice and say educated if you want.
Here in Spain we are treated differently than other immigrants because we are immigrants from the so-called first world.
This is wrong.
We are not even called immigrants as this refers to poor people who often look different from the Spanish, as in not white, and often face economic challenges, most likely at least in part because of this labelling.
This is wrong.
Laughing at other culture's languages, or other people's faces
Doing so in an educational setting
is tragically wrong.
This country is one of the most open nations in Europe in their policies, in their admittance of refugees, in their willingness to provide every single person with medical care and education, but it is a nation that is new to having immigrants. It is something with which they are working, actively and diligently, on a daily basis.
But this behaviour, which I have also seen in other contexts,
It is not supportive of tolerance, which is this teachers job.
Tolerance is only the first pathetic baby step.
Tolerance implies merely a willingness to endure. It implies to me an element of distaste.
What we need is an open-minded welcome; an interest in and fundamental respect for all people and all cultures.
This behaviour does not support it.
What we need is a fundamental belief that the diversity of people, whether as individuals or as groups, by whatever commonality they are made, is one of the greatest riches that we posses as humans.
That we are one people, who are all different, and that this diversity is fundamentally and profoundly important is vital.
This behaviour does not pass on this message.
Now to pass my daughter's message about this subject on to the teacher.