The Dora Lesson

~Overheard during my last visit to Toys ‘r’ Us, Queensbay Mall~

Man (to daughter): Girl, come and look at this ugly doll!
Daughter: Where, Daddy?
Man: There, see…this doll, ….. or-or wan… (or-or is Hokkien for black)
Daughter: No la, Daddy. Where got ugly doll? That is Dora!
Man: Huh? Yes ah? I thought ugly doll….

Children are oblivious to the color of skin. Babies are born treating everyone equally. It is the adults that inculcate this sense of *difference* between a fair-skinned person and a dark-skinned person. Are kids these days being brainwashed to become future racists? Okay, perhaps *racists* is too harsh a word, but still, you cannot deny the harm that is being done to that little girl in that scenario above just by what her father is indirectly teaching her.

I have also heard people saying things they deem “harmless” but are actually “harm-FUL” if you look at it deeper. Statements such as, “I don’t know if I should take my son to the barber shop for a haircut. He might be intimidated by how *black* the barber looks. The last time I took him there, he cried immediately upon entering. It could be because of the barber.”

Do we want our kids to grow up shunning people of different races or do we want them to embrace racial unity? In the spirit of kemerdekaan, it is embarrassing to have some official forms still requiring us to fill up a column called RACE. And I have a feeling this could go on for a long time still. Perhaps because of the upbringing, perhaps because some people are still poisoning the minds of their kids. And it is sad that they are already doing it without their even knowing it.

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10 Responses to The Dora Lesson

  1. Leah says:

    Actually, there were parents who told me they changed kindie cos the child was afraid of ppl of darker skin. They were also children who cried seeing my hubby, and their parents said it’s becoz of his “kwai” look.
    I think it’s becoz the adults “scared” them with if you notty, i ask so-and-so to bring you home” and that played into the insecurity of a child. Otherwise, they do not differentiate skin colors.

    The Giddy Tiger says: Spot on. It is the adults that drive the kids into this behaviour.

  2. I agree with you.

    When my son was two, I wanted to hire a Sri Lanka maid. Many of my friends advised me not to get an or-or one, or she would scare my son. I went ahead anyway. Lower salary mah.

    Turn out my son wasn’t afraid and later love her so much. My son has no problem making friends with people of all colour. 🙂

    The Giddy Tiger says: That’s great. We should have more people like that in this world. We are, after all, God’ children, regardless of race or creed.

  3. jazzmint says:

    hehe…speechless to the parent

    The Giddy Tiger says: I know what you mean.

  4. narrowband says:

    Giddy Tiger, I’d like to share a similar story. Fortunately, it’s not my story. Here it is. That’s how ugly things become when we breed racists.

    The Giddy Tiger says: I’m shocked to read that these people exist within our midst!

  5. cc says:

    You are so right. It really enrages me when I hear remark like that. It is behavior like that that makes generations of racists. The sad thing is, many people do it subconsciously yet deny to be a racist. New flash , when you see two people of different descent, the first few things that come to mind include race, then racism is in your blood.

    The Giddy Tiger says: Spot on. I bet there ARE many who are like that.

  6. may says:

    those words sound uglier than the doll’s looks… oh, for a borderless, racial-ess (is there such a word?) world…

    The Giddy Tiger says: I agree with you 100%. Actually Dora is not ugly what…

  7. shooi says:

    i know what u mean. I have relatives like that too. I’m glad my parents are not. They let & encourage Bryan to play with the non-Chinese neighbours kids all the time. In fact, just the otehr day, Bryan was trying to speak “indian” to the roti man. Of course, nobody understood what he was trying to say. LOL

    The Giddy Tiger says: When I was studying in the university, I know of people who disliked the fact that I talked to non-Chinese. It’s sad that they feel that way, though.

  8. That problem is evident here too. Hate having the race box on some docs. I know soon my kids will have to fill out college applications. Why do they have to choose to be Caucasian or Pacific Asian? Isn’t American good enough?

    The sad thing is either choice they make can work against them. White people are the second choice if a sacred minority is on the list. Asians get booted for being too smart and the college wants more diversity, which comes from the sacred minority. What happened to accepting the cream of the crop. If my kids are tops I want them to rewarded not ignored.

    The Giddy Tiger says: I hear ya. It’s time to reward the deserving.

  9. rinnah says:

    The doll looks okay to me mah… what narrow-minded thinking that father has!

    The Giddy Tiger says: Yeah, tell me about it….the nerve of some people!

  10. Dora is ugly meh? I think she looks cute.

    Great post!

    The Giddy Tiger says: Yeah, looks ok, right?

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