Monday, June 18, 2007

The "Chinese Auction" and other idiocy!

I saw it again-a flyer in a local business advertising an upcoming "Chinese Auction." I just shook my head and thought 'when will we ever get it right?' My daughter-born in China-wanted to know who was being auctioned. She was afraid that it was a child that someone no longer wanted!

Yikes! Who knew that language that we take for granted and shrug off as political correctness run amok could have such an impact on a child.

Remember when we routinuely used expressions like "Mexican stand off", "Indian Giver" without giving it a second thought? Did any of us realize that the term "Dutch treat" was coined because someone thought the Dutch were cheap! Remember when sitting cross-legged on the ground was called sitting like an Indian?"

We don't hear many of these deragatory and insulting comments-kids in schools today sit like a pretzel or criss cross applesauce. But still we use deragatory language unconsciously all the time. It is hard to change old habits. Many of us are not conviced it is a big deal. Of course, those that think it isn't a big deal probably aren't in the group that is being derided.

So, today I am roaming around town taking down the signs for the "Chinese Auction" and replacing them with new flyers eliminates the word "Chinese". Some of you may think I am over-reacting, but then again, maybe your child wasn't afraid that she was going to be auctioned off. Believe me, that would change your tune in a heartbeat.

Are you conscious of your language (and I don't just mean four-letter words) and the impact they have on children? What are you going to do today to make sure you are part of the solution of preventing bias and later bullying and not part of the problem.

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