July 8, 2009

Let's talk about race, baby.

My climbing partner, Graceful, is Chinese-American. I've discussed her marriage before. As she put it, our climbing sessions have become Steel Magnolias with climbing as the activity rather than a hair salon. In the course of our rambling chats, we've often discussed race and cross-cultural relationships. Her light-skinned 'black' husband identifies himself as Caucasian since he was raised by a white mother.

Monday night as we cleaned up after climbing, we had an interesting interchange:

I'd asked how Double Name is doing in school (he's in college in Florida, which is why Graceful has so much time to climb). She said, "He says he's doing ok."

I laughed, "Ask him if he's doing 'Asian ok' or 'Caucasian ok'; since 'Caucasian OK' is B's and C's and 'Asian OK' is A-'s"

She grinned, but also looked chagrined, "Not A-, really A's and not A+ is 'Asian OK'." She smiled as she went on, "I really should ask him that! He'd laugh. We've talked a lot about the fact that Asian parents are better at getting their kids to excel in school and that Asians tend to be much more intense about cleaning. He's challenged me to not impose those on him without us talking them through."

I nodded, "You're so right." Then something hit me, "However! There's something Caucasian parents do MUCH better than Asians."

She looked intrigued. I continued, "Caucasian children usually feel loved for who they are."
Graceful nodded, "That IS true." Then I thought about stories of hardship that Double Name has endured, "Unfortunately for Double Name, he didn't even get that perk from having a Caucasian parent..."

We both really enjoy analyzing behavior and patterns, so for us, we loved that conversation. Some of the other women in the locker room looked a little confused though...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Terrific new format.
And such an accurate slogan.