An innocent conversation I overheard amongst three 7 year olds after school the other day, all of them a different race, ethnicity, and religious background…
Kid #1: Are you going to eat your pumpkin bread?
Kid #2: (looks uneasy)
Kid #1: What?!? You don’t like it? It’s really more like cake than bread.
Pause for chewing
Kid #1: What do you have for an after school snack?
Kid #2: Like, regular food
Kid #1: Like, apples and popcorn?
Kid #2: Like, dumplings
Kid #3: Because you’re Chinese
Kid #2: I’m Korean
Collective nods and mild shock
Kid #1: Are Koreans like Americans?
Kid #2: (Shrugs) Well, I was born in America
Kid #3: He’s probably from South Korea. You don’t want to go to North Korea, least that’s what I think I heard.
Kid #1: I really want popcorn
Kid #2: Are we going to play mine craft?
Kid #1: Yessssssssssss
And then, they played Monopoly.
I purposely did not interject at any point. Not one of these kids looked to me to clarify anything, not even about why it was stated that it may not be a good idea to go to North Korea. They were just a group of friends chatting about after school snacks, and inadvertently learning that their friend is actually Korean, not Chinese.