Experiencing racism at a young age

Before entering 4th grade, my family moved to the very white town of Forest Lake, MN from the very diverse city of Saint Paul, MN.

I was never fully aware that I was “different” in Saint Paul but I learned how I definitely was in Forest Lake.

I was sad to be leaving my friends but super excited because our new house was beautiful. I got along with everyone at my new school and I made friends rather quickly. I was always a little boy-crazy as a child. I always passed around my new and updated “hot list” to my girlfriends, obviously hoping they’d show my list to my top boys.

There was this boy, we’ll call him D, who joined our class in the middle of the year but some of the boys had known him already since they were tykes in hockey together. I thought he was so cute and he instantly was at the top of my list. I soon found out he had put me at the top of his, too!

He asked me to be his “girlfriend,” which really meant nothing besides sitting next to each other when ever possible but never actually speaking in real life, only on the phone at night. So, we were an “item” for maybe three days, on the third day, rumors were going around that he didn’t want me to be his “girlfriend” anymore. I wasn’t that surprised because “relationships” didn’t last much longer at that age but I still wanted to know why.

D’s best friend, we’ll call him S (aka The Bully), one of the boys he had known from hockey came up to me and said “I told him you were Hmong– that’s why you got dumped, ha ha!”

(By the way, I’m not even Hmong– I’m Cambodian. That’s not the point though.)

I never had S on my “hot list” because, to me, he just wasn’t. And he never had me on his. I never really cared about it until he made this comment to me… I realized he was a racist!

He always made fun of other boys for having me on their “hot list” before D came and I always just assumed he thought I was ugly or fat. I was never mean to him but he was never nice to me.

No one has ever been so blatantly racist towards me. I will never forget that mother fucker.

P.S. I ended up telling D that S had my ethnic background mistaken, D regretted his decision on ending our “relationship” but I definitely didn’t “take him back.” Fuck both those guys.

(Challenge #2 / Day #9)

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34 thoughts on “Experiencing racism at a young age

  1. What jerks! As a white girl, I can’t say I’ve experienced racism. However, this post reminded me of when I was in middle school and this one boy asked me to be his girlfriend. I didn’t really like him, but he was pretty popular (and I wasn’t), so I said yes. It turned out that he was paid $10 to ask me out as a joke and then a bunch of people at school were laughing at me for falling for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw. One time I had to ask this boy out on one of those “Zap” things (where they write zap on the back of your hand and a time when you’re supposed to ask the person written on your palm out) and he said YES and I felt so bad so I pity “dated” him for a week.

      Kids are so cruel!!!

      Like

  2. Boys can be horrible to girls at that age. And we don’t do bully’s, ever.
    In junior high, I invited this girl to go to some church thing with me. She came to my house where my parents promptly pulled me aside and told me “she won’t fit in”. I didn’t understand then and now our church is very diverse but back then, black people just didn’t go there. It’s sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Relationships as kids are so cute lol, but definitely short lived. I’m sorry that dick had to up and ruin it for you. And the sad thing is, at that young age, racism stems from what you’re surrounded by – so his whole family had to be racist or something. I can’t say I can relate to that, but I have been picked on for being shy or odd (nothing in comparison to that), and kids start rumors so fast. Especially about who you may or may not like.
    I remember the whole “who’s hot, who’a not” list being a thing at my school, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah– my boyfriend knows his family and I asked him if they were racist too and he told me they are. How sad.

      All kids do is start rumors and make each other feel bad by coming up with things such as the “hot or not lists” πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is sad :/ the kid had no chance then, he grew up surrounded by it.

        And that’s so true πŸ˜‚ hahah. Because as kids all you want to be is popular until you reach the place where it’s overrated to be popular

        Liked by 1 person

      2. True, they definitely can! But it depends on the individual :/

        It definitely is too much of a hassle haha. I think I stopped caring sometime in middle school

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for your story :). It’s really sad because this reflects the culture of the society right now… Because kids don’t know how to be racist until they learn it from the society or their families. I’ve had a number of experiences like this and heard many stories and it just shows how sometimes even the “little” things and comments can be very hurtful. Really appreciate you speaking up and sharing this! It’s really motivated me to keep going with my own campaign on this issue.
    Can I have your permission to share this story on my blog?
    And also if you’d like – please check it out as well πŸ˜€ it’s a campaign I made to push Australians to be more active in fighting racism every day. Blogging is something quite new to me so your feedbacks are very appreciated!
    https://eraseracismblog.wordpress.com/blog/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Stand Up Against Public Racial Abuse and commented:
    Can you imagine how a child would feel when they are told by their classmates or even teachers that they are less valued or less liked because of their skin colour and background?

    Yet, racial bullying is amongst top five biggest concerns in Australian schools according to Victoria state government.

    Where do kids learn to judge each other according to their race? Children start adopting the values of their families and later on – the society from a young age.

    So why must we stand up and fight against racism? Because every act of racism in public (on the train, on the bus or on the streets) that’s been tolerated is telling the children who are watching that – it’s ok to judge and discriminate.

    Source: Experiencing racism at a young age

    A special thanks to Hunida for the story πŸ™‚ Please give her a follow or maybe even a message of encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As a bi-racial, I know all too well about racism and I was born at a time when bi-racials were not as common. Learned the first day of kindergarten that I was “different” and if it weren’t for ONE person, I would have been alone during my childhood years.

    Things don’t change when you get older. Over the years I’ve had people “bet” on my ethnic background, flat out get into my face and tell me to “go back to where you are from” or other things to try and provoke a fight, and lose “friends” when they found out.

    I have even been terminated from three jobs after they learned my ethnic background. Can’t prove it but the timing was so soon afterwards, what else am I supposed to think? Especially after hearing comments from some visitors and co-workers when they found out too. One other place I did not dare reveal my ethnic background to coworkers because I already knew their attitudes towards Asians. I’ve heard the comments.

    There are not many people I trust because of my experiences. Whether kids outgrow their racist attitudes is questionable since I have run into plenty of adults the same way.

    It is good that you are voicing what you went through. Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, in the Elementary school I was attending when this incident occurred I was also one of two asian kids in my class and then the next year another asian girl transferred into our class.

      People always bet my ethnic background as well, and have tons of time told me to go back to where I’m from but even more naively they like to ask “where are you from” and when I say “Minnesota” they say “noo, originally where are you from??” …..

      I believe you about the 3 jobs…that’s so horribly disgusting of the companies. Some kids do outgrow it but most of them don’t….

      Thank you for taking the time to read my post!! And thank you for sharing your experiences with me. ❀ Stay strong!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. In reading your reply, I see that the racist attitudes in the younger generation has not changed one bit. And some say things have gotten better? I don’t know what world they live in but it sure isn’t this one.

    By the way, two of the jobs I got terminated from were churches.

    Liked by 1 person

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