Racism on the Playground

Some know I am in Belgium often this month, (no worries the hubbie is dealing with all toy deliveries for the time being). 

This is not a toy post, but several bloggers advised me to blog about the things I am passionate about. Well this is one of those off-toy-topic post: Racism on the playground. I wonder if British citizens are all in shock by just reading the title.

But Before proceeding, please all note that I have friends in every single religious group and from anywhere in the world. Everyone who knows me, can confirm this.  I have lived in the US, Israel, Turkey, Morocco etc, everywhere adapting to the local custom and respecting their ways. 

So back to Belgium now,  I am in shock, perhaps I am living in the UK for a couple of years now, so it hit me when I heard the following. 

My friend’s son is mixed race (3y), when she arrived at my place about a week ago, she complained that some children of a certain religion had been throwing sand at him to chase him away on the play ground in the park around the corner. What?

On a next visit the same happens again. An older boy pretends to be throwing around sand ‘in the air’ but aims at us. We just move and go play somewhere else (giving in to avoid conflict). 

On our third visit little C (nearly 2) and her friend are playing in a wooden car on the same playground. A 4y old girl walks up to my little baby – who is just sitting in that car and pretending to drive – and bluntly throws a handful of sand straight into little C’s face.  The mum is nowhere to be seen. I am in shock trying to get the sand off. 

The 4y old comes again, takes a handful in front of my eyes, grins at me, and throws sand in my daughters face again! I am upset and loudly ask her to stop, both in Dutch and English. She giggles runs off to her elder brother and sister, who tells her to do it again. 

Third time round the 4y really knowing what she is doing, throwing sand again, while seeing my daughter crying she has sand in her eyes. I loose my temper, I feel so vulnerable and I have no way to explain my daughter what is happening. I can not yell at someone elses kid, so how do I show my daughter what to do? Leaving will not teach both of them anything ?!

What would you do?  Would you loose your temper?

What do you think happened? 

If there are answers I might do a follow-up post with what happened.

 

Ps: I can not stress this enough: I still feel the same about all religions and respect all, the one above is just one extreme group of a certain religion. Everyone not belonging to this group is considered dirty and evil. eg once a boy had fallen from his bike, no-one had stopped to look after him, but when I stopped the car to go and help him, suddenly everyone came rushing screaming I am not allowed to touch him. 

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5 responses to “Racism on the Playground

  1. So what happened? I lost it, you feel so defenseless if you r words don’t reach the kid in questions, around the 4th time of throwing sand in the face and when talking did not help I returned the favour. No change in behaviour, the girl hardly noticed it. And she does the same again, no emotion she has made the younger girl (my daughter) cry. Her older brothers and sisters keep encouraging the behaviour. And I triple raise my voice. Finally the mum arrives stating she does not understand. I reply that my daughter (nearly 2) even is old enough to understand that throwing sand directly in someones face is NOT ok. People are watching and she changes her approach finally asking her little girl to apologise. It seems the girl does understand both English and Dutch perfectly fine and finally says sorry.
    I reported to the police as I needed to be at the station for other things anyway, they are aware of unsocial behaviour of the group and ask me to make a formal complaint to the city.

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  2. There are some horrible children out there but it’s not their fault it all comes down to the parents. On Seths first day of school I started speaking to one of the moms, she seemed awkward but was friendly and we got on. After a few days of seeing her every day she politely said ‘I think I should tell you I’m a Jehovah’s Witness, you may not want to talk to me anymore’ turns out that while attending the nursery there her and her daughters were bullied by the other parents and their children simply for their beliefs but she was more concerned about the knock on effect it may have on me. These children were 3 and 4 years old and being horrible about something they didn’t understand. She’s still getting grief at school now.

    If that had been me I would have said something to the child in a stern voice I’ve done it before when opeie was deliberately pushed over by a boy, but if that didn’t work and I could see that the parent knew what was going on as was doing nothing they would feel the full brunt of my rage! No-one hurts my boys, I can Asure you they wouldn’t do it again.

    I hope you stood up for yourself, it’s good for your children to see that they are protected. X

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  3. Kids are throwing sand, you can not necessarily interpret this as racist if nothing has been said..unless the kids have said some comments while throwing it?? their parents should be supervising them much better! I am interested to know what happened though!!

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    • Thank you for your reply Anna,
      This play ground is huge. Like 400m2? And there are usually about 200-400 children there. The ones from the religion talked about, are often from different large families and might not know each other. However they do play nice with their ‘peers’ whom are all dressed very specific and speak one language among each other. But if someone not part of their community plays on the slide, they push them over or act like they don’t see them, or in certain cases they throw sand at everyone not belonging to their group. They can identify themselves in dress code, not skin color, they have the same color as us.
      There are 3-4 other cultures present on the play ground and they all behave nicely to all kids and just act like normal kids anywhere. No where else I have seen a small kiddo walk up to a stranger and purposefully try to harm them by throwing sand in ones face (10-15 cm away only).

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