“Hey, brown boy!”

My Thing 2 (yes, kid #2) told me today that he was addressed as “the brown boy” by one of his classmates. He is in second grade.

Let me pause right here. I will let you digest the essence of those words. Having been a Bay Area (California) resident (supposedly known for the diversity of cultures and backgrounds of its residents) for over a decade, I found my eyes widen and jaw drop. I gathered myself quickly and told my kid that the term is unacceptable in our house, in our school, and in our community. I asked him to gently remind her the next time she calls him that, to refrain from such descriptors.

However, I cannot stop thinking about the incident. Why? Because, it happened to me one too many times at one too many professional gatherings than I would like to admit.

As we come to the end of another memorable (for better or worse) year, let us make be consciously inclusive; inclusive of ideas, cultures, races, skin colors, languages, ethnicities, cuisines, genders, sexual orientations, political views, and many more such criteria.

We are humans. Let us not forget that. We owe ourselves and our future generations a happy, healthy, and inclusive community.

Be kind, to yourself and to everyone around you. Smile.

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