Parent Claims Daughter Was Discriminated at Playground; Netizens Doubt That Racism Was Involved

Parent Claims Daughter Was Discriminated at Playground; Netizens Doubt That Racism Was Involved

“My heart clenched for my daughter as I saw her trying to comprehend what the girl had just told her,” the mother wrote.

A disheartened mother who witnessed her daughter getting bullied by other kids at a playground recently took to Instagram to air grievances over what she believed was an instance of racism. 

On Monday (Aug 31), her husband shared her Instagram Stories in a Facebook post that has since gone viral. 

Parent Claims Daughter Was Discriminated at Playground

The mother had recounted an incident that took place while her 19-month-old daughter was playing at a playground, where the toddler apparently “had her first encounter of discrimination”.

According to the parent, there were two older Chinese girls and another Chinese girl who was younger than her daughter, who is of Indian-Muslim descent. 

Parent Claims Daughter Was Discriminated at Playground

Parent claims daughter was discriminated at playground. | PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

Eventually, all four of the kids went to play on a four-seater spring rocker. When the Indian child got on one of the rockers, the mother noted that the two older Chinese kids “immediately got off” and “started snickering to one another”. One of them was said to have gotten close to her daughter and said “I don’t like you” with a smile.

Parent Claims Daughter Was Discriminated at Playground

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

“My heart clenched for my daughter as I saw her trying to comprehend what the girl had just told her,” the mother wrote. Though she was angry, she composed herself and told the girls that it was “not a very nice thing to say” before they ran off. 

“It might not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but as someone who belongs to one of the minority groups in Singapore, and who has a background in teaching intercultural communication, I know and recognise the signs of discrimination and racism when they happen,” she affirmed in her post. 

The parent acknowledged that the Chinese kids she told off were too young to know better and placed the blame on their parents. 

“Kids pick up careless remarks made by their parents and pass it on in places like the playground, which are supposed to be safe spaces for kids to play and have fun,” she wrote.

She ended off by urging parents not to pass on their prejudices to their kids and clarified that her daughter has had amazing experiences with other Chinese kids and parents who’ve been more welcoming. 

Parent Claims Daughter Was Discriminated at Playground

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

The repost of her story on Facebook has gone viral, garnering over 2,000 shares and hundreds of comments as of writing.

Parent Claims Daughter Was Discriminated at Playground; Netizens Doubt That Racism Was Involved

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

But there was also doubt. More than a few netizens questioned the story, asking what exactly from the children’s actions was determined as racist. 

Parent Claims Daughter Was Discriminated at Playground; Netizens Doubt That Racism Was Involved

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

Some asserted to the mother and other commenters that it was more a case of bullying than outright racism. 

Parent Claims Daughter Was Discriminated at Playground; Netizens Doubt That Racism Was Involved

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

Regardless of whether this particular incident involved racism or not, it’s clear that outright intolerance is an issue among kids. Numerous anecdotes recounted by Singapore’s ethnic minorities on the Instagram page @minorityvoices show a perturbing pattern — incidents of casual bullying based along racial lines are commonly experienced from as early as primary school. 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I was from one of the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Primary schools. From Primary 3 to 6, I was the only minority race/ dark skinned person in my class, and I had faced a lot of racism because of it. It was extremely hard for me to go to school, as I would be hurt, ostracized, discriminated against every single day. Nobody would want to sit beside me, and the other students would complain when the teacher placed me beside them. I could not borrow any items from my classmates, as they hated me touching their stuff. I vividly remember one of my classmates asking the others, “What is the difference between Jahnavi and a bucket of shit?” to which the answer was “The bucket!” And everyone around me started laughing hysterically. Another classmate also told me that people of my race are more likely to go into illegal businesses, indicating that I would. When I had informed my teacher about what had happened, she promised that action would be taken, however, there was no action taken against the students, and the bullying continued. I remember going home crying many days due to the bullying I faced in school. But I had told myself that I would not allow for all this to affect me, and I focused on my own personal growth. The experience taught me to become the independent, strong woman I have turned out to be today. When I moved on to Secondary school, I brought along the inferiority complex that dark skinned people are of lower level than fair skinned people. However, I was blessed to be part of an amazing Secondary school with amazing students/teachers. Their company helped me to overcome my traumatic experience and brought out the best in me. Today, I proudly embrace my skin!

A post shared by @ minorityvoices on

Back in March, a case of racial bullying that took place at Mee Toh School went viral, prompting then-Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung to issue a statement against the “unacceptable” behaviour.  

This article was first published on AsiaOne and republished on theAsianparent with permission.

Lead image source: iStock

ALSO READ: 

MOE to Support School Conversations on Race and Religion, Guided by Specialist Teachers: Ong Ye Kung

‘Dad, am I not a Singaporean?’ Girl Asks After Classmate Comments on Her Skin Colour

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