Racism in the News


Perhaps you haven’t heard about the incident at a New York City Papa John’s restaurant. A customer was treated to a lot more than her pepperoni pizza Friday evening, and she shared it via Twitter.

Minhee Cho was referred to as “lady chinky eyes” by a Papa John’s employee. The racial slur was at the top of the date- and time-stamped on her receipt, in black and white. Cho shared a Twitpic of the receipt (viewed over 200,000 times by Sunday afternoon) along with the tweet, “Hey @PapaJohns just FYI my name isn’t "lady chinky eyes."

Response to the tweet was swift and huge—in support of Cho and slamming Papa John’s, and backlash against her (more racist sentiment). Several days later Cho re-tweeted, “RT @PapaJohns: We are very upset by recent receipt issue in New York & sincerely apologize to our customer. Franchise employee involved.” She has been unavailable for comment, wishing the entire situation would blow over.

I share this example because it’s current, a reminder to those of us who parent transracially, and a “heads-up” for adults who will be parenting transracially in the future. People say things because they don’t know better or because they think they do. Sometimes people mean no harm; other times they intend to injure. People say things intentionally and unintentionally.

You don’t know when an injury might happen or in what context. You don’t always know what people are thinking, or how they feel. You don’t know how someone might respond to your family or to your child when he or she is with or not with you. But, you can be aware and prepare yourself, your child(en) and family. You can confront racism when you see or hear it.

Parents, racism exists in every nook and cranny of modern day—on every continent, in every society, in every culture. You can talk about racism with your child(ren) and role-play racist situations before the first injury happens. Learning about, talking about, and confronting racism with your child is uncomfortable. But, not doing so is worse. Be aware and prepare.

MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.