After the conversation, we asked each parent to reflect on their experience. Below you can read their first-hand accounts.
>>WATCH | Race & Parenting: Episode 4
Nikhil Kolar and family.
“Firstly, I want to thank you and KING 5 for starting this conversation on Race & Parenting. I feel honored to have been part of the conversation. I learned a lot from the other panelists that evening but more importantly, watching the other episodes of your program has been eye opening.
“It was amazing to see the diversity at our table in terms of people there as well as the experiences they talked about. I learned about how our experiences varied based on where we were from, how we ended up coming to this country and when we came to this country. I learned about conversations I may need to have with my child as she grows up.
“Our own approach has been to give our daughter the facts. We try to balance it by not trying to hide or sugar coat anything but at the same time, avoiding going into too much depth on a lot of the injustices faced by many people. Our hope is to steer her to a place of empathy, to a place where she neither tolerates nor perpetuates racist behavior. We are all learning and trying to navigate this together.
“Thank you once again for having me on the panel.” - Nikhil Kolar
Hsiao-Ching Chou and family.
“It was such a great experience to share a table with Jenna and the other guests. It was inspiring and affirming to hear how our individual experiences navigating the race conversation differ and overlap.
“I think we all learned from one another, and I was reminded that I have Asian privilege in that my parents were educated and came to the States because of grad school. Even when we were at our poorest financially, we always had a means/path out of that economic state.
“My hope for all of us at our respective tables is to listen with our whole hearts so that we may be able build the connections that will lift us all.” - Hsiao-Ching Chou
Annie Kuo and family.
“Thank you for including our group of Asian American parents in this inaugural parenting series. I really appreciate KING 5 and Jenna Hanchard for your leadership in broadcasting these discussions. I thought the panel was a good representation of what differences and similarities in race experiences can be found among individual voices in the vast Asian diaspora. I felt honored to be part of a group of “woke” parents sharing our truths and learning from each other.
“I found the discussion on colorism — skin color bias— within the Asian community to be interesting to air and share. Sure, it invites comparison rather than unity, but Asia’s high premium on fair skin is a reality we cannot deny and shouldn't gloss over. Even in kindergarten, my daughter recognizes which Asians have the browner skin. The hierarchy of skin tone is a social construct from the influence of European colonialism and the history of ruling classes having lighter skin than the working peasants. (Sound familiar to anyone?) To my fellow Asian brothers and sisters, can I just say… brown is beautiful!
“I appreciated what Michele said about intentionally stockpiling her son’s reservoir of self-love because the world can be mean and unfair. I pray that my young daughter finds her voice and value. I consider it a true responsibility to shape her worldview with a strong social conscience — and self-love.
“A few days after the panel, I attended a Norwegian pancake breakfast in Edmonds. I continue to reflect on Jenna’s question about navigating a white society as a parent of color. I recall a time years ago when my former coworkers — white men at a PR agency in Seattle — joked about hosting a traveling Asian delegation with every disrespectful, racial stereotype in the book. I felt invisible and insulted that they were so bold to make such jokes with an Asian person right in their midst.
“Thank you KING 5 for allowing us a visible spot at the table and holding space for our voices. A deeper dive could happen on so many of the topics and hopefully will happen among family members, neighbors, colleagues and friends. I’m thrilled that these race and parenting conversations will continue and will be following along.” – Annie Kuo
Thay Cheam and family
“The dinner had mix of different Asian Americans from different socio-economic backgrounds and different walks of life. It was really interesting to hear everyone's unique experience and perspectives which were quite different from each other.
My take away is that the differences in experiences from the room mirror the differences in society in general and that in actuality, our struggles are more common than one might think. Once we get past the historical animosities, the colorisms etc., our true power is with our numbers and in the people. When we can cross these boundaries of ethnicity and perceived hierarchy, we can truly build a better more equitable world for all of us, together.
“I think this type of conversation needs to continue to unpack a lot of the struggle and peel back the many layers of institutionalized racism that we live with every day.” – Bunthay Cheam
Michele H. Domingo and family.
“We have to teach our children of color to love themselves and the beauty and worth of our culture, our skin color, and their identities. At the same time, that is not enough. Because of racism and institutional systems of oppression, they need resiliency skills, and to also insist on being seen and heard as children of color.
“We have to encourage them to speak up for themselves and for others when they are experiencing racism. We can do this by modeling for our children the skills we want them to have. Our kids learn by seeing us stand up against racism, learning about social justice, and building community with other families of color in the African American, Latino, and Native communities. We are not alone and we can advocate around our common issues.
“It’s important to tell our children of color to always remember that they are amazing, and to never let anyone make them think they are less than they truly are.” -Michele H. Domingo
© 2018 KING