Context: I have been recently working at an enrichment learning program where I teach as well as create content for students ranging from Pre-K to 8th grade. Most of our clients are of Indian families, so it’s actually very uncommon to have a student who is White, Hispanic, Black, or Yellow. (I just realized how weird it feels to refer to non-Indian Asians as yellow!)
So class finishes and my student and I have about three minutes to kill, so he asks me if he can color. He’s a kindergartener going into first grade. He hasn’t had much of a chance to be fully integrated into America because of his lack of schooling thus far. I let him color, and he asked for crayons. I gave him what we had, and so he colored. Then he asked me,
“Mr. Tang, do you have the skin crayon?”
Surprised, I just lifted one eyebrow and asked “What do you mean, Dhruv?” He continued to say that he wanted to find the skin-colored crayon. Then he found it. Peach. I laughed, thinking it wasn’t much, and asked him, “How is that the skin-color crayon? It’s not the color of your skin though, is it?” To which he replied: “My skin is skin-color and brown.”
Speechless. Not sure what to think about all this, and I’d like to hear someone else’s input.