8 thoughts on “I think my textbook is racist…

  1. It’s a non-colored line drawing, how could you get “dyed” anything out of that?

    I’m not saying it doesn’t look questionable, but if she’s merely pointing to her eyes (i.e. the title of the section: color of my eyes) then it’s an unfortunate drawing that the artist may not have realized the full implications of.

    But how did you get “dyed hair” out of it?!


  2. I wasn’t saying she was meant to be European, just that it may not be “making” Asian eyes, just pointing to her eyes. I’ve known plenty of artists who didn’t “see” what they had drawn until someone pointed it out to them, because sometimes we see or don’t see what our own context tells us is or isn’t there.

    I couldn’t possibly guess on what this artist may or may not have been thinking at the time. Just pointing out that an unfortunate drawing doesn’t necessarily equal racism. If nothing else, it might give (you/the teacher?) a chance to discuss why making fun of how someone else looks isn’t okay.

    Obviously I haven’t seen anything else from this book to make a comparison.


    • Yes, I do understand that. I have had things pointed out to me in my works that I never intended/realized. I just think that the lines for eyes is such a stark difference from all of the other drawings, that whether or not the girl is Asian, it’s still racist.
      Unfortunately, my students can barely even write their names, never mind learn about racist drawings from a foreign teacher =[.

      Also, I wasn’t taking the picture too seriously (you’ll notice my tags). But I’m also not impressed that it made it into the book. Obviously the book had to have been edited, so why was it not caught then? Just seems highly suspicious.
      But mostly horrified humour.


      • … I’ll grant you that editing *should* have caught it. But I disagree that children that young are too young to understand such things. Even if not in a broader context of racism and the whole world, I think it’s still a good lesson to teach not to make fun of someone for how they look.

        Still looking forward to the day that such lessons are learned through life instead of needing to be taught in spite of it. 😦


      • It’s not their age, it’s the language barrier =]. I’m teaching in Korea, and these children have been learning English for a month. They can almost write their Qs properly. Almost.


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