Some people were all on my case about my post concerning the Chinese girl and the blond doll (she was found wandering the streets of Vancouver, BC alone). I was cold for taking too much notice of the racial difference between the girl and her doll. But in my world, race is still a real and hard fact. It is not something with which I have a theoretical or intellectual distance from. It is immediate. It is there all of the time.

For example, and this is a very good example, just this Friday, my daughter, who is 8 and "happens" to be the only brown person in her AP class, was ordered out of the classroom because her teacher did not like the smell of her hair. The teacher complained that my racially different daughter's hair (or something—a product—in the hair) was making her sick and made my racially different daughter leave the classroom. My daughter was so aware of the racial nature of this expulsion not only because she was made to sit in a classroom that had more black students in it (the implication being that this is where she really belonged, in the lower class with the other black students) but her teacher, she informed me, sleeps with her dog. Meaning, a dog's hair gives the teacher less problems than her human but curly hair. Most white people do not have to deal with shit like this. Shit that if not checked and confronted will have permanent consequences for the child.

So, yes, I have a very good reason to be sensitive to the image of a Chinese girl carrying a blond doll. Not to have that kind of sensitivity is in my case a form of parental neglect.