Xiao-he and The Bananas

I headed to the kitchen to prepare a meal as dinner-time was fast approaching. While cooking, I heard Xiao-he cry aloud.  “Lao-hey, come, come, I already told you so…you didn’t just want to believe me.” Whenever Xiao-he’s predictions became a reality, he was always too apt to be smug about it—as he did always pronounce those inevitable words, “I told you so.” “Ms. Huang said she’d been told to say so…and I did realize she had an accent.” “What do you mean by that?” “She doesn’t speak good Chinese.”

“But she’s Chinese any way, right?”  I asked.

“She should be an overseas Chinese.” Xiao-he replied.

“What do you mean by an overseas Chinese?”

I mean either of her parents should be a foreigner. We identify them as bananas.” Xiao-he concluded.

“Why do you call them bananas?” I asked.

“Its because….as you know…bananas are white but covered with yellow skin…so it means that although, they maybe yellow-skinned, they are white in essence.” Xiao-he explained.

Xiao-he, you are not serious. What do you have to call someone a banana? I empathized. 

“I mean no harm. It’s our way of identifying such people. It only means that such people have yellow skins but consider themselves as whites.”

“That is, if one of their parents is white right?” I asked quickly.

“Yes.” Xiao-he answered.

Xiao-he what if one of their parents is black?” “I have no answer.” Xiao-he retorted.

 “You always have answers, why now?” I hit back quickly.

Xiao-he relapsed into silence. I really couldn’t tell what was going on in his mind.

“So you believe what she said?” I asked.

“I even talked to the school principal and he affirmed it.” Xiao-he replied emphatically.

“Did he affirm he was a racist?”

He said it was the school’s policy to exclude blacks. It was based on the premises that, most of the children were often scared of blacks, and that some parents often complained of having their children taught by blacks. He was unapologetic about it.” Xiao-he replied matter-of-factly.

To be continued…

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