How two white kids treated three obviously Muslim kids at the Kaiser Pharmacy. Should I be surprised?

@TheHorse (65977)
Pleasant Hill, California
December 22, 2015 8:33pm CST
As I was heading to the Kaiser Pharmacy today, I passed two white kids playing catch in the hallway with a tiny football. "Lester Hayes" I exclaimed as I pretended to try to intercept a pass, knowing that they weren't born yet when Lester Hayes played defensive corner for the Raiders. The kids laughed. One was about 10, the other about 9. Right after that, I opened the door for a Middle-Eastern looking man and his wife, who was wearing a scarf over her head, but whose face was uncovered. They had three kids in tow. The man stood in line, while the kids sat next to their mom. They appeared to be about 8, 6, and 5. The Middle Eastern family was speaking in a language I don't understand. It may have been Arabic, but I'm not sure. After about 3 minutes of kid boredom, the two younger kids from the Middle Eastern family (one boy and one girl) tentatively approached the two boys playing catch, so they could watch their antics. After a couple more throws, the boy nearer to younger kids offered the ball to them. The boy gingerly took it and and attempted a throw. It hit the floor about three feet in front of him and rolled to the other boy. Nice job! one of the older boys said. They repeated this pattern a few more times, and soon, the younger boy was making good throws to the boy who was further away from me. Finally, the nearer boy offered the ball to the girl, who I would guess was a year older than her brother. After several attempts that were met with Good try! she was also able to throw the tiny squishy football to the further away boy. The younger kids were speaking in accented English at this point, and were having a great old kid time. The father, who was directly in front of me in line, never really acknowledged what was going on. But I think I saw the mother smile, ever so slightly. I returned my reading material, and then looked up again. The older sister, of perhaps 8, had joined the party and was also playing catch with the slightly older boys. Sometimes I get grumpy about America. I'm grumpy that Kim Kardashian gets more news coverage than Noam Chomsky. I'm grumpy that Ty Dolla Sign gets more radio play than Pat Metheny or James McMurtry. I'm grumpy when I watch one angry middle-aged suburban housewife steal a parking space from another angry middle-aged suburban housewife. But watching those boys welcome three shy foreign kids into their game reminded me of what I like about this Country.
15 people like this
15 responses
@just4him (117272)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
23 Dec 15
It's a good reminder that there is something good about being an American.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
23 Dec 15
The news only covers it when people treat each other like jerks. Most of the time, Americans (or all races and countries of origin) are tolerant, inclusive, and just plain decent.
2 people like this
• United States
23 Dec 15
You mean something good about being human, forget the nationality factor as that seems to separate among other things . . .
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
23 Dec 15
@enlightenedpsych2 Working together toward common goal (even just having fun) seems to make "dividing" factors less important.
2 people like this
@fishtiger58 (30338)
• Momence, Illinois
23 Dec 15
A nice story, kids don't have prejudice mostly. It's a learned thing.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (157720)
• Switzerland
23 Dec 15
This is a wonderful Christmas story and it proves that we have a lot to learn from children.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
23 Dec 15
Very true. Even the kids I knew in Oakland who were taught prejudice by their parents still played with kids of all races and backgrounds.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (157720)
• Switzerland
23 Dec 15
@TheHorse I remember when I was a kid, after WWII, when we were vacationing on the beach I played with the other kids, no matter their nationality. I remember my mother did not want that I played with our recent "enemies" (G), but I played anyway.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
23 Dec 15
@LadyDuck My early childhood idol was Willie Mays, a black American baseball player. In the 1940s, when he was a kid, black and white kids weren't supposed to play together in Alabama, a Southern state. But, as I read in his biography, Mays played with whoever loved baseball. The white and black kids would sneak off and play together, even in the South, because they love the game.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
23 Dec 15
There is still quite a lot of interracial harmony around, but we do not tend to notice as much as we do the disharmony and racist attitudes.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
23 Dec 15
The latter is news; the former is not.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
23 Dec 15
@TheHorse This is precisely the problem, nobody is interested in anything that is not gossip worthy.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
23 Dec 15
@Asylum I suppose you could say a happy story of people doing their thing, adults and children treating each other nicely, etc., is gossip-worthy if it flies in the face of the narrative that the media is creating. I had just heard a story on the news (KCBS) about the "massive increase in hate crimes toward Muslims" since the San Bernadino massacre. It made it sound as if normal Americans were running around bopping Muslims on the head.
@poehere (17700)
• French Polynesia
23 Dec 15
Wow that is amazing. At times kids can be so mean. It is good to see these kids parents have taught them better. I think it is important to offer to play with everyone. It is good they wanted to invite the kids to play.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
23 Dec 15
It was fun to watch. My non-kid point would be that most adults are also tolerant and kind to people, regardless of race. I noticed that the Asian lady who handled the prescription of the Middle Eastern man was super nice, and the black lady who handled my prescription was super nice to me too. It's just Californians going about their business. Not news, though, because nobody was mean.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
23 Dec 15
@poehere Sometimes I'll write about the depressing news, but I like to add a different angle. Sadly, I don't fully trust main-stream media, whether the story is positive or negative. They tend to "create a narrative" that doesn't always fit with reality.
@PainsOnSlate (20254)
• Canada
23 Dec 15
That beautiful story gave me goosebumps. I am so proud of those kids too, they must have parents to taught them well and sadly that is not always the case. If only all children were brought up in happy families...
2 people like this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
23 Dec 15
I've seen kids be South Park nasty to other kids, regardless of race. Mostly they were kids who were not parented well, or not parented at all.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22198)
• Canada
23 Dec 15
That is so wonderful to read. We can all learn from those children. I was pretty grumpy when someone shot into the spot by the gas pump after I waited and waited yesterday! It didn't make the news though.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
23 Dec 15
I'm glad it didn't make the news. It would have made the news had you beat them senseless with a fishing rod.
@paigea (22198)
• Canada
23 Dec 15
@TheHorse - really I was astonished. I rarely have something happen like that. Most people actually are polite, I find
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
23 Dec 15
@paigea I find that people are more polite in the rural states I visit, like Montana and Iowa, but even here in CA, most people are decent.
1 person likes this
@Drosophila (16711)
• Ireland
23 Dec 15
Amazing to see not all kids are brats! A bit of good parenting went down no doubt!
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
24 Dec 15
Yep. They seemed like nice boys.
1 person likes this
@Drosophila (16711)
• Ireland
24 Dec 15
@TheHorse good parenting has a lot to do with it.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
24 Dec 15
@Drosophila It sure does.
1 person likes this
• Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
8 Jan 16
You have to record these moments, don't you? It's what keeps hope alive.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
8 Jan 16
It does keep hope alive. And these kinds of things are far more common that muggings other negative incidents. But they're not news.
@troyburns (1430)
• New Zealand
24 Dec 15
Great story - I don't think you need to be surprised at all. Commonality is innate, difference and prejudice are taught.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
24 Dec 15
Exactly. I wasn't at all surprised by what I saw.
@Lolaze (3165)
• United States
23 Dec 15
We could all learn a lesson from these kids.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
23 Dec 15
I think our natural tendency is to reach out to those around us. In California, I DO notice that many people are afraid to do so.
• United States
23 Dec 15
That is wonderful and since the kids are still young, there is no level of intolerance they have to a different nationality cause to kids, they are all just great kids enjoying living on this mudball planet ! thanks for the wonderment, have a great Christmas @TheHorse
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
23 Dec 15
I'm so glad the younger kids approached the older kids to "watch." Otherwise, the ballplayers wouldn't have had the opportunity to invite them into their game.
@boiboing (12636)
• Northampton, England
23 Dec 15
Hallelujah or whatever you're supposed to say at times like this. As long as the good people keep on outweighing the Trump supporters there is still hope in this world.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (65977)
• Pleasant Hill, California
23 Dec 15
Yep. Good trumps evil.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (67166)
• Roseburg, Oregon
23 Dec 15
Children except anyone when they are young.
1 person likes this
@zarlamain (24525)
• United States
27 Aug 16
Seems like those kids were raised by wonderful households that teach love instead of prejudice.