Why do people steal from us?

Peter Chin
Washington, DC

That was the question that my daughter asked me when our house was broken into a second time in three years. As a Korean-American living and working in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, I was tempted to answer her question by telling her about the long-standing hostilities between the two groups. But I didn’t. I understand the need to be honest with our children about the realities of the world, I really do. But I also understand that children do not interpret what we teach them in the subtle way in which we would like them do. I might think that I am giving a nuanced lesson in history, when all her young mind hears is, “People of that race don’t like me because I’m a different race.” And even after all that my family has been through, I really don’t think that dynamic is true, and neither do I want it to become true for her, and for others. And so I hugged her and told her that we don’t anything that we can’t live without, and she accepted that answer…for now.


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