I never thought I would say this. I finally understand why some black people are so quick to draw the race card. Here's the situation.
We all know kids can be mean. It's like they have a sixth sense that can sniff out vulnerability in a heartbeat. Marin is just not yet equipped to successfully disarm mean or cliquish American kids. She does not have the verbal skills, the confidence, nor the combativeness.
The comments Marin faces most often are "You're stupid" "You're an idiot" "I don't like you" and "Your brown skin smells funny". Believe me. Marin is a smart, sensitive, and sweet kid. It's not just because I'm her father. Virtually every adult says these things about her.
We tell Marin that kids who behave that way really feel bad about themselves so they say mean things about Marin to make themselves feel better. Then we role play Marins' responses to these aggressions. Sometimes she pulls it off well, but many times she speaks with such trepidation that the bully would become emboldended. It's going to be a long road.
Back to the race card. I am so tempted to teach Marin to say, loudly "Look, I know the only reason you are talking to me this way is because I have brown skin and I am going to tell the Principal right now. You will be in the deepest trouble ever." Sometimes it feels like the only foolproof weapon she has. And its' kind of like verbal karate. You insult me because I am black, so I will use your racism against you. You try to isolate me because I am black, and I will use your racism to isolate you. You try to marginalize me because I am black, and I will use your racism to silence you. You try to degrade me because I am black and I will use your racism to minimize you.
I am beginning to realize the power of the race card. The beauty of its'design is that, in the proper hands, it cannot be successfully employed unless some racist first creates the opportunity for you. It is self governing in that way.