“Why do you have black hair if you’re American?” This is one of several things in common between Minnesota and China. It was said by middle school aged students. I’m more shocked by one of these two places. The misconception arises from multiple reasons, one of the culprits being earlier Western media. However, the leading culprit is the endless cycle of misinformation by local Chinese themselves. Even my host school here refuses to straight up say that I’m American, instead opting to explain in full detail why my English is genuine by going into my grandparents background and my birthplace and upbringing. Also, the parents continue to fuel this, effectively closing a necessary generation gap with grandchildren thinking the same way as their grandparents. I see very little reason why something like this would also happen in Minnesota. In the end, kids are the most honest reflection of a community’s beliefs and ideas.
On a completely separate note, a colleague of mine informed me that Chinese officials have blurred out an Uyghur passenger aboard flight MH370. What is that about? Is China senselessly pointing fingers again to justify further action against the people of Xinjiang? There are questions to be asked.