Culture

Racist Chinese In-Laws Shave Natural Curls of Black Woman’s Kid Without Permission

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Jade Shi, a busy African-American mom married to a Chinese man, was shocked to find her two children’s heads shaved after her in-laws decided to give them a haircut.

As a young family with a limited budget, the couple would have the Chinese in-laws occasionally babysit Jojo and Jasper, both under two years old, when she and her husband James are busy with work.

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However, when Shi found that her husband’s parents cut the children’s hair without her permission on Christmas eve, she was devastated. Her husband, who was equally upset, has specifically said “no” to his parents’ previous suggestions to cut the kids’ hair. 

“I’m traumatized,” the young mom wrote via a Facebook post. “James family went behind my back and cut the kids hair.”

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“When you join an interracial family, you have to take the time to love, accept, and learn about the differences that come with members of another race,” Shi tells Nextshark. “Often times my family members would make comments about my children’s darker skin and curly hair. That is not okay, no matter how much tradition and culture lies behind their reasoning. We cannot teach our mixed children to feel different.”

Jade Shi, who is a trained pastry chef, owns and manages Désir de Sugar, a fashion startup which sells dessert-inspired clothing online. Her busy schedule would sometimes require her to be away from her toddlers.

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Not wanting to risk having her children further influenced by her Chinese in-laws, she decided to set up a Go Fund Me page to support her kids’ child care.  

She wrote:

“I need to find another babysitter but I don’t have the immediate funds to get them situated in a childcare.(Childcare for children under the age of two is expensive.)

They cut my kids hair because they didn’t want to understand mixed/blasian hair. They don’t like my children’s hair.  We’ve had relatives on my husband’s side of the family make comments about their skin and hair. I’m absolutely sick of the disrespect and I do not want my children to be raised to feel that there’s something wrong with their hair.

Please help me gather the funds to get them situated with a bi-lingual babysitter or bi-lingual daycare. (They speak Chinese so it will be difficult to integrate them into English-Only schooling.) This would be enough to help us get through the next few months of transitioning into a new situation and re-arranging our budget. We are both working parents, but I do not trust leaving them with the in-laws.”

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While it’s common for kids to get their hair cut during Chinese Lunar New Year, the holiday is still over a month away.

“Nobody try to justify this shit. Lunar year (Chinese tradition) isn’t here yet. Their hair isn’t hard to manage. But besides all that, I’m the mom and WHAT I SAY GOES.” Shi wrote.

With the goal of $2,028, Shi’s campaign has so far raised a total of $250 from 11 contributions.

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