You’re right about it not being an insult - well, not many racial words start out as insults but pretty soon, dpending on the context, it becomes an insult. One collegue told me to “take it as a compliment”, hmmmm…
The point is if we don’t say something about it then who will educate them. In the case of the kids it certainly won’t be the parents who sit by without saying a word. Is it really neccessary to declare an easy to see fact, I mean if I blurt out every obvious thing I’d be labelled an “idiot” at home.
I suppose just like Vorkosigan I am a family man and I don’t appreciate my son being the object of such comments. Even though he is Taiwanese we get the usual barrage of stares and comments and people following us about. It does depend on the people though.
Just don’t call me “Mei Guo Ren” and I’ll be ok.
One thing I’m thankful for is that I live in a small town and a large number of people can call me by name so I don’t hear “WAI GOU REN” as much as I used to, but there are the odd times when it’s late and I’m tired that I pull out the old “nar li, narli?”. But usually my wife gets in first with a more polite response, being a local and all it sounds much better than a remark from me.