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asking "where are you from?"


My favorite comeback is a suggestion of what the questioner can do to himself with a prickly cactus. For Stefano McGhee, a colleague based in the U.S., his last name has always garnered a lot of attention. His most recent book is Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Traditions and has a forthcoming book on the famed mystic Rumi. “Know my name first. I was born in L.A., thank you very much. Maria Ortega, a colleague from Mexico City, says that asking about people’s backgrounds can be an opportunity to build an honest, trusting relationship. Here’s what you can do to change: Become more aware of your place in the world and the impact your status has on those around you. My heart is in Switzerland.  It’s like starting any other conversation with a person. It may be a question that’s asked out of curiosity (and I do believe that is usually the case), but it has the potential to trigger something very personal: Our sense of belonging.

What else is asking “Where are you from?” if it is not white supremacy? “Boy” had a totally different connotation steeped in the racial politics of the South and the history of infantilizing black men who were — like me — definitely not a “boy.”, Here is the thing about those of us who have to answer these questions again and again. To her, it also reflects power relations between individuals.

I mean, unless you’re Native American your family had to have immigrated here at SOME point, right? I was confused and hurt. Asking someone, “Where are you from?” can seem like a very innocuous question but can quickly turn into a microaggression. It drives me insane when people ask me that question. I was born in Florida. Consider this article your callout. Whether it was based on how I looked, sounded, or information the professor had gathered about me beforehand, their tone implied that, because I was an international student, my ability to write English well (or not) was tied to my geographical and cultural background. Its portrayal of complicated mother-daughter relationships and the immigrant experience spoke to Amy Choi as a child — and again as a mother. Of my general place in the world.

I am from many places. I am frequently asked “what I am,” to which the obvious answer is “American,” but I know what they mean and generally say “half Russian and half Polish.” People like to play the guessing game though, and tend to peg me as Italian or Lebanese.

The questioner is actually asking a geographic question: “What state are you from? How can you start?

My spirit soars in Turkey.

How can someone be “exotic” in America? The tricky thing about microaggressions is that they are mostly unconscious biases — which means it’s so much more important to be mindful of where, when, and how you ask questions about someone’s identity. We don’t have to talk about it if you don’t feel comfortable.” If someone doesn’t respond positively to you, understand that they may not be willing to address the question, and let it go. Your guide to the changing District is reporter Elahe Izadi.GET IN TOUCH. i hope no one has been offended, but i can say that no one has ever seemed put-off by my question. “I’m usually okay if a friend asks me that, but it doesn’t make sense in formal, work situations.”. I know it’s kind of a pet peeve of mine when people ask me this, and I know I am irrationally bothered by it. In a DCentric post from April, my colleague Elahe wrote, “All of this isn’t to say that I, or other second-generation Americans, aren’t also proud of our heritage and roots.” But the hope is that one day, people will be content to see the children of immigrants as peers, and not ethnic riddles to be solved. In America, we do not have this distinction. And then they answer “England,” and I say “well I can tell THAT, but WHERE in England?”. Here is the thing about those of us who have to answer these questions again and again. We know our history. It made me realize (and I’m ashamed to admit) that the only people I have ever asked this question to have been people of color. So, when I introduce myself to someone, the follow-up question usually is about where I’m from,” he says. What can you do instead? Microaggressions can also reinforce differences and magnify unequal power structures. While that was supposed to be a compliment, it didn’t feel like a pat on the back. automatically labels the person being questioned as "other," and nobody appreciates that. But, if I could go back in time, I’d say, “Thank you, but is there a reason that you asked me where I’m from?” It’s a strategy I’ve learned from a friend — to ask “Why?” until someone sees through their own (unconscious) biases. You might respond with your origins AND ask where they are from in return.

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