“Where are you really from?”
Marie Zafimehy

The problem I see with your article — not that I don’t sympathize with what you lay claim to — is that you’re filling in too many blanks with sometimes correct, sometimes incorrect assumptions.

You start your story (and argument) with a first-person speech targeted at a guy who asked you where you were from. You also mention he was holding a drink, and that nothing was overtly racist about his question. At that point it became hard to sympathize with your plight anymore.

You came off to me (and I’m not saying I’m right) as if you’re mistaking the inevitability of receiving “different” treatment for simply being “different,” i.e., not what the rest of the herd you were hanging with is used to. Nothing wrong with that, though. Going to that party dressed as a hippie would’ve probably engendered just as odd a line of questioning, too. Or, as a short, shy, white male, you probably wouldn’t have been asked anything — blunt or not.

Instead of understanding that people are intrinsically wired to question anyone or anything that’s “different,” you created suspect reasons to substitute for this most basic, primal behavior.

I didn’t mean to put that in huge bold text, I was looking for an italics button. Real racism is important and should be addressed intelligently and not covered up. But reading articles like this takes power away from the people that have powerful & important stories that need to be shared and cared about. That is just my opinion. I think this column would do better rewritten for a dating site and put in the “advice for idiots” column.

In summary, don’t things like that personally. Every human on this palaver had a basket of stuff that makes them stand out or calls negative (or positive) attention to them. To tag this story with “racism” is to do a disservice to that issue. IMHO.