“Where are you really from?”
Marie Zafimehy
50498

“You say you are from Paris, but where are you really from?”
_“I know it’s not racism or discrimination.Luckily, I have never experienced any of these two — “_

This is interestingly phrased. You are talking to someone who is clearly making judgments about you and reinterpreting your narrative into their own mental model, based on the color of your skin and the assumptions that they have brought to the table about what that color represents. But you don’t seem to feel that this is racism.

I agree that you’re not hearing cruel or hateful intention or malice. I think that many people like you perceive and experience moments like this every day, and maybe like you they still somehow “wonder why” they don’t experience any of this racism that everyone else is talking about.

In a way, this helps me to understand lots of people who have expressed similar sentiments to me.

But fetishizing a person based on a physical trait, or forcing them to define themselves in different terms to comply with an assumed societal norm, are often accurately described as racist behaviors, or at the very least are using racist frames of reference to ask what might be genuinely innocent questions. And we need to be able to call that kind of language out if we expect people to improve their attitudes about such issues.