“Where are you from?”
In recent months, this has become a loaded question. This is my attempt to answer it and explain why I was asked it in the first place.
I was born in South Africa, but I’ve lived in San Francisco for about 4 years.
I’m a permanent resident.
I pay taxes.
My 9 month old son was born here and is an American citizen.
And, yet, in the midst of a heated argument brought about by almost being hit by a car, a “3rd generation American” thought it wise to ask me that question because I have a different accent.
Taken aback at first, my response to the over-weight, over-privileged, over-entitled White American Male was, “Where are you from?”
“Go home!” he yelled as he got out of his Porsche.
It was at this point that I found it necessary to highlight that every single white person in this country is an immigrant too. You don’t “belong” here any more than I do. Or anyone else for that matter.
But you’ll happily keep on making money and buying sports cars and telling people to “go home” because you own this country.
You own women’s bodies.
You own the world of business.
The Justice System.
It’s all yours.
You even own the land American Indians are forced to live on now. And they had the run of this place before other invading immigrants killed the vast majority of them.
I, on the other hand, will type this story up, publish it to an online platform and get back to paying taxes so that old, fat, white American men can tell me how and where to live my life.
Maybe some people will read this and share a concerned comment, or a xenophobic insult. Maybe they won’t.
Either way, it won’t make a difference.
Seems about right.