Where are you “REALLY” from? What are you?

Take a listen and read why to avoid asking “Where are you really from?”

When you ask this question, this is inferring, to the person you don’t belong here? You are a foreigner. I don’t see you as an American.

The badgering questions feels like an interrogation. The other person you are questioning feels like you want them to prove their identity with a passport. This puts the questioner as the position of authority and the person of color as lesser and other.

Listen to the 3 minute Rap about the problems about asking “Where are you really from?

The follow up questions or comments are also not welcomed.

  • “Oh, the Vietnam war.”
  • “Are you a communist?”
  • “Konnichiwa!”
  • “I met a Cambodian kid 10 years ago.”
  • “I like Chinese food.”

Read this Harvard Business Review by Rakshitha Arni Ravishankar

  • 1) There’s a fine line between curiosity and microaggression.
  • 2) It reduces people to a representative of a larger group.
  • 3) It’s the intent behind the question that matters.
  • 4) It’s a reflection of the existing (unequal) power structures.