No, where are you actually from?

Aliza Hirani
Ann Arbor, MI
Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan

I am a Pakistani-American, born and raised in Texas. When people ask me where I am from, I proudly tell them Dallas, Texas. Then, without a fail, I get the response, “No, where are you actually from?” I have realized when some people ask me that question, they don’t actually want to know where I am from. They want to “otherize” me. They want to hear that I am from a different country, but I’m not. If I say Dallas, Texas they don’t believe me. If I say Pakistan, I am lying to myself. There is no winning with this question… or my skin color.

 

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