“What are you? Where’re you from?”

racecardBettina Sferrino,
Oakland, CA.

As a mixed race person, I get these questions all the time. The persons asking have a strong desire to know and place the “other,” and a feeling that somehow the persons asking these questions can’t move forward interacting with me without knowing that information. I can’t help but think for many people, that information gives them a feeling of power (like knowing a name). Furthermore, these words imply that mixed people look so different, we must be from somewhere else–not America. Wouldn’t logic tell us that our “melting pot” and “mixing bowl” of cultures would make people who look like me the norm?

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