A missplaced comma, in fluid sentences.

Anil Oommen
Eugene, OR
University of Oregon

I am brown, a Malayalee, a person of Indian descent in a primarily white setting. This is often awkward. It is not unusual for me to feel like a misplaced comma, in the fluid sentences of white experience. Only when I limit what I say and refrain from speaking about my experiences (unless explicitly asked to do so), do I feel welcome, included in the conversation. The unspoken rule is to speak only when spoken to and be seen only when the curiosity of myself as exotically other is sparked. I do not want to be an object of your curiosity nor a token friend. I want to be part of the complex and fluid sentences of multi-racial experience.


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