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coffeeforkatya's blog

Assumptions about race; Or, "So, where are you from?"

This morning I had class at 7:45 am, which is brutal since A) I live way off campus which means that I have to get up more than 15 minutes before I need to be there, and B) I left campus last night around 10 pm. Also, I had not had any coffee (devastating, in my case), so as a result, during the break I ran over to the nearest cafe to grab some. While I was in line, a (white) person that I had never before seen in my life, walked up to me and asked me if I was Chinese. My immediate reaction was "uhmm, what?", while I tried to process this stranger in front of me, asking this randomly intrusive question without having had any coffee in my system. The kid held up a Chinese language workbook. "I need help with my homework, and I was wondering if you speak Chinese." he explained. I (politely, mind you, though it took a lot of restraint) told him no, I'm not Chinese and don't speak it.

I tried to process the situation over my cup of coffee, during the last remnants of my break. Why did thi


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