By Mieke Eoyang
“Where are you from?” No, really, where are you from?
The president of the United States reportedly asked these questions of an analyst briefing him on the release of a family held hostage in Pakistan.
Not content with her answers—New York, specifically Manhattan—he persisted. “Where are your people from?”
Finally, he learned that this analyst is of Korean descent. He then turned to the men in the room to ask why “this pretty Korean lady” wasn’t working on North Korea issues.
For many reading this anecdote, it’s seems like another beyond-the-pale example of President Trump’s insensitivity and racism. And yet, for those of us who work in national security and trace our ancestry to Asia, the story is all too familiar.
It’s pervasive. You get asked this all the time. You check your reaction and try to dodge the question as best you can. It’s meant as a compliment, or perhaps innocent curiosity. You move on from the incident, tuck it away in your brain, continue with the briefing. But later, it will bubble up again, and you think about what it means.
It means to some, their mental picture of an American doesn’t include you.
It means to some, your ethnicity should define your …read more
Via:: Politico Top Stories