SAMIRA: And then she said, she didn't really think of me as mixed, can you believe it?

GRACE: Well...yes.

SAMIRA: What? Why?

GRACE: Because you pass as white.

SAMIRA: Not all the time.

GRACE: No, but sometimes. And to her.

SAMIRA: She's known me for 20 years!

GRACE: Exactly. She can forget that you are different from her.

SAMIRA: You're probably right.

GRACE: I know I'm right. Hell, when I'm with a group of my all-white high school friends, they forget I'm Korean. Even though I'm looking at them right in the face.

SAMIRA: No way.

GRACE: Yep. And the kind of shit they say when they think they can get away with it: "I hate how all those Asian girls leave their hair in the shower drain." "Um, I'm Asian, what the fuck." "Oh right. Not you. I don't really see you as Asian." 

SAMIRA: I guess I'm lucky I don't have those.

GRACE: Well, Daisy. There are probably others, you just don't realize it.

SAMIRA: Maybe I should be more in their faces about my foreignness.

GRACE: Do you really think it would help?

SAMIRA: Probably not. I just wish my parents had given me the language to talk about this stuff you know. We didn't talk about race or culture at all. It's only know that it's coming back to haunt me that I actually have to start considering how peoples' words and actions affect me.

GRACE: It's not like they had the language themselves. Think about it. One parent is white, the other parent is an immigrant. From a homogeneous country.

SAMIRA: They could have taken a race class. They took a religion one.

GRACE: You really think those were offered in the 70s. 

SAMIRA: No, probably not.

GRACE: Look, it sucks to have your friends completely erase your identity.

SAMIRA: And family.

GRACE: Family?


GRACE: I guess it's just about being more open about it, and challenging them when they say stupid shit.

SAMIRA; Daisy did not want to be challenged.

GRACE: Then maybe she doesn't belong in your life anymore.

SAMIRA; She's been my friend for decades.

GRACE: Sometimes friendships run their course.

SAMIRA: She has good qualities.

GRACE: But this is a pretty big negative one,. How are you supposed to talk to her about what's going on with you, if you can't even challenge her privileged world view.

SAMIRA; True. 

GRACE: At least downgrade her to acquaintance. For your sanity.

Asha SundararamanComment