Opinion: ‘Clippings’ view well received

Dear Addy Indy,
Thank you for Charmaine Lam’s July 14 Clippings commentary that explains how being asked “where are you from?” makes many people feel that they are perceived as foreign, not American, particularly if the person is not white. I have at least three friends who feel the exact same way.
As someone born and raised in Middlebury, I, too, find the question “where are you from?” to be more interesting and fun than “what do you do?” I ask this question of everyone. But after two decades in the San Francisco area I have learned to quickly add “Around here?”
“Where are you from? Around here?”
I still get to ask my favorite question, but it flips the assumption from a rude one to a polite, positive and curious one — that the person is, of course, an American like me and that they belong and are very welcome wherever they go. Perhaps this might work for others as well.
Thank you Charmaine Lam!
Mike Sommers
Oakland, California

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