Notes on Microagression: When my Arabic 101 professor Namkyu Oh ’16 who was fifty years old, born and raised in Poland, asked me whether I was any part Mongol, I did not feel exhausted like when people ask No, where are you really from. I was relieved – because that meant she didn’t smell rotting fish. It meant she didn’t see the slit eyes and think a samurai or Hiroshima. Instead, she saw my three mustache hairs and smelled Genghis’s stallions. She felt enough of a Northwest China wind to ask about the weather back home. I looked at her blankly and saw that she was just happily eating the entire meal with the wrong side of the chopsticks, that this was just my fourth grade classmate asking me where in China, Korea was, that I was some sort of dog-owner to a puppy who stared at my mouth for an explanation to these chink eyes like my words smelled of bacon, and she wagged her tail while I stood and tapped my foot waiting for her to point out the shit in the corner.
Spring 2016 Print Edition