The Questions People Get Asked About Their Race

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May 29, 2013 4:47 PM

How do you respond to questions about your culture or race?

Ariel Skelley/Corbis

“Since Code Switch launched, friends and people on Twitter have been sharing examples of questions they’ve been asked about their race or culture that they’ve found interesting, awkward or just plain offensive.

We were intrigued when we saw this question posted on AskReddit: “What’s one question you’ve been dying to ask another race but never do because of the impending ‘THAT’S RACIST’ aftermath?”

So we turned the question around. We asked folks on Twitter to share some of the questions they’ve been asked, using the hashtag #theyasked. And really. The responses were plentiful.

We thought we’d round up some of the common themes. You can scroll through them using this slideshow. Feel free to use your arrow keys to navigate. (And if you’re using a smart phone right now, click here to check out the tweets.)

But outside the eye-rolls and laughter that these questions drew, there’s something also a little tricky at play.

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Eric Deggans, a friend of Code Switch, has a good point. It’s easy to punish well-intentioned folks who really just are curious about different cultures. But part of our aim was to create some dialogue about how we deal with questions that could quickly go awry.

So we’re curious. What’s the most constructive way to respond to questions that could be potentially offensive? (This video, by the way, makes us want to practice our accents.) And on the flip side, how do you satisfy your curiosity about other cultures, and what are your tips for folks who want to try?”

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by | May 30, 2013 · 5:29 pm

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