Usually, the question “where are you from?” is not a “microaggression” but an honest effort to meet a new person. For either party to interpret it otherwise is foolish, selfish, and reduces the possibility of a relationship that could bless them both.
A stocky, white, middle-aged man stood behind the counter at the fencing school as I approached. “I am looking to take lessons. Do I sign up here?”
“Yes,” he said in a thick Russian accent.
I love to get to know people, the studio wasn’t very busy, and I knew nothing about “microaggressions,” so I asked, “Where are you from?”
“Minnesota,” he replied.
“No, where are you from originally?”
“Baltimore,” he answered.
“OK, where is your accent from?” I persisted, eager to learn about his big life adventure.
“Russia,” he said.