Update to Identity, Race, and Assimilation

In March 2019, I wrote an article regarding My Journey in Understanding Race (as it related to my own #identity). As we approach July 4th and face the continuing fight for #equity particularly as it relates to #race and class, I revisited the article to examine what I had said, or not said.


To rectify that I wanted to put out this addendum.


I make a specific comment in the March 2019 article regarding being "more than just one of the guys at the office." I don't explain that in the original article and want to make a very explicit point here, because I'll relay what happened and what that alludes to in a minute. #Assimilation is not #inclusion. Demanding that others accommodate to what makes you comfortable and then heralding them for doing that is not inclusive, it forces them to choose from their identities, leads to group think, and maintains the status quo.


We had a longish term visitor to the office in my first post. When visiting it can be challenging to have enough to do - as you live in a hotel and often have limited control over getting out and about. To support our visitors we tried to give generously of our time and space. However, one night this visitor asked what I was doing that evening and if we could go somewhere. Knowing that I was running a little low on feeling whole and Indian, I declined explaining that I was having an Indian night and eating Indian food, listening to movies/songs in Hindi and sitting around in Indian clothes. These are only the trappings of and eventually I found people who were Indian that I could have meaningful conversations with. But, the response I received was "But you aren't even that Indian."