Choose a person of a different racial or ethnic background than your own. It is preferable that this person be either Native American or Asian American. If access to a person from these cultural backgrounds is not possible, you may choose from the cultural options available to you as long as they are different from your own.
Pose the following questions to the person:
1. How will you describe the general attitude toward people of your racial or ethnic background?
2. Do you feel discriminated against because of your race or ethnic background?
3. If so, provide examples of how this behavior manifests. If not, explain why you believe you are not discriminated against in spite of being a minority.
4. What percentage of your time outside of work time is spent with people of the same racial or ethnic background?
5. What do you consider the most important cultural value for you and for those close to you? This will be something that you consider a core value or that you want to pass on to your children.
I provided my Japanese American colleague with your questions. These are her replies. Her name is Anita S.
Generally people treat me well because I am different enough from those of color to be accepted and, because I am Asian, whites find me acceptable. I am usually just overlooked in public situations. In social situations, I am often the novelty but I find myself "in charge" of events and so I have a lot of interaction with everyone. At work, I am the person everyone assumes knows things, especially things that require critical thinking. I have often been designated as the leader of brainstorming sessions.
2. I don't feel discriminated against except by other Asians because I am half American. Remarkably, the Japanese have been less tolerant of my background than Americans. I was discriminated against in Japan by families of friends. I should say that I was discriminated against until people found out the ancestry of my family and the closeness with the royal family. In the U.S., I find the most discriminatory actions ...
The answers for a written interview with an Asian American from Californina/Louisiana.