CHAPTER 10

We Cannot All Be Idiosyncratic

You could have heard a pin drop in the room when he spoke.

I was facilitating an Unconscious Bias and Inclusion workshop in Australia, and we were discussing assimilation (the need to fit in) when he raised his hand and said:

I was born in China and I came to Australia when I was five years old. When I was 18, I moved from Perth to Sydney to attend University. Today, when I look in the mirror I do not see someone who is Asian, I see an Anglo-Australian. I think of myself as an Anglo Australian.

Wide-eyed stares of disbelief met the speaker’s words. No one else in the room saw an Anglo-Australian. But he said it so clearly and with such compelling intensity that no one dared argue. He spoke to me during ...

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