Opinion: 'You sure as hell don't look Indian'

"Five or six years ago, I was walking back to my office with a student, discussing a paper she had recently submitted. It emerged during our conversation that she had been invited to apply for a summer internship in Washington, D.C. -- good pay, comfortable accommodations, interesting work. This aroused my curiosity.

The young woman in question undeniably possessed a shrewd, agile brain, but had never displayed any depth of intellectual interests. I asked her how she came to receive such an invitation. She explained that she was part American Indian. There before me was a pair of vivid blues eyes, authentically golden hair and a classic peaches-and-cream complexion. I am describing a blonde, a perfect blonde, the Platonic ideal of a blonde made flesh. I approached the obvious question with my customary tact.

'You sure as hell don't look Indian,' I said."

Get the Story:
John N. Frary: We make fine distinctions in the name of diversity (The Central Maine Morning Sentinel 6/3)