Laila Halaby at Beacon Broadside has a kick ass post about how to ask people about their cultural/ethnic backgrounds & practices. Read it. Pass it on. And maybe slip it onto the desk of that person who always asks you dumb questions about being [fill in the blank]. JFTR - I'm going to use this list too. We're all others.
Here's my favorite one:
Rule Two: Ask yourself a few questions: Do I want the answer to this question or am I looking for an opportunity to share my own agenda? Would I be prepared to offer equally candid information about my own cultural, ethnic, and religious practices? How would I feel if this person asked me the same question, except instead of Arab or Muslim, it was about Black or Caucasian or Latino or Baptist or Hindu or Jew or Asian?
Technorati tags: race, culture, ethnicity