I've always had a tough time with this because I live in San Francisco and by and large it's a transient city (becoming even more so with skyrocketing rents). I typically assume that almost nobody is from here which is why I'm tempted to ask. But then I realize that there's all sorts of baggage associated with that question (as outlined in the many stories above) so I tend to say nothing and just wait for the other person to mention it.
posted by Sandor Clegane at 11:49 AM
I'm a non-white person who doesn't feel that asking (or hearing) "Are you a [city] native?" is a sign of bending over backwards by white people, or anyone else. To me, it's a question that's more open-ended and likely to elicit interesting answers, and as a bonus, avoids even the appearance of othering subtext.
posted by rtha
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