Look and Listen #5: Leah Anderson, You Ask Me What I Am So You May Know How To Fear Me from Button Poetry

There is a fine line between admiring someone and exploiting them. Leah Anderson explores how it feels to be singled out.

“You Ask Me What I Am So You May Know How To Fear Me” is a response to the question “What are you?”. It’s a question that people of mixed ethnicity endure with far too much frequency, one that is asked, quite often, with no regard for culture or background, simply as a way to classify a person. We might not realize the pain it causes to be asked this, but our ignorance does not excuse our callousness.

We must always be interested in a person’s story, not as a means of filing them into a box, but as a way to celebrate their uniqueness and individualism. If we want to to know “who” a person is, we have to learn how to listen and how to ask questions that honor their answers.


Button poetry has some terrific slam poetry up on Youtube. Check them out!



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