Today I was standing in a shopping plaza area (typical for southern California) and I was talking on my cell phone. A middle-aged Latino-American looking woman was walking towards me carrying her groceries. I was just finishing my phone conversation as she was walking by me, with a smile on her face.

“I like the way you speak.”

“Oh yeah? Thank you!” I said.

“It reminds me of my pastor. He’s from Korea but he speaks perfect English. When he preaches, everyone pays so close attention.” she continued. “I don’t know why people assume that if you are not from this country, you have to have an accent.”

She found my English impressive.

But should she have? What if I was white or black? Would she make such a comment?
I was tempted to point out that I was born here, that I’m an American, not from a different country. But I decided to let it go. She was such a nice and well-meaning person.

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