(Samira and Amira are on the phone)

SAMIRA: And then she said "Well, we all know that mixed people are hotter. You're so lucky you're mixed." It was so annoying!

AMIRA: Well, I mean, we are hot.

SAMIRA: You know what I mean.

AMIRA: What's the harm?

SAMIRA: They keep complaining that I'm too loud.

GRACE: Why?

SAMIRA: I don't know. Because I get animated when I'm excited?

GRACE: That seems wrong.

SAMIRA: Stoic Midwesterners I guess.

SAMIRA: And then she said, she didn't really think of me as mixed, can you believe it?

GRACE: Well...yes.

SAMIRA: What? Why?

GRACE: Because you pass as white.

SAMIRA: Not all the time.

GRACE: No, but sometimes. And to her.

DAISY: And get this, he's Indian AND white. Isn't that so cool?

SAMIRA: What's so cool?

DAISY: That's such a cool mix. Like he was showing us pictures of his family's house in (pause) Chennai? I think that was it, that's in the South.

SAMIRA: I know where Chennai is.

DAISY: Anyway, it was just so cool and different.

SAMIRA: Different how?

DAISY: All those colors! And he had pictures of rickshaws, but not the bicycle kind, the ones with a motor. Oh and the flowers, and all that food.

GRACE: I'm going into the Ville, want to come?

SAMIRA: No thanks I'm good.

GRACE: Are you sure? I thought you said you needed new jeans, we could stop by the Gap.

SAMIRA: No, I don't really feel like it, but have fun.

GRACE: Did something happen?

AMY: I work in the foster care system as a therapist.

SAMIRA: Wow, that must be a tough job.

AMY: It is. Sometimes you put parents through all the training to prepare them to take in these kids and it still doesn't work out.

SAMIRA: And then there's all the issues around transracial adoption I imagine.

STEVEN: Why would there be issues? What does it matter what color they are.

College campus students are sitting around in a horseshoe, deep in discussion.

JOHN: That’s not what I said, I’m just saying that I wouldn’t date a white girl, that’s all.

CALLIE: And why not?

JOHN: We’d be too different, they couldn’t possibly understand my experience.  What do white girls know about discrimination?

CALLIE: Well in most parts of the world, if not all, women are still second-class citizens.

ANN: I think what John is saying is that here, in middle-class America, women aren’t subject to the same type of discrimination that he is.

JOHN: That’s what I’m saying.  Maybe other guys can look past that, but for me it matters.  Race is such a part of my reality that I don’t think I could relate to someone on that deeper level, if it wasn’t something they had to think about.

(Elementary school playground outside Los Angeles)

MEGAN: Who's that?

SAMIRA: Who?

MEGAN: That woman who's waving at you. Is that your nanny?

SAMIRA: No, that's my mom.

MEGAN: Are you adopted?

SAMIRA: No.

(Samira gives her security pass to guard. Guard looks down at the pass and then up at Samira. She does this multiple times.)

GUARD: This is you?

SAMIRA: Yes.

GUARD: This is your name?

SAMIRA: Yes.

GUARD: It's an Indian name.

SAMIRA: Yes.

GRACE: Well the casting call did say "not too dark."

SAMIRA: Ugh, why.

GRACE: It's set in the 50s.

SAMIRA: So?

GRACE: Well there was this demographic.

SAMIRA: Not entirely. Look at the archives. Anyway, it's just ridiculous.

GRACE: Why do you want to be an extra anyway?

SAMIRA: Why not. When will we ever get to do this again?

(Airplane cabin, Emily and Anish are looking for their seats)

EMILY: Which row are you in?

ANISH: Up there.

EMILY: Oh, this is me.

ANISH: Maybe the person next to you will be willing to switch.

EMILY: Yeah, I'll ask.

ANISH: And if not, I'll see you on the other side.

NIALA: So are you from Iran?

ASHA: No.

NIALA: Are you sure you’re not from Iran, you look Persian straight up.

LINDA: Nah, she looks Armenian.

MARK: I’ve dated Iranian men, you don’t look Persian at all.

(Grace and Samira are studying. There is a knock, and Matt sticks his head in)

MATT: Can I come in?

GRACE: Sure, I was just leaving.

SAMIRA: You don't have to.

GRACE: Aaron wanted the notes from Orgo remember, I'll go find him.

Grace enters)

SAMIRA: Aaron was here. He needs the notes from Orgo.

GRACE: Oh man, are you ok?

SAMIRA: Of course, why wouldn’t I be ok?

GRACE: If you say so. 

SAMIRA: You know me, I bounce back!

GRACE: Uh huh.

SAMIRA: Oh ye of little faith.

(Aaron knocks on Samira and Grace’s door. Samira is at her desk with a textbook open, typing on her computer)

SAMIRA (looks up): Come in.

AARON: Hi.

SAMIRA (looks back down): Hi.

AARON: Is Grace here? 

SAMIRA: No.

AARON: Do you know when she’s going to be back?

SAMIRA: No.

SAMIRA

I know I said I wanted a campus-wide dialogue, but I don't actually want to go to it. Let someone else fight that battle, living it every day is tiring enough. Especially on this campus. To have to sit there and listen to people debate about whether life is more difficult for interracial couples, or mixed-kids. And how, since it's so hard, maybe people just shouldn't do it. It's not really that hard. I mean sometimes it is. But not because of who we are, but because of other people. Hell is other people. 

(Samira is on an airplane reading Harry Potter in French)

WOMAN: Vous étés française?

SAMIRA: Non, je suis américaine.

WOMAN: Mais, vous parlez français.

SAMIRA: Oui. 

WOMAN (switching to accented English): But how do you know Frenc

SAMIRA: God I hate German, remind me why I took this class?

GRACE: Because you need a language requirement

SAMIRA: Yes, but why’d I have to choose German.  I could have taken Spanish, or something completely different…like Arabic!

GRACE: Didn’t you take German in high school?

SAMIRA: Yes and I hated it then too.

GRACE: But isn’t that why you chose it?

I have to admit, it surprised me that on a campus like ours, something so disturbing would happen.  I don’t mean to say that everyone here is free of any kind of prejudice.  Of course, everyone has their assumptions, their own view of reality.  I guess it’s just that people here are better at hiding it.  Our racism or sexism, or whatever ism is subtle.  It’s in looks and comments and comfort zones.  It’s funny really, being someone who blends in relatively easily, someone will make a joke or a comment without realizien for forgetting that I’m half Indian, or half white. It really gives you a chance to see what people are like when they’re not being polite or PC.