Acting [fill in the blank]

Roland Fryer is an economist at Harvard who has done research on “acting white” in the black community. According to the good folks over at Freakonomics, Fryer recently learned that exceling in academia is no longer called “acting white” and instead is referred to as “acting asian“.

My question is, why do we EVER label any sort of achievement or culturally divergent behavior as “acting”? What is accomplished by calling a person an Oreo, Twinke, or whitewashed? What purpose do names achieve?

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About Bo

A 30something, 1.5 generation Korean-American/New Yorker who spends her day as an HR exec. specializing in corporate diversity & inclusion. I get to think about ways to make "The Man" less male, white, and straight. It's the best job in the world! When I'm not trying to change corporate America, I teach yoga and dabble in holistic health counseling. I have an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business and my undergraduate from the University of Michigan. Lesser known facts about me: I enjoy b&w film photography, training for endurance races, and making homemade jam. Other mindless observations can be found at
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