This is the epitome of micro-aggression. “You can pass,” in response to my fear, means you don’t recognize or understand how important my heritage is to who I am. It is very much a part of my identity. It also minimizes any right I have to be afraid, because you choose not to see that part of me. To not acknowledge that part of me is to not really understand who I am. At the very least, it highlights the fact that you don’t care about me, or my concerns.
From Martin's essay on Medium