History Main / PassFail

9th Apr '18 2:26:51 PM Pichu-kun
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* Michelle Cliff's ''Literature/NoTelephoneToHeaven'' has the [[UsefulNotes/{{Transgender}} trans/genderqueer]] character Harry/Harriet (also known as H/H), who is biologically male but identifies as a blend of male and female. At the beginning of the novel, s/he has a totally masculine appearance but wears bikinis, puts on make-up, and occasionally dresses in the genderfuck style (for example with both a tuxedo and very campy make-up. This impish black Jamaican character passes for an African man to fool an American tourist, who really thinks he has just met "King Badnigga of Benin"). Towards the end of the novel, H/H starts living and presumably identifying as Harriet, a white nurse, which involves double 'passing'. H/H is very aware that even as 'she' is respected as a generous nurse, s/he could literally get lynched for being trans and for passing for white, but makes this choice because a black man couldn't become a nurse. This character plays a huge role in the development of the very confused main character Clare Savage, a white-looking middle-class mixed-race Jamaican woman who questions the racist standards of her formerly slave-owning family and might further be bisexual. His/her ability to transcend social boundaries and to fool racists and homophobes/transphobes is part of his/her attributes as a {{Trickster}} figure.

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* Michelle Cliff's ''Literature/NoTelephoneToHeaven'' has the [[UsefulNotes/{{Transgender}} [[{{Transgender}} trans/genderqueer]] character Harry/Harriet (also known as H/H), who is biologically male but identifies as a blend of male and female. At the beginning of the novel, s/he has a totally masculine appearance but wears bikinis, puts on make-up, and occasionally dresses in the genderfuck style (for example with both a tuxedo and very campy make-up. This impish black Jamaican character passes for an African man to fool an American tourist, who really thinks he has just met "King Badnigga of Benin"). Towards the end of the novel, H/H starts living and presumably identifying as Harriet, a white nurse, which involves double 'passing'. H/H is very aware that even as 'she' is respected as a generous nurse, s/he could literally get lynched for being trans and for passing for white, but makes this choice because a black man couldn't become a nurse. This character plays a huge role in the development of the very confused main character Clare Savage, a white-looking middle-class mixed-race Jamaican woman who questions the racist standards of her formerly slave-owning family and might further be bisexual. His/her ability to transcend social boundaries and to fool racists and homophobes/transphobes is part of his/her attributes as a {{Trickster}} figure.
26th Mar '18 2:26:59 PM Divra
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* In the Literature/{{Worldwar}} series by Creator/HarryTurtledove, Mordechai Ancielewicz is a Polish Jew fighing in the resistance. While traveling in the countryside, he encounters a farmhouse, and attempts to pass as a (Catholic) Polish partisan. He manages to eat the ham they're serving without hesitation, but is caught out when he crosses himself wrong and doesn't put butter on his potatoes. Fortunately for him, they aren't upset about it.

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* In the Literature/{{Worldwar}} series by Creator/HarryTurtledove, Mordechai Ancielewicz is a Polish Jew fighing fighting in the resistance. While traveling in the countryside, he encounters a farmhouse, and attempts to pass as a (Catholic) Polish partisan. He Mordechai catches himself when the FarmersDaughter starts getting flirty (realizing very quickly that dropping his pants would blow his cover immediately, since no Catholic man would be circumsised), and manages to eat the ham they're serving without hesitation, but is caught out when he crosses himself wrong and doesn't put butter on his potatoes. Fortunately for him, they aren't upset about it.
25th Feb '18 3:28:53 PM Pichu-kun
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* The graphic novel ''ComicBook/{{Incognegro}}'' is a period-piece about a light-skinned reporter who passes for white in order to write about racial hate crimes in the South.



* Again involving FantasticRacism, although it's rarely referred to in these terms, in ''ComicBook/XMen'' there does seem to be slight tension between mutants who appear to be human and those who, for example, have blue fur and feline features or no heads and facial features on their chests.
** Comicbook/KittyPryde compares being a mutant with averting this trope by being openly Jewish--she is nearly always depicted wearing a Star of David necklace--because it's a part of who she is, although she does not "look Jewish" and so could pass.

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* Again involving FantasticRacism, although it's rarely referred to in these terms, in ''ComicBook/XMen'' there does seem to be slight tension between mutants who appear to be human and those who, for example, have blue fur and feline features or no heads and facial features on their chests. \n** Comicbook/KittyPryde compares being a mutant with averting this trope by being openly Jewish--she is nearly always depicted wearing a Star of David necklace--because it's a part of who she is, although she does not "look Jewish" and so could pass.



* ''Slow Burn'': A white DA has been braiding her hair and passing for mixed in order to foster support in her African-American constituency.



* One of the main themes of ''Literature/{{Caucasia}}''. Birdie and Cole Lee are both [[MixedAncestry half-black-half-white]] and at different times must attempt to pass for one or the other to fit in or blend into the surroundings. Cole has darker skin and kinky hair, so she has difficulty passing as anything but black, but Cole uses speech, mannerisms and even modifications to the way she looks to try to pass as either.



* A subplot in ''The Help'', by Kathryn Stockett, concerns a mixed-race girl who was given up for adoption by her mother because she looked white, and in 1950's Mississippi the social pressure on the mother was too much. The girl later returns to her birth mother in Jackson, where she deliberately passes for white at a Daughters of the American Revolution meeting, then lets everyone there know that she is, in fact, black (and indeed, a member of the Black Panthers). It does not end well.



* Gustave de Beaumont's novel "''Marie; ou, L'Esclavage aux États-Unis''" ("Marie, or Slavery in the United States"), published in 1835, is the first known novel featuring Black-White racial passing.
-->'''Narrator:''' Public opinion, ordinarily so indulgent to fortune-seekers who conceal their names and previous lives, is pitiless in its search for proofs of African descent.... There is but one crime, of which the guilty bear everywhere the penalty and the infamy; it is that of belonging to a family reputed to be of color. Though the color may be effaced, the stigma remains.



* Creator/MarkTwain's ''Literature/PuddnHeadWilson'' has the son of a wealthy family and a slave getting SwitchedAtBirth. This is possible because the slave boy has only the barest fraction of African ancestry, so he looks exactly the same as any other white person. The book highlights the stupidity of slavery and racism.



* The ''Series/{{Angel}}'' episode "Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been" involved a half-black woman who was fired from her job at a bank in the 50s when it was learned she had been passing as white. The earlier episode "Hero" also has a demonblooded youth sneer to Doyle that Doyle's life must have been a cakewalk compared to his own, as Doyle, while also part-demon, is "passing" (i.e., looks human, unlike the boy).
* ''Series/ColdCase''
** One episode dealt with the murder of a pale-skinned Negro who had been passing as a white in the 1950s.
** Another episode had an aversion with a black female victim from the early 1930's or so, whose secret white lover tried in vain to get her to pass for white so they could run away together. The actress was clearly black but camera effects [[ButNotTooBlack lightened her complexion]].
** "Colors" featured an African American baseball player (the victim) and his passing-as-white girlfriend.



* ''Series/TheGeorgeLopezShow'' had a variant: George's biological sister (who's Hispanic) was [[ObliviousAdoption adopted by an Italian family]] and thus grew up unintentionally passing until she discovered her biological family.
* One episode of ''Series/LawAndOrder'' has a black guy who spent his whole adult life passing for white. He's only found out after his second wife was killed when they considered taking back their darker-skinned baby they had given up for adoption. [[spoiler:His first wife killed the second in order to maintain the illusion of an all-white family for ''her'' son, who was attending a very upper-class-white school with subtle social discrimination against non-whites. Or, so she said, until it was revealed that she'd never wanted to take custody of their son in the divorce, had to be bribed to do it, and she was really just a big ol' racist.]]
** The best part of that show was toward the beginning, when the detectives are operating under the belief that the "white" man killed his wife because she gave birth to a black infant. After they find evidence that he has been passing, the white detectives can't get him to admit it. Lt. Van Buren shoos them out of the interrogation room, closes the door, gives the man a knowing look, and sarcastically congratulates him on passing, asking what white people are like among themselves. Feeling guilty, he finally admits to having passed as white for years in order to climb the corporate ladder, something that would have been much harder to do had he lived as a black man since he joined before the Civil Rights era, and by the time he became an executive he'd been passing as white for so long that he didn't want to reveal the truth. The irony is that when the police question the suspect's superiors at work, they say that had they been aware that he was African American, they probably would have promoted him to the Board of Directors as their TokenMinority.

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* ''Series/TheGeorgeLopezShow'' had a variant: George's biological sister (who's Hispanic) was [[ObliviousAdoption adopted by an Italian family]] and thus grew up unintentionally passing until she discovered her biological family.
* One episode of ''Series/LawAndOrder'' has a black guy who spent his whole adult life passing for white. He's only found out after his second wife was killed when they considered taking back their darker-skinned baby they had given up for adoption. [[spoiler:His first wife killed the second in order to maintain the illusion of an all-white family for ''her'' son, who was attending a very upper-class-white school with subtle social discrimination against non-whites. Or, so she said, until it was revealed that she'd never wanted to take custody of their son in the divorce, had to be bribed to do it, and she was really just a big ol' racist.]]
**
]] The best part of that show was toward the beginning, when the detectives are operating under the belief that the "white" man killed his wife because she gave birth to a black infant. After they find evidence that he has been passing, the white detectives can't get him to admit it. Lt. Van Buren shoos them out of the interrogation room, closes the door, gives the man a knowing look, and sarcastically congratulates him on passing, asking what white people are like among themselves. Feeling guilty, he finally admits to having passed as white for years in order to climb the corporate ladder, something that would have been much harder to do had he lived as a black man since he joined before the Civil Rights era, and by the time he became an executive he'd been passing as white for so long that he didn't want to reveal the truth. The irony is that when the police question the suspect's superiors at work, they say that had they been aware that he was African American, they probably would have promoted him to the Board of Directors as their TokenMinority.



* Jacqueline from ''Series/UnbreakableKimmySchmidt'' is Native American (Lakota specifically), but uses hair dye and make-up to look white. She treated her heritage as a point of shame, but comes to embrace it more after divorcing her cheating husband.
20th Feb '18 7:59:41 PM Pichu-kun
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** PlayedForDrama in later chapters of ''Manga/WanderingSon''. Nitori's voice deepens and she starts looking less androgynous due to puberty. One scene has [[spoiler:a clerk gossiping behind her back that she's a boy due to her voice]].

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** PlayedForDrama in later chapters of ''Manga/WanderingSon''.chapters. Nitori's voice deepens and she starts looking less androgynous due to puberty. One scene has [[spoiler:a clerk gossiping behind her back that she's a boy due to her voice]].



** Osamu starts having issues crossdressing when he begins hitting puberty. His crush becomes disgusted at him because he's grown taller than him and has a low voice. When Osamu was in public once people noticed his masculine voice when he spoke too loud. He still keeps crossdressing into adulthood.

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** Osamu starts having issues crossdressing when he begins hitting puberty. His crush becomes disgusted at him because he's grown taller than him and has a low voice. When Osamu was in public once once, people noticed his masculine voice when he spoke too loud. He He, however, still keeps crossdressing into adulthood.



* Naoto Shirogane from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' [[spoiler:[[SweetPollyOliver is a girl disguising herself as a boy.]]]]

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* Naoto Shirogane from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' 4}}'':
** Naoto Shirogane is
[[spoiler:[[SweetPollyOliver is a girl disguising herself as a boy.]]]]



** A trans-woman's ability to pass can be greatly affected if she started transitioning before the onset of her male puberty. Puberty not only affects secondary sexual characteristics like breast development, but also skeletal changes, such as the pelvis widening and moving forward, or hands and feet staying smaller, or the vocal cords not lengthening. Most trans-women who transition after puberty have a harder time passing.

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** A trans-woman's trans woman's ability to pass can be greatly affected if she started transitioning before the onset of her male puberty. Puberty not only affects secondary sexual characteristics like breast development, but also skeletal changes, such as the pelvis widening and moving forward, or hands and feet staying smaller, or the vocal cords not lengthening. Most trans-women who transition after puberty have a harder time passing.



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[[folder:Anime]][[folder:Anime & Manga]]



[[folder: Fan Works]]
* In ''FanFic/SonOfTheDesert'', the fact that the half-Ishvalan Elric brothers can pass for Amestrian allows them the luxury of not having to hide from the military during the Ishval Massacre something their Ishvalan mother Trisha is very grateful for. It later benefits them when the Elrics join the military and allows them their success as State Alchemists. The Elrics fully identify as Ishvalan and are proud of their culture but are afraid of getting killed for it. They decide to out themselves when someone makes one racist comment too many.
[[/folder]]



* ''Slow Burn'': a white DA has been braiding her hair and passing for mixed in order to foster support in her African-American constituency.

to:

* ''Slow Burn'': a A white DA has been braiding her hair and passing for mixed in order to foster support in her African-American constituency.



* The ''Literature/BenjaminJanuary'' series, set in New Orleans in the 1830s, contains several characters with black ancestry passing as white; it's made clear that exposure will have awful consequences, even several generations down the line.
* ''Black Like Me'' is an example of short term passing, and a rare example of a white man passing as a black man. The author John Howard Griffin actually artificially darkened his skin under the care of a doctor and journeyed through the American South to get a first-person perspective on what it was like to be black.
6th Jan '18 1:23:12 PM MyFinalEdits
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"Passing", in sociology, is the state of living one's life as a member of another sociological group be it ethnic, racial, gender, class, or sexual. It's a complicated matter in real life, what with humans so rarely fitting perfectly into the ever-shifting categories we make up for them. Indeed, there are times when we categorise individuals in ways that they themselves do not acknowledge, or that are based upon merely tangential connections. For example, ''why'' does an "octoroon" (7/8 "white"/European, 1/8 "black"/non-European) in a U.S. Reconstruction-era novel have to identify as 'black' in order to be "true to themselves?" It reflects many racial ideas still present, if less explicit these days, in 'Western' society [[labelnote:*]]Europe and its offshoots, such as Canada and Brazil[[/labelnote]]. Most notable in the Anglosphere is the USA, which has a troubled history of race relations only surpassed by that of South Africa on account of its history of ethnic-African slave-use, not to mention the terming of indigenous tribes as "savages" in the Declaration of Independence, the Indian Removal Act, subsequent Trail of Tears, and post-Civil War Indian Wars. The USA's pre-Civil Rights Movement [[labelnote:*]]wherein the U.S.A.'s ethnic non-European population was recognised as having equal rights to that of its ethnic European populace[[/labelnote]] "One-Drop Rule" stated that 'one drop' of non-European blood made a person non-white and thus deprived them of the rights of a full citizen.

to:

"Passing", in sociology, is the state of living one's life as a member of another sociological group be it ethnic, racial, gender, class, or sexual. It's a complicated matter in real life, what with humans so rarely fitting perfectly into the ever-shifting categories we make up for them. Indeed, there are times when we categorise individuals in ways that they themselves do not acknowledge, or that are based upon merely tangential connections. For example, ''why'' does an "octoroon" (7/8 "white"/European, 1/8 "black"/non-European) in a U.S. Reconstruction-era novel have to identify as 'black' in order to be "true to themselves?" It reflects many racial ideas still present, if less explicit these days, in 'Western' society [[labelnote:*]]Europe and its offshoots, such as Canada and Brazil[[/labelnote]]. Most notable in the Anglosphere is the USA, which has a troubled history of race relations only surpassed by that of South Africa on account of its history of ethnic-African slave-use, not to mention plus the terming of indigenous tribes as "savages" in the Declaration of Independence, the Indian Removal Act, subsequent Trail of Tears, and post-Civil War Indian Wars. The USA's pre-Civil Rights Movement [[labelnote:*]]wherein the U.S.A.'s ethnic non-European population was recognised as having equal rights to that of its ethnic European populace[[/labelnote]] "One-Drop Rule" stated that 'one drop' of non-European blood made a person non-white and thus deprived them of the rights of a full citizen.



** Tiger Woods = 25% black, 12.5% Native American, 12.5% white, 25% Southeast Asian, 25% Han Chinese. Sort of an inverted Pass Fail--when asked during the early years of his superstardom, he would say that he personally never identified as being of one race, but he couldn't avoid the world assigning him race. Comedienne Wanda Sykes made a point about this that was disturbingly prophetic--that the more he won, the more the media would downplay his being part black and play up the other parts of his heritage, but that if he ever fell from grace the criticism would be aimed straight at his blackness.
*** He's also said that he's been harassed for this stance amongst "black" celebrities, some of whom, he said, invoking the "one drop" rule.
*** As it turned out, Sykes was partly right and partly wrong. The media indeed downplayed his African heritage during his peak years, but after he was exposed as a [[TheCasanova serial adulterer]] in 2009, his race barely played into the criticism he received.

to:

** Tiger Woods = 25% black, 12.5% Native American, 12.5% white, 25% Southeast Asian, 25% Han Chinese. Sort of an inverted Pass Fail--when asked during the early years of his superstardom, he would say that he personally never identified as being of one race, but he couldn't avoid the world assigning him race. Comedienne Wanda Sykes made a point about this that was disturbingly prophetic--that the more he won, the more the media would downplay his being part black and play up the other parts of his heritage, but that if he ever fell from grace the criticism would be aimed straight at his blackness. \n*** He's also said that he's been harassed for this stance amongst "black" celebrities, some of whom, he said, invoking the "one drop" rule.
***
rule. As it turned out, Sykes was partly right and partly wrong. The media indeed downplayed his African heritage during his peak years, but after he was exposed as a [[TheCasanova serial adulterer]] in 2009, his race barely played into the criticism he received.
18th Nov '17 12:21:30 AM KYCubbie
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*** As it turned out, Sykes was partly right and partly wrong. The media indeed downplayed his African heritage during his peak years, but after he was exposed as a [[ReallyGetsAround serial adulterer]] in 2009, his race barely played into the criticism he received.

to:

*** As it turned out, Sykes was partly right and partly wrong. The media indeed downplayed his African heritage during his peak years, but after he was exposed as a [[ReallyGetsAround [[TheCasanova serial adulterer]] in 2009, his race barely played into the criticism he received.
18th Nov '17 12:20:21 AM KYCubbie
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** Tiger Woods = 25% black, 12.5% Native American, 12.5% white, 25% Southeast Asian, 25% Han Asian. Sort of an inverted Pass Fail--when asked during the early years of his superstardom, he would say that he personally never identified as being of one race, but he couldn't avoid the world assigning him race. Comedienne Wanda Sykes made a point about this that was disturbingly prophetic--that the more he won, the more the media would downplay his being part black and play up the other parts of his heritage, but that if he ever fell from grace the criticism would be aimed straight at his blackness.

to:

** Tiger Woods = 25% black, 12.5% Native American, 12.5% white, 25% Southeast Asian, 25% Han Asian.Chinese. Sort of an inverted Pass Fail--when asked during the early years of his superstardom, he would say that he personally never identified as being of one race, but he couldn't avoid the world assigning him race. Comedienne Wanda Sykes made a point about this that was disturbingly prophetic--that the more he won, the more the media would downplay his being part black and play up the other parts of his heritage, but that if he ever fell from grace the criticism would be aimed straight at his blackness.


Added DiffLines:

*** As it turned out, Sykes was partly right and partly wrong. The media indeed downplayed his African heritage during his peak years, but after he was exposed as a [[ReallyGetsAround serial adulterer]] in 2009, his race barely played into the criticism he received.
13th Oct '17 7:13:06 AM Milarqui
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Added DiffLines:

* In Noah Gordon's ''The Physician'', main character Rob Cole wants to study medicine in the Persian madrassah, where the great Avicenna (Ibn Sina) teaches. However, Christians are not accepted there, but Jews are, so Rob decides to take on the guise of a Jewish student to be admitted. On the way, a Jewish would-be student he makes friends with finds out his secret, but he chooses to help him learn how to be a Jew to pass. This, however, later causes him trouble when, upon returning to England, he crosses paths with a merchant who met him while he was passing.
27th Sep '17 7:52:28 PM KingOdin
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"Passing", in sociology, is the state of living one's life as a member of another sociological group be it ethnic, racial, gender, class, or sexual. It's a complicated matter in real life, what with humans so rarely fitting perfectly into the ever-shifting categories we make up for them. Indeed, there are times when we categorise individuals in ways that they themselves do not acknowledge, or that are based upon merely tangential connections. For example, ''why'' does an "octoroon" (7/8 "white"/European, 1/8 "black"/non-European) in a U.S. Reconstruction-era novel have to identify as 'black' in order to be "true to themselves?" It reflects many racial ideas still present, if less explicit these days, in 'Western' society [[labelnote:*]]Europe and its offshoots, such as Canada and Brazil[[/labelnote]]. Most notable in the Anglosphere is the USA, which has a troubled history of race relations only surpassed by that of South Africa on account of its history of ethnic-African slave-use, not to mention the terming of indigenous tribes as "savages" in the Declaration of Independence, the Indian Removal Act, and the subsequent Trail of Tears. The USA's pre-Civil Rights Movement [[labelnote:*]]wherein the U.S.A.'s ethnic non-European population was recognised as having equal rights to that of its ethnic European populace[[/labelnote]] "One-Drop Rule" stated that 'one drop' of non-European blood made a person non-white and thus deprived them of the rights of a full citizen.

to:

"Passing", in sociology, is the state of living one's life as a member of another sociological group be it ethnic, racial, gender, class, or sexual. It's a complicated matter in real life, what with humans so rarely fitting perfectly into the ever-shifting categories we make up for them. Indeed, there are times when we categorise individuals in ways that they themselves do not acknowledge, or that are based upon merely tangential connections. For example, ''why'' does an "octoroon" (7/8 "white"/European, 1/8 "black"/non-European) in a U.S. Reconstruction-era novel have to identify as 'black' in order to be "true to themselves?" It reflects many racial ideas still present, if less explicit these days, in 'Western' society [[labelnote:*]]Europe and its offshoots, such as Canada and Brazil[[/labelnote]]. Most notable in the Anglosphere is the USA, which has a troubled history of race relations only surpassed by that of South Africa on account of its history of ethnic-African slave-use, not to mention the terming of indigenous tribes as "savages" in the Declaration of Independence, the Indian Removal Act, and the subsequent Trail of Tears.Tears, and post-Civil War Indian Wars. The USA's pre-Civil Rights Movement [[labelnote:*]]wherein the U.S.A.'s ethnic non-European population was recognised as having equal rights to that of its ethnic European populace[[/labelnote]] "One-Drop Rule" stated that 'one drop' of non-European blood made a person non-white and thus deprived them of the rights of a full citizen.
24th Jul '17 4:01:51 PM KizunaTallis
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* In ''FanFic/SonOfTheDesert''the fact that the half-Ishvalan Elric brothers can pass for Amestrian allows them the luxury of not having to hide from the military during the Ishval Massacre something their Ishvalan mother Trisha is very grateful for. It later benefits them when the Elrics join the military and allows them their success as State Alchemists. The Elrics fully identify as Ishvalan and are proud of their culture but are afraid of getting killed for it. They decide to out themselves when someone makes one racist comment too many.

to:

* In ''FanFic/SonOfTheDesert''the ''FanFic/SonOfTheDesert'', the fact that the half-Ishvalan Elric brothers can pass for Amestrian allows them the luxury of not having to hide from the military during the Ishval Massacre something their Ishvalan mother Trisha is very grateful for. It later benefits them when the Elrics join the military and allows them their success as State Alchemists. The Elrics fully identify as Ishvalan and are proud of their culture but are afraid of getting killed for it. They decide to out themselves when someone makes one racist comment too many.


Added DiffLines:

* Jacqueline from ''Series/UnbreakableKimmySchmidt'' is Native American (Lakota specifically), but uses hair dye and make-up to look white. She treated her heritage as a point of shame, but comes to embrace it more after divorcing her cheating husband.
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