I'm a curious person.  I'm fascinated by other cultures and traditions, so it never occurred to me that I may have at any point in my life been insensitive when asking where a person comes from.  When I hear spoken word so eloquently spoken as the above, my heart hurts.  The fact that someone hurt another so deeply to make them ashamed of who they are or where they come from makes me feel somehow personally responsible simply by association.  

One might say that some are just being too sensitive, but I believe this sort of questioning must come from a place of love and sincere interest for it not to be taken out of context.  I guess the real question you should ask yourself before asking someone about their ethnicity is 'why do I want to know?'  If you just met this person and will not be in their company in the future, what does their ethnicity matter to you at all?  

I guess it really is just about thinking before you speak.  We could all be a little kinder to one another and consider our words more carefully before we speak.