I want to say welcome to the community and I think it is so very brave of you to reach our for some comfort at this time. I think that you have had some great support here already from therising and MissBenthos and that is great to see.
I am kind of from the other side of the fence tho and I hope that my message does not cause you more confusion and bother. I will let you know and then you can decide if you think it is helpful or dumb.
Ok, so I don't think that disarming a bully, especially seeing that you do struggle with confrontation and don't want to cause drama, with words back at them about their character or who and what they are necessarily works, see I am also a mother and what I tell my kids is different to therising, does not mean I am right or therising is right, you will figure out what works for you.
I believe that responding with parroting is sometimes more successful as the bully actually does not know what to do, you are diffusing the situation and disarming them, not elevating them ok..here is an example..
So my daughter is currently wearing an apple watch, one of the boys in her class is obviously fixated with that and he picks on her everyday about this watch...he says "Oh nice fake watch, what a loser to wear a fake apple watch, why would you wear a fake apple watch"...the watch is not fake so it infuriates her to no end...which is currently what he is feeding off. So I tell her to get in first...."Hi Barry (I just made this name up)...look at my fake watch today, I have it on"...and keep walking....mix it up "Hey Barry, hope you have a nice day today, I will too being a loser over here with my watch".
She thought it was such a dumb idea and I told her to please try it, so she know uses this format to deflate the bully without having to use hurtful words and be "just as bad as them", as sometimes we know that bullies are doing this from their own pain, so I feel like it is not kind to give them more, even though they are being hurtful.
If they want to discriminate and call you asian or indian or chinese or a dumb aussie just go with it, put a smile on your face, as you know you are non of those things, you are not, but just go with it "thank you Barry that is so cool that you noticed I was asian/indian/aussie, thank you".
I am not sure how you feel about all of this but I would really like to chat some more to you.
Huge hugs to you