Yes, you can touch my hair.
But no, I don’t know where I’m “from,” and there are other ways to ask.
a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority. Link.
It’s telling yourself you got a worse grade than a classmate because she’s Asian.
Or a man telling a woman she should smile more.
Or Hollywood casting an Indian person specifically to have them do an Indian accent.
It’s essentially every uncomfortable yet unexplainable feeling you had leading up to the climax of Get Out.
The way microaggression typically survives is by being being just that. “Micro,” for the aggressor, is simply too small to care about.
“It’s just a joke.”
“But how come YOU can say the word?”
Something microscopic is less likely to be viewed as the culprit for something huge. As far as we see it the racism problem is caused by “racists,” not the white girl who called herself black for successfully completing a corn row.
We’re actually really used to it. Those who aren’t necessarily a victim just don’t stop to think.
A survey at the University of South Carolina found data that scratched the surface of what participants (university students) know about the topic of microaggression.
45.2% know what microaggression is.
78.5% have heard someone use a microaggression.
30% say they have used a microaggression.
To counter an environment that can give extremist ideas an eventual home, a digital media campaign has started at the university called “Think Twice.”
For those who may not understand what microagressions really are, or what “Think Twice” is supposed to mean, the campaign can simply be stories to reflect on.
People including the University President Harris Pastides have taken a pledge to “think twice” before saying, doing, or posting on social media something that could be harmful in a way they may not immediately be aware of.
“Each member of our team is from different states, and we all noticed the same thing when we moved to South Carolina. Extremist speech in the form of racist remarks seems to be much more accepted in the South. We discovered that the widespread use of microaggressions validates and sets the stage for extremist speech. We will counter extremist speech before it starts by increasing awareness about how subtle acts of discrimination, that often go unaddressed, enable an extremist environment to prosper.” — Think Twice UofSC
You could really surprise a woman by saying to her, “I can’t imagine what that’s like” instead of “It can’t be that bad.”
And we all know how “articulate” Barack Obama is. He’s an educated adult man.
As it does with everything people haven’t yet grasped, South Park had to work in their understanding of what we’re dealing with.
You think people haven’t clutched their purses a little tighter when they saw me coming?
You think people haven’t called me Indian because my hair is straight?
You think I haven’t opened my mouth to someone only to think to myself, “I cannot believe I just said that”?
It’s OK to admit to ourselves that we say things we don’t mean. It’s OK to admit to ourselves that we say things we do mean, but could perhaps say them differently or think harder about them. It’s OK to admit that damn near everyone lives with unconscious bias that can in fact dictate their actions.
It’s not OK to let it go on and grow into something worse.
I’ll be thinking twice.
I don’t want to be the reason that brilliant minds and talents hide themselves from peers and superiors who can’t seem to accept them for what they are—for what we all are: