Like Button

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Microaggression

You may not have heard of it. It's primarily a university term. You know, only the "well-educated". Most of us have never heard of it. You might want to pay attention.

Coined back in 1970, the word is used to describe terms or actions that refer to unintended or hidden discrimination. In today's world, this might include things like asking an Asian, "Where are you from?", asking someone from another culture, "What are you?", or asking a Japanese person if they can read Japanese. It is considered microaggression if you tell someone who just sneezed, "God bless you." It might be sexist, racist, homophobic, or religious, to name a few. According to Time, it is the "New Racism" on campus. In that story they included an example of someone emailing a video of President Obama kicking open a door as a joke. (I don't get that in any sense.) In fact, "I don't see race" is classified as microaggression. Because, frankly, there's not much that doesn't seem to qualify. Of course, it is, almost by definition, only white people that do it and only Christians that do it and primarily males that do it because racism is a whites-only sin and sexism is a males-only condition and the offense of religion is limited, apparently, only to Christians.

So, if you don't want to get in trouble in this world with your insensitive, racist/sexist/religious/homophobic comments, you'd better just keep quiet. Remember, this is "microaggression", so you'd just better keep quiet all the time because you never know when an innocent "God bless America" is going to upset someone.

Which makes me wonder if this isn't the intent of the concept -- keeping you and me quiet.

2 comments:

Marshall Art said...

Wonder no more.

David said...

It seems racism/sexism has become synonymous with stereotypes, or even with ignorance.