What is Microaggression?

What is microaggression? I’m glad you asked. (If you read the blog title, you did ask the question in your mind. 🙂 )

While perusing faculty in counseling psychology doctoral programs in America, I came across Dr. Derald Sue’s talk on microaggressions on the WVON radio. I highly recommend you listen!

Here is also his definition of microaggressions:

“Racial microaggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color. Perpetrators of microaggressions are often unaware that they engage in such communications when they interact with racial/ethnic minorities.” – Dr. Sue, Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life

 

Some thoughts to ponder: When have I experienced microaggression? When have I committed acts of microaggression? How have I seen microaggressions occur on media and in the world (who was the perpetrator and the victim)?

Recently, I watched a youtube video on microaggressions. I was confounded by the negative comments stating that people need to stop being sensitive and that they need to stop making a big deal out of things. My heart broke that those people most likely never experienced such constant, “small” microaggressions, which indeed build up overtime. These microaggressions send messages about the victim that both parties may not be totally aware of, and the victim is left with the consequence of having that message about their identity and race unknowingly slip into their beliefs.

We are fortunate that America is talking about race. Plus, there are so many people working to understand the phenomena of racism, microaggressions, and stereotypes. Not only that but more people are trying to understand the experiences of living in America as a minority. So thank you to all those who are contributing to raising awareness and understanding about the minority and their experiences, particularly as it relates to mental health. Thank you, reader, for taking the time to read about microaggressions and my meagerly writing. The more we are aware, the more we can educate, empower, and make change.

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