Aggressive social action antagonizes minorities
Stereotyping has become a common occurrence in the world today — and with it, microaggression.
Women’s Resource Center Program coordinator Malkia Hutchinson led Wednesday’s Gender Talk, titled “Microaggressions: Sharing Stories of When We’ve Been Marginalized.” This week’s discussion topic focused on more than just gender issues, though.
“Microaggressions are statements that reinforce marginalizations,” Hutchinson said.
Microaggressive comments are not focused on one entity; they can be used to make comments on race, gender, social class and much more.
According to the Society of Counseling Psychology, racial microaggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities, regardless of intent.
“(Microaggressions) communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial slights and insults towards people of color,” according to the organization’s website. “Those who inflict racial microaggressions are often unaware that they have done anything to harm another person.”
In the WRC discussion, participants discussed ways in which they had been marginalized. Sociology graduate student Dipabali Saha, an Indian-American, volunteered a few of her own experiences.
“People always asked me, ‘If you are Indian, then does that mean you are vegetarian?’” Saha said. “I have also had people come up to me and start talking to me in Spanish because they automatically assumed I was Spanish-speaking.”
Saha had a few comments to make on why microaggressive comments are so common in today’s world.
“People get a lot of perceptions of different races from TV,” she said. “I find that nothing is black and white. There are so many gray areas in which the problem lies. If everything were black and white, we would not have this problem.”