Microaggressions, a topic that makes many people uncomfortable because it often happens unintentionally or subconsciously and is outright discriminatory behavior towards marginalized racial or ethnic minorities. The topic of microaggressions comes about due to prejudice that might be conceived towards a certain group of people. This prejudice holds no fact and is solely based on stereotypes towards that group of people. Prejudice and stereotypes lead to an inaccurate perception of someone, due to their race, or simply, by the way they look. This prejudice then causes people to behave differently towards a certain group of people.
Microaggressions can happen anywhere, in the classroom, supermarkets, in the street or even a park. A real life example of this situation happening in the park was seen this summer in New York. This example involves more racism than microaggressions, but it is a clear example to how people’s prejudice evolves into racism. This scenario begins with a Black man walking in Central Park. He told a woman to leech her dog in an area where it was required. In response, the woman called the police on the man and accused him of threatening her. The prejudice and stereotyping of a Black man as a dangerous person has completely flawed this woman’s perception of what Black man truly is. This causes her actions towards him to change and become extremely problematic and discriminatory.
An example more affiliated with microaggressions in the classroom can be seen when underestimating or being impressed if a student of color is extremely intelligent. Being impressed that someone doesn’t have an accent, or calling a person exotic just sounds very ignorant and uncultured. Lastly, expecting students of color to speak for the experience of an
entire race during class discussions is extremely unreasonable. This puts students of color in an awkward and uncomfortable position.
The worst part of a microaggression is the fact that it is a backhanded compliment. An example of this would be being impressed by the fact that someone doesn’t have an accent and calling them articulate. This would make others think or feel that minorities are usually inarticulate. Something that was meant to be a compliment, completely insulted an entire group of minorities.
In general, having preconceived notions about a certain group of people is negative. Assuming things about a person based on their race isn’t acceptable anywhere. Just accept humans as they are and try hard to not have prejudice. If something is unclear or confusing, get educated, that is the only solution to combating ignorance.
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