Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life (Click the link to read the full report: MicroAggressEverdayLife-1)
Talking about “race” is difficult. Throughout life many of us are told, in one way or another, that we should not talk about money, politics or religion. And in the end that produces a bunch of adults who have a hard time having hard conversations. We stumble for words, we avoid certain phrases, we rack our brains for the latest politically correct term.
Liberation from these stressful conversations begins with finding common language (and taking a deep breathe). The process of finding common language is not easy, and it is not short. It involves educating ourselves, doing the hard work, embracing mistakes, and listening to other people’s truths.
Glenn Singleton & Curtis Linton authors of Courageous Conversations About Race list the following four ground rules for having conversations about race:
*Speak your truth
*Except and accept non-closure
Perhaps these are good things to remember while reading this report.
The authors of Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life explain that 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”.
Q: Ok, but what does that look like in real life?
A: “When a Latino couple is given poor service at a restaurant and shares their experience with White friends, only to be told ‘Don’t be so oversensitive’ or ‘Don’t be so petty’, the racial experience of the couple is being nullified and its importance is being diminished”.
A: Asking a black person: “Why do you have to be so loud/animated? Just calm down”. This translates to “assimilate to dominant culture”.
Enjoy! And remember: stay engaged, speak your truth, experience discomfort, and except and accept non-closure.