Hello Meltingpot Readers,
So, the other day on facebook I stumbled upon this
article listicle from Buzzfeed titled, “21 Racial Microaggressions You Hear On A Daily Basis.” The story recaps the work of a photographer from Fordham University who asked her peers to write down some of the racial microaggressions they hear on a daily basis. Before I get too far ahead of myself, here’s the definition of a “microaggression” per Buzzfeed:
“The term “microaggression” was used by Columbia professor Derald Sue to refer to “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.” Sue borrowed the term from psychiatrist Dr. Chester Pierce who coined the term in the ’70s.”
There’s also this cool Tumblr that chronicles even more microaggressions from folks all over the world.
I could so relate to the sentiments expressed in these projects and didn’t even know that what happened to me all the time had a big fancy name like microaggression. I just thought people were ignorant but didn’t know they were being ignorant and so I couldn’t be mad at them for making me feel like a worthless piece of dookie pie. So, in the spirit of sharing, here’s my Top-Ten list of my all time favorite microaggressions aimed at me at one time or another.
1. I’m sorry, you didn’t sound Black on the phone.
2. That’s funny, I never knew anybody Black named Lori.
3. You speak so well.
4. You are really articulate.
5. (When traveling outside of the United States). No, but really, where are you from? Like what part of Africa are you from?
6. (Also when traveling outside of the US) You look just like (insert any of the Cosby Kids here or any other Black female celebrity)
7. How do you get your hair to do that? (What, you mean grow out of my head naturally?)
8. Can you wash your hair when it’s like that?
9. Is your daddy White? Then why do you talk like that?
10. Lori (as the only Black girl in the entire grade), you can play the role of the sassy maid in the school play, because you’re just so perfect for that role.
Those are mine. Do you have any to add, dear readers? I know you do. Let’s get the Meltingpot list of microaggressions going so we can all learn to be a little bit more aware of what we say and how it affects other people. I’m listening and taking notes.