I went to the Micro-aggression panel today.
Micro-Aggression is something offensive, but is not intended to be offensive. Rather, sometimes it is intended to be neutral statements or even compliments, but creates an offensive effect on the listener.
All of these five students, including black, Asian, international students, and LGBTQ+ people, shared their experience as being offended by micro-aggressive statements, or certain stereotypes. One very interesting statement was from Eleni, the student representative of international students. She said that sometimes international students are classified as a group of people that are all the same. But the truth is that they all come from different countries and different cultures, and every one of them is unique. They need to group together because they are in a new environment in a new country now, but that does not mean they are all the same.
I was also impressed by the topic of micro-aggression from faculties. Eleni said her essay was judged solely on how good her English is, instead of the real content of it, and students like her sometimes feel helpless because they cannot get help from those who own more power than them, and who should have been helping them with such issue. This is a despairing situation, but Uyen at last said that we students still have different ways to get help, and we need to be active, instead of suffering these and not doing anything to improve our situation.
There was something very interesting about the panel students and the audience. (I’m not intended to offend anyone, but if my statement does make you uncomfortable, I’m very very sorry for that.) It is understandable that there were no white American students in the panel, since the panel was intended to discuss the different micro-aggression different minority groups face. However, it is also interesting to see that the percentage of white American students in the audience was pretty low. I was curious about how would this problem of micro-aggression be reduced if most people addressing this problem are from the minority groups. Besides, white people also some different face micro-aggressions, and I was thinking why are these not addressed during the panel. This concern was understood later, when Uyen and Eleni said that identity does not offset each other. For example, being offended by some stereotypes as a white does not offset this person’s superiority as a white person.