Julie Moock Microaggressions Commentary 3

The microaggression panel served as both an informational session for students unaware of the action, and as a sort of reflection for those with the shared experience. While I had heard the term prior to the panel, I did not actively think about the microaggressions happening around me, nor was I conscious of my ability to inflict such pain upon another. Microaggressions were defined as statements that are not intended to be harmful, but which take on a cumulative effect, and are based on stereotypes that communicate the power imbalance taking effect in our system of institutional racism. Microaggressions are often individually small scale statements, yet they carry the message that even small differences in appearance or nationality are enough to make large scale divides. These sentiments are frequently carried out by close friends, thus minorities are attacked by those whom they placed trust in and believed were outside of the racist system. In analyzing a microaggression, the underlying effect is that because you are different and unlike me, you are unamerican and do not belong. As minorities look to authorities to uphold their desire for belonging, too often those in power either look the other way or worse, contribute to the feeling of inferiority. Thus, we must strive to create allyship by consciously refusing stereotypes and mindfully viewing others as equal beings. Bystanders must call attention to acts of microaggressions not only to overthrow a system of ingrained racism, but to encourage a sense of belonging for minorities. As long as society refuses the humanity of some, minorities will always be on the other end of both micro and macro aggressions. At some point it becomes not their responsibility to overcome the hatred, but the responsibility of the oppressor to realize their ignorance. 

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