According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary a “microaggression ” is:
“a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority)”Merriam-Webster
Merriam-Webster defines “micro ” as:
“1 : very small” “especially : MICROSCOPIC”Merriam-Webster
” 2 : involving minute quantities or variations”
So a microaggression is “very small ” or “minute ” aggression, and even more telling, may even be expressed without any conscious intent to offend. Basically if you say something that someone else twists into some “micro ” insult you have just committed a “microaggression.”
There is something seriously wrong about this concept. One of the worst things about it is that it doesn’t try to figure out what someone intended to communicate. It doesn’t try to interpret a comment in the the most generous and non-offensive way. It doesn’t give any benefit of the doubt. No, it means trying to interpret a comment based on the worst things one can possibly imagine, and no account is taken of the actual intent of the speaker. The only thing that apparently counts is how the hearer feels about it.
I think I understand what it is about though.
Real and overt racism by white people in America has declined drastically in my lifetime. The great majority of white people I know and interact with on a daily basis will condemn obvious racism by other white people. They will often go overboard in trying to assure others that they are tolerant and not racist. These same people will often bend over backwards, so to speak, to not condemn obviously racist and hateful views of some blacks.
But the narrative of the Democrats and the Left is that white racism is alive and well in America today. In their narrative white racism is growing and an existential threat to black people and the nation.
The self serving purpose of this should be obvious. Currently getting a very large portion of the black vote is essential for Democrats. Losing a very significant portion of the black vote could be an electoral disaster for the Democrats. Therefore it is essential to convince most black voters that the GOP is the KKK in disguise .
If you can’t find obvious racism you just have to make it up, to convert just about anything a white person can say into a “microaggression,” a “trigger, “or a “dog whistle.” You have extreme Leftists telling white people to “just shut up” because you can’t say anything constructive on the subject of race.
I reject that view. In fact I think there are white people who could have some very positive things to say to black people. They could say that today it is not your race that is holding you back. Often it is your attitudes fueled by the nonstop propaganda of the Left that convinces you that white people are your enemy.
I see professional black people every day in my work who are very successful. Employers, especially in larger businesses, will often go out of their way to hire black professionals to show their companies are integrated and not discriminatory.
But if you are a young black growing up in the slums of a large city, you will probably be terrorized if want to study and do well in school. You will be attacked as “acting white.” That is the barrier holding down many young blacks in these communities. It is their own racism and prejudice.
A lot of these young blacks need to learn to “act white” if by that you mean going to school, learning something useful, and seeking gainful employment in a legal job, not selling street drugs or running around in gangs.
In the meantime we have to realize that all of this talk about microaggressions, etc. is just a political strategy of the Left intended to demonize and silence anyone who disagrees with them. It is not real. It is largely made up. It is not intended to enlighten, but rather to foster guilt, and to foster fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Remember the “micro ” in “microaggression ” means they had to use a “ideological microscope ” to find them!