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Microaggression In The United States Essay

2414 words - 10 pages

Introduction
The idea of racism has evolved and has become less prevalent throughout the last century. Schools and public areas are unsegregated, voting rights, racial slurs being considered as unacceptable behavior etc. American sociologist and race theorist, Howard Winant states that’s “The ensuing approaches increased recognition of racial injustice and inequality, but did not overcome the discriminatory processes” (Winant,2000)Although the United states has come a long way to try to end racism, one cannot ignore the fact that it still exists. It is something that may seem invisible in society, but everybody knows that it still thrives and that it’s racial attitudes affect the way our society functions. One of these invisible forms of racism is called microagression. Microagression is the theory that certain interactions between different races can be interpreted as small acts of verbal aggression. Racial micro aggression has caused many behavior and identity problems between races in today’s society. In the article, "Microagressions in everyday life", Dr. Derald Wing Sue states that “Microaggressions are similar to carbon monoxide - “invisible, but potentially lethal” - continuous exposure to these type of interactions “can be a sort of death by a thousand cuts to the victim” It is a common experience that many people of different racial groups deal within their every day lives. They are harmful to society, creating a hostile environment, dividing people apart, creating inequalities, and decreasing productivity in the work and school environment.
What is Microagression?
Microagressions can happen in any population with marginalized groups causing issues such as harassment and bullying. It is everywhere and people can experience it in their every day lives, from friends, neighbors, teachers, coworkers, etc. Microagressions can be categorized into
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three different classifications: microassaults, microinsults and microinvalidations. A microinsult is a verbal or nonverbal communication that unconsciously conveys discriminatory actions such as asking a student of color which schlorship they received. They can tend to convey rudeness and insensitivity. Even the most well intentioned person can let out some sort of microaggression, being unaware that their conduct was harmful. Unfortunately a lot of microagression is conscious in the intention to oppress people not similar to them. Microassaults are intentional aggressive actions that involve race such as denying ones children to date someone of a different race. Lastly there is microinvalidation, where one excludes a persons thoughts or feelings, such as colorblindness, to the disregard of the characteristics of race. The process of microgression is order of five phases. Phase one, the incident, is where the participant experiences the situation. Phase two, the perception is when the participant has the belief whether the situation was racial or not. Phase three, the reaction, is where they...

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