Somehow somewhere academia just couldn’t leave political correctness alone; they had to take it to another level. The topic is micro aggressions, which according to UCLA is defined as “everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.” UCLA’s position is adapted from Sue, Derald Wing. Microaggressions in everyday life: Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation. Wiley & Sons, 2010. Fasten your seatbelts folks, here we go!
I’m going to quote from the UCLA publication by giving you the microagression example and then telling you what the “real message” is, according to these academic geniuses.
Example I. “Where are you from?” or “Where were you born?” The real message is: “You are not a true American.”
Example II. “America is a melting pot.” The real message is: “You must assimilate to the dominant culture.”
Example III. A White man or woman clutches his/her purse or checks wallet as a Black or Latino person approaches. The real message is: “You are a criminal” or “You are dangerous.”
Example IV: “America is the land of opportunity.” The real message is: “People of color are lazy and/or incompetent and need to work harder.”
Example V: The use of the pronoun “he” to refer to all people. The real message is: “Female experience is invisible.”
Example VI: A person asks a woman her age and, upon hearing she is 31, looks quickly at her ring finger. The real message is: “Women should be married during child-bearing ages because that is their primary purpose.”
It would be one thing if the idea of microaggressions was relegated to a bookshelf containing a bunch of dusty, unread, doctoral dissertations. Unfortunately in my opinion the concept gathers more and more disciples each day, mostly in academia of course. Mark my words; the day will come when someone will go to jail in the United States of America because he looked at another person in the “wrong” way, or asked what he thought was an innocent question. Oops…I used the “he” pronoun. Off to jail with me.