In the article Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Is subtle bias harmless? Dr. Derald Wing Sue defined microaggressions as “everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership. In many cases, these hidden messages may invalidate the group identity or experiential reality of target persons, demean them on a personal or group level, communicate they are lesser human beings, suggest they do not belong with the majority group, threaten and intimidate, or relegate them to inferior status and treatment”. The link above also has videos on microaggressions and what they look like. According to Lee (2015), microinsult, microassualt, and microvalidation are all forms of microaggressions. Having a better understanding of microaggressions and its effects, even when joking, will encourage you to make a greater effort to be aware of your words and actions.
I encourage you watch this video on microaggressions in all its forms; gender, class, sex, race, etc. in hopes to at least be aware of the negative effects they cause in others.
Lee, T. K. (2015a). Diversity concepts and a discussion of racism. In T. K. Lee (Ed.), Embracing diversity: Treatment and care in addictions counseling (pp. 41-52). San Diego, CA: Cognella Publishing.
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