To say that it has been a trying month is an understatement. I have watched with anger and sadness as these events continue to unfold across all nations. I struggle to find the words as I try to comprehend the situation and oftentimes it is the fear of not knowing, of possibly offending someone that keeps me silent. But not this time. I will not be complicit in my silence. I stand by the message of rejecting racism and discrimination in all its forms. I stand in solidarity against inequality and racism. I take solace in the messages of commitment in inclusion, equality and justice.
As I try to understand my own feelings and frustration through reflection, I am reminded of the unique role that we all have, an opportunity to make an impact and take action through our own simple steps. I realized that I have the choice to take actions and speak up in addressing the systemic issue of racism, which is often times unrecognized and these days are often “invisible”. By continuing to educate ourselves, raise awareness and speak up on matters such as microaggression or microinequities at work, school, and in our communities = we can help create a more inclusive environment for everyone.
Hence, I wanted to take a moment to provide information on microaggressions, so we can continue to challenge the status quo when these instances arise.
- Psychology Today defined microaggression as a subtle, often unintentional form of prejudice toward a member of a marginalized group.
- Derald Sue (2003) identified it as “exchanges that are automatic in our daily interactions and conversations that it is easy to gloss them over as being innocent and innocuous, but these microaggressions send denigrating messaging to the minority group”.
- Microaggressions are the “new face of racism” and has evolved from overt racial hatred that is publicly displayed to a disguised, covert and nebulous form that is more difficult to identify and acknowledge (Sue, Capodilupo, Torino, Bucceri, Holder, Nadal, & Esquilin, 2007).
In the wake of these events, it is important that we continue to be mindful of our actions and the actions of others in our communities. That we try to understand the role of microaggressions in our day-to-day lives. Each one of us has a responsibility and an opportunity to make an impact – start by providing care, compassion, kindness, and understanding. To pause when you start making assumptions about other people based on stereotypes. To assume positive intent towards others and take it as a teaching moment. If you are the recipient of this teaching moment, do not be defensive; exercise an open mind in listening to what the other person is saying.
I wish that we could all find hope in our care for each other and in our community’s goodness. We are in this together and we will continue to persist in finding the path towards a truly more inclusive and equitable world.
Note: This is a guest post from a blissful client of ours who is based in New York. A wife, a mother, a career woman and many other things — a mentor, friend, speaker and a leader. Recently finished her Master’s Degree in Psychology at Columbia University while on a full-time job.