About the YLI Group that Created this Page
Targeted Action needs Targeted reaction by kids
The YLI group consisted of 8 DAREarts alumni who came together to create a project for social change. Even during the COVID-19 Pandemic, these Alumni came together to create this page in hopes of educating others about microaggressions in school.
It’s easy to point out obvious Racism such as racialized slurs or threats. However there are subtle and slick forms of racist stereotyping that can be hard to point out. The term used to describe this type of Racism is Racial Microaggression.
Before we go into Racial Microaggression, What is a Microaggression in the first place?
“Microaggressions are everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to a targeted person based solely upon their marginalized group membership.” – Derald Wing Sue, Ph.D.
Many people think that microaggressions are just little things that hurt people’s feelings and are blown out of proportion or exaggerated upon. However, that is not the case.
“It isn’t about having your feelings hurt. It’s about how being repeatedly dismissed and alienated and insulted and invalidated reinforces the differences in power and privilege, and how this perpetuates racism and discrimination.” – Dastagir
Microaggressions can be intentional or unintentional and sometimes even well-meaning. Words that are meant to empower students like “Work Hard” or “Reach for the Top” can actually disempower them. The ability to notice these situations requires us to educate ourselves about the experiences of black people and the significance behind such remarks.
Microinvalidations are comments and behaviors that deny the experiences of marginalized group members. In simpler terms, Microinvalidations are when someone tells or implies to someone that their experiences of discrimination aren’t real. Microinvalidations is the most subtle type of microaggression of them all as it often doesn’t even mention the identity they are targeting. It’s so hidden that the perpetrator almost never realizes they’re doing something harmful.
Microassaults are the most overt type of microaggressions. With microassaults, the person committing the microaggression acted intentionally and knew their behavior might be hurtful.They usually happen when the perpetrator is anonymous, they are being supported by peers around them, and/or they know they can get away with it.
Micro insults are more subtle than micro assaults, but nevertheless have harmful effects on marginalized group members. They are subtle, spur-of-the-moment, back-handed statements that can be hard to tell. Most of the time, the perpetrator is not even aware that they’re insulting. Micro insults can be incredibly frustrating, they resemble paper cuts. You feel bad about something, but sometimes can’t even place your finger on why. Though it may look really minor, it can so often continue to wear one down, to the point where it can impact one’s mental and physical health.