What Is A Microaggression?

A microaggression, as described in our glossary, is “the 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.”

But what exactly does that look like?

Some examples of microaggressions include:

  • Assuming criminal status

    A White man or woman clutching their purse or checking their wallet as a Black or Latino person approaches or passes.

    A store owner following a customer of color around the store.
  • Statements that deny race playing a role in one’s success in life

    “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.”

    “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.”
  • Statements of colorblindness

    “When I look at you, I don’t see color.”

    “There is only one race, the human race.”
  • Assuming someone is foreign-born

    Complimenting someone’s English when it is their native language

    “Where are you really from?”

This Vox article expands on how to avoid subjecting others to microaggressions

Have you ever experienced or witnessed a microaggression? Please share your experiences with us in a comment below.

-Your friends at the Undoing Racism