Microaggressions: And?

[Addendum: The point of this article is not to dismiss ACTUAL instances of subtle or not-so-subtle racism and prejudice but to point out that simply ‘feeling’ offended does not justify claiming it is so. We need to ask questions like, Why did you say that? or Could you clarify your meaning? Because it sounds like… instead of presuming to know. We also need to ask ourselves, Why did that bother me so much? There are legitimate instances of ignorant and hateful insinuation and then there are misunderstandings. Merely because you think it is there does not mean it is. Clarify and then address it as it comes. Giving it a new name like ‘microaggression’ doesn’t make it new, nor does it solve the problem.]

So it has become popular in the West these days to become very offended, even self-righteously indignant about what used to be called insensitive comments, though in many cases the offense is taken at what is essentially nothing at all. We now have a word for this, microaggressions. What follows can only be described as emotional exhibitionism.

That this hails from the developed world is no accident. It is the obvious result of SJWs and people with way too much time on their hands. These are people who have clearly never faced real adversity in their life. They are emotionally selfish, remarkably narcissistic, and apparently lack the mental tools to deal with day-to-day interactions. I suspect that academics support this because it substantiates their claims regarding sweeping and insidious discrimination which keeps their jobs relevant.

(I don’t doubt many forms of systemic bigotry, I just don’t think microaggressions are a real problem)

If you’ve been fortunate enough to remain unexposed to this bullshit then I suggest you click on the link above and get a feel for what I’m talking about. Something you should keep in mind though is that the comments listed are utterly without context. We are expected, in every story, to take the word of the narrator for granted and assume the spirit of the commentary to be as malicious and hateful as possible.

Let’s a review an example or two. The format runs like this: the microaggression is listed at the top and the offended person comments below, feeding us what context or lack thereof they think justifies the offense. I will refer to the microaggressor as the ‘offender’ and the person who posted the comment as the ‘poster’.

I just love working here, there’s so much culture. This is one of the most diverse high schools in the district!”

One of my white colleagues at a public high school. This particular school is about 75% black/African American; several other schools in the district have much more even distributions in terms of racial diversity, with students from many different racial backgrounds.

Now…it’s obvious the poster believes the offender to be conflating skin-color with cultural richness. Indeed, maybe that is what has happened. The poster is also annoyed because apparently, there are more racially diverse schools in the district so the offender has made a factually inaccurate statement about the extent of the school’s comparative diversity.

Well, for one, since the poster clearly didn’t clarify with a simple follow-up question like ‘what do you mean?’ we have no way of knowing what the meaning of the offender was. And since there are no hard statistics and no location given, we have no way of confirming if the poster is telling the truth either.

Instead of assuming the worst, isn’t it possible the offender was just referring to the number of different ethnic backgrounds at the school? After all, blackness is a skin-color and not an ethnicity or a culture. A Cameroonian Christian and a Sudanese Muslim are both black but come from different cultures and practice different religions.

Maybe the offender was referring to this possible range of ethnic identities and not simply skin-color. Maybe there is a large immigrant or first-generation American presence at this school which necessarily made it seem culturally diverse compared to the many middle-class, suburban, and highly-Americanized student populations elsewhere.

And why is it important information that the offender was white? Would this comment suddenly have not been a microaggression if they had been Asian, Hispanic, or Middle-Eastern? It seems the assertion that this was an ignorant and racist comment rests entirely on two things. One, that the person was white and thus offending by default. And secondly, the assumption that said white person was conflating skin-color with cultural diversity.

Let’s look at one more.

Your gay? I have the perfect person for you!”

The ”perfect person” is gay too…so it must work out perfect right? NOT!

So here is one I have come across multiple times myself and to be honest, it has gotten me laid in the past. But more seriously now, let’s examine this common complaint by gays of their straight and desperate-to-help friends.

First off, this isn’t exclusive to gay people. Many straight women hook their straight besties up with dudes having no other criteria other than that they’re single too.  When Harry Met Sally anyone? So I’m not really sure why this particular person is acting like this is our cross to bear.

Second, you’ll notice the offender doesn’t in fact say being gay is the only criteria. Maybe, if the offender had no idea his colleague was a big homo he would have offered some female options. Now, however, apparently having just found out, he has a guy in mind. Isn’t it possible this is due to something our offender knows about our poster’s personality? Maybe he knows an equally easy-to-offend gay guy that would be perfect for his equally gay and easy-to-offend colleague. Match made in heaven.

On a practical note, heterosexuals can find one another easily. People are typically not shy about their heterosexuality and men and women have an excuse to interact in just about every circumstance imaginable. But gay people are not necessarily easy to spot and unless you’re clubbing it up or in to online dating, finding any gay person, let alone one that you have something in common with, can be difficult. Before getting married, I for one was often grateful when my friends pointed me in the right direction. It got me laid dozens of times.

It is important to remember what kind of people we are dealing with here. Someone troubled or hurt by this kind of social minutiae is likely to be emotionally vain and selfish. These are attention-seeking people who often greatly exaggerate events and create pretexts in their favor to wrench as much support and pity from their audience as possible. It is as though there is nothing they can absorb. Everything a trial or tribulation and more proof of how unjust and cruel the world is to their specific set of circumstances. We must always take them at their word and never question their narrative. To do otherwise is to ‘silence’ and ‘oppress’ them.

If these microaggressions are the only real problems these people have then they should consider themselves lucky, because these aren’t problems at all. At worst, they’re insensitive comments of the kind any well-developed fifteen year-old could deal with. Anyone can be offended and by anything, let’s stop acting like every emotional experience every human being has is equal or worth hearing about.

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