Microagressions are Everyday Racism

Racial microaggressions are often defined as brief, recurring, intentional or unintentional acts that white people do to people of color. For me it is just simpler to call microagressions everyday racism. These are the behaviors that make up much of our everyday racism.  Often we find it difficult to notice this type of racism as we are perpetuating it, and even afterwards if we haven’t been called out about it.

The daily assault of everyday racism

Everyday racism creates difficult or impossible days for people of color we encounter. Imagine a day that is filled with random people throwing various sized pebbles (and rocks) at you. Your teacher, people on the internet, the bus driver, your friend, strangers who pass you on the street acquaintances you share an elevator with…

Imagine this happening daily, weekly, for years and for generations. The impact of these behaviors is not small and working on unlearning our everyday racism can make a real difference in racism in the world.

White people can unlearn this behavior

We can stop being part of this daily assault and unlearn these behaviors if we are willing to:

  1. Acknowledge that these behaviors are deliberate although often below our regular conscious awareness.
  2. Really let ourselves know that the impact these behaviors have on people of color is as damaging and often described as more debilitating and painful as overt outright racist insults.
  3. Become aware of our most persistent microaggressions
  4. Commit to practices that lead to becoming more at ease and present in racialized situations so that we notice, learn and unlearn these everyday acts.