Here are 10 photos (out of 22) from my series Racial Microaggressions. I have asked my friends on the Fordham University Lincoln Center campus to write down an instance of racial microaggression they have faced on a poster for me to take a picture of them.
Y’all are so fucking annoying. “Microaggressions,” REALLY?
People swear I’m white all the time, and other Hispanic people don’t believe I’m Hispanic until I’ve spoken like at least 2 or 3 sentences to them in Spanish, and people who know I’m Hispanic treat me as a representative for all Hispanics people all the time, and people on this website tell me I’m not poor enough to be a “real” Hispanic, and people ask me, “so, like, what are you?" ALL THE TIME.
These are not aggressions. They are simple questions. They are understandably ignorant statements and prejudices from people who obviously don’t know that much about me, or my ethnic background, or the fact that white Hispanics exist, or the fact that affluent Hispanics exist, or the fact that not all Hispanics are Mexican, or the fact that “Spanish” is the language I speak and not my ethnicity (seriously people, “aren’t you Spanish?” — read a book; also, no I don’t “speak Mexican”; Yes, I’m Nicaraguan, and no, Nicaragua is not in Africa). One can hardly be expected to be knowledgeable about something they have no exposure to. The people who ask me stupid questions like this are invariably people who don’t know a lot of Hispanics. In fact, 40% of white people don’t have any non-white friends, so this should not come as a surprise to any of you!
These things might be annoying, but they’re not microaggressions. If people can’t ask you innocuous questions without you getting all butthurt and crying, then you’re really not going to fare that well out in the real world where people are probably going to hurl real insults at you once in a while. Grow thick skin and get the fuck over it.
LOL. I didn’t think social justice could get anymore ridiculous, but once again I clearly held it to higher regard than I should have otherwise.
The totally contrived term “microaggression” is initially deemed to be any act in which people innocently assume things about your race or ethnicity. The reality is your survival or indeed humans very existence relies on inductive assumptions because that is how we learn about our world. We don’t have the time to learn about every individual or every case and thus we presume if something resembles something else we are familiar with, it is most likely the same thing. Given the fact that distinct racial (or “population groups” as social justice nuts prefer to call it) phenotypes exist and thus race is implicitly visible, we automatically categorize on observation because we cannot readily analyze through empirical means (DNA testing for example).
"What are you?" is a perfectly reasonable question and does not explicitly reflect any prejudice in the slightest. When we observe instances that do not fit into existing groups naturally we ask questions, it works the same in science. Moreover, what are the moral problems with asking someone’s race if you don’t know it? Conversely, a microaggression is both presuming someone’s race and making no presumption at all as the individual who asked clearly did not know, hence the inquiry. I struggle to understand how this is fair, to lambast one for "prejudice" and non-preconceived curiosity.
This paradox entails that the study must be inferring that any statement regarding race that is not empirical is a “microaggression”. The hidden intention of the study, like many in its field, is therefore to prove that race is a social construct, because how else could asking someone’s race be prejudicial unless the mere word itself was prejudicial.
^ Agreed 100000000%
Also, just for clarification, I was not implying that such questions are based in prejudice. In fact, I was going to write more, very much along the lines of what you wrote, but I didn’t want to be too long-winded.
Another thing is this: why do social justice nuts want to discourage curiosity and learning? I have the habit of routinely inquiring as to a person’s ethnic background when it is not immediately apparent to me. Questions like, “where are you/your parents from?,” or “what are you?,” or “do your people do/eat/say/like/speak X?” are commonly asked by me or of me in daily conversation. The purpose is to learn. I love learning about other cultures, and what better way to do so than directly from the source?
I find that one of the best ways of finding common ground with people is in discussions of ethnic and cultural background, and the people who would take offense to my inquiries need to seriously reevaluate their lives.