Racial Micro-Aggressions

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Racial Micro-Aggressions


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Racial Micro-Aggressions

Micro-aggressions is a term used to refer to the brief and commonplace daily verbal, environmental and behavioral indignities that are used to communicate derogatory, hostile and insults towards a certain group of people (Johnson and Thaddeus). Micro-aggressions has been a common verbal behavior especially in schools where both teachers and students are involved in perpetrating the derogative ideas to certain students to which they consider of lesser ranks. Mostly, racial micro-aggressions are the common type of verbal insults in school, especially in the classroom. Such examples of micro-aggressions in classrooms include the teachers setting up low expectations for the students from a particular group, singling out students out in class based on the ethnic or racial backgrounds and also using inappropriate humor in class that may be degrading students from different groups. Besides, racial micro-aggressions may as well include such practices by teachers of congratulating or complementing the non-white students because of their use of good English.

America is a nation that advocates for equality for all regardless of the racial background of a person, and therefore the continued presence of derogative compliments especially to the people of color should not be tolerated whether within the school compound or outside so that Americans can feel at home all the time. Micro-aggressions have significant impacts to the groups that are addressed for example in class singling out students based on the racial background not for the purposes of education but in an abusive way impacts negatively both to the student and rest of the class. For one, the student who has been used as an example may suffer the consequences of being bullied by the teacher and the other students opening the gates for depression and the consequent abuse of drugs in an attempt to cope with their situation.

Micro-aggressions have no positive impacts as they make the student feel uncomfortable when on campus because of their race (Hollingsworth et al.). Students who are bullied in class tend to feel unwanted as the rest of the class are of the perception that they do not fit in the society which has a majority of white students. The students of color thus feel dejected and may not feel the urge to continue with their education especially in that school and may consequently affect their performance in school. Besides, students who are singled in class also exhibit characteristics of inferiority because of the way they speak and as a result, they may reduce their rate of participation in class, minimizing their contributions and opinions. Their contributions are minimized because they are not valued in class and they are only mentioned when being associated with negativity. They are most of the time ignored and not granted validity. With all these humiliations, it is impossible for the students to excel in their studies as expected.

Racial micro-aggressions sends a message of hatred and dominance of some races over others in that dominant races especially the whites perceive their race as being superior (Levchak). Due to this, they often disregard members from the minority races in America such as the Mexicans and African Americans. Races superiority is a trend that has for a long time been manifested in America either at the places of work and schools but has continued to dominate in schools. Students have been depicted to be more racial than their parents, and this is evident in the cases of prejudices conducted by the white students to the people of color.

Some people may argue that micro-aggressions are no bad. Racial micro-aggressions can only be used for positive gains especially in school whereby the teacher want to illustrate a certain unwanted behavior that is exhibited by the specific race (Melaku). Even at this moment, the teacher should not single out a student but should ask for a volunteer so that it doesn’t seem like a case of prejudice to other races. The primary purpose of going to school is to acquire knowledge as well learn from others. Being privileged to have other races in class increases diversity in culture in class and provides a chance to interact and learn more from students from other races. Therefore, micro-aggressions need to be kept away as it ruins the fun of mingling with people from diverse cultures as a result of ignorance.

Based on the impacts of micro-aggressions to students, there are many disadvantages compared to the advantages. From the subjective point of view, the person being referred to gets to be negatively affected and this may lead to various implications such as poor performance in class, development of hatred as well reduced self-esteem based on the racial background. On the positive sides, if the teacher congratulates a student of improvements in the spoken English in which the student had difficulties in the past regardless of their race, it would act as a sign of motivation to the other students, a depiction that there is a room for improvement. However, if the singling out was on an ill-motive, then it would be a discouragement to the student making them feel inferior, and this would promote prejudices.

There is a dire need for the Contra Costa College administrators to enact a policy that is aimed at punishing members of the CCC community for committing micro-aggressions. Severe punishments that include discontinuation of students on three-time warning should enforced as this will discourage the other students from committing such crimes in the near future. Regarding the teachers who are responsible for committing micro-aggression offenses to the students by singling them out for negative reasons, should be given strict punishments that may include revoking their licenses as this will reduce the rate of racial discrimination in schools and ensure peaceful coexistence among the schooling community.

Works Cited

Hollingsworth, Leslie D., et al. “Racial microaggressions in social work education: Black students’ encounters in a predominantly White institution.” Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work 27.1 (2018): 95-105.

Johnson, Natasha N., and Thaddeus L. Johnson. “Microaggressions: An Introduction.” Navigating Micro-Aggressions Toward Women in Higher Education. IGI Global, 2019. 1-22.

Levchak, Charisse C. “Microaggressions, Macroaggressions, and Modern Racism.” Microaggressions and Modern Racism. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2018. 13-69.

Melaku, Tsedale M. You Don’t Look Like a Lawyer: Black Women and Systemic Gendered Racism. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2019.

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