The Only Way To Avoid Saying Microagressions Is To Stay Away


Dear College Kids,

When you’re done scrubbing your Twitter, Facebook, and other social media of inherently racist Harambe-the-Dead-Gorilla memes, you’ll want to check out the latest list of “microaggressions,” best defined as insults so meager that even the popularizer of the concept has said universities have distorted the meaning of his term.

So here’s The New York Times with a helpful list of examples, courtesy of Massachusetts’ Clark University:


A sampling of language and behaviors called “microaggressions,” provided to Clark University students, that universities are urging students to avoid.

  • “Of course he’ll get tenure, even though he hasn’t published much — he’s black.”
  • “What are you? You are so interesting looking.”
  • Telling a nonwhite woman, “I would have never guessed that you were a scientist.”
  • When a nonwhite faculty member is mistaken for a service worker.
  • Showing surprise when a “feminine” woman says she is a lesbian.
  • “You are a credit to your race.”

Here’s how the Times sets the scene at a Clark freshmen orientation section:

A freshman tentatively raises her hand and takes the microphone. “I’m really scared to ask this,” she begins. “When I, as a white female, listen to music that uses the N word, and I’m in the car, or, especially when I’m with all white friends, is it O.K. to sing along?”

The answer, from Sheree Marlowe, the new chief diversity officer at Clark University, is an unequivocal “no.”

The exchange was included in Ms. Marlowe’s presentation to recently arriving first-year students focusing on subtle “microaggressions,” part of a new campus vocabulary that also includes “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings.”

 Read more over at Reason Magazine