Let’s take a couple of minutes to talk microaggressions.
Ramble of the Day
The words we use matter quite a bit, and that is particularly true when it comes to the way we talk or write about the many people that live amongst us. Microaggressions are a natural concern; John Jay psychology professor Kevin Nadal described microaggressions as such in an interview with Andrew Limbong for NPR:
Microaggressions are defined as the everyday, subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — interactions or behaviors that communicate some sort of bias toward historically marginalized groups.
The difference between microaggressions and overt discrimination or macroaggressions, is that people who commit microagressions might not even be aware of them.
Someone commenting on how well an Asian American speaks English, which presumes the Asian American was not born here, is one example of a microaggression. Presuming that a Black person is dangerous or violent is another example. A common experience that Black men talk about is being followed around in stores or getting on an elevator and having people move away and grab their purses or their wallets.
Oftentimes, people don’t even realize that they’re doing those sorts of things. And in fact, if you were to stop them and say, ‘Why did you just move?’ They would deny it because they don’t recognize that their behaviors communicate their racial biases.
I think Nadal does a good job of explaining microaggressions and naming examples; you may remember that NBC Sports’ Robbie Earle spoke of similar experiences he had during a Premier League broadcast last month. Nadal also lays out ways for anyone who needs to correct someone else if they’re using microaggressions, and you can either read it in the above link or listen to the interview.
Something that comes up very frequently in introductory conversations about the topic are the mental health impact on those on the receiving end of microaggressions. Hatch shared a video in 2015 that features kids talking about their own reactions to microaggressions, one of them including the belittling of the victim’s feelings when they respond to microaggressions. Nadal also noted that using microaggressions also puts those on the receiving end in a tough place because they have to do educational work:
That can be very psychologically and emotionally exhausting for a person to then have to care about the white person’s feelings and to take those extra efforts so that they can learn something that they should have — and could have — learned throughout the duration of their life.
In addition to offering advice to those interested in educating, Nadal also offers advice on those who might need the education by encouraging them to do their own research. No one grows up learning everything, but the great thing about having the internet is that the tools to learn are out there. That is one of my main takeaways from the Nadal interview, particularly the last line in the above quote. It remains a necessary to listen when people are on the wrong side of microaggressions, stereotypes, or incidents of discrimination — again, I recommend that video from Hatch. There is plenty of work we can do on our own once we get some building blocks from listening; I know I’ve done a lot, and always plan to do more.
Links of the Day
One Sevilla player tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the fifth Spanish club in the last two weeks to announce a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
500 spectators will be allowed to attend the Irish Cup final in Belfast on Friday.
Bahrain bought a 20% stake in Ligue 2 side Paris FC.
Saudi Arabia is appealing the World Trade Organization’s ruling that the country was responsible for pirating Premier League matches.
Transfer updates: Brighton signed Joel Veltman from Ajax; Aston Villa signed Caro Siems from Turbine Potsdam and Ramona Petzelberger from Essen
A longer read: Dan Orlowitz interviews WE League chair Kikuko Okajima on the misogyny she faced as a player and her vision to empower women as the head of the incoming Japanese women’s league for The Japan Times