Dear Soft Hearted Loves,
Thanks for joining us for more on ways bullying occurs, what that means for people, and how we can improve moving forward. Another type of abuse is isolating or aggressing toward someone using racial messages or propaganda to hurt someone. We know that these types of aggressions range from pronouncing someone’s name differently than their name is pronounced to commenting on someone’s hair texture that may be different from yours, or range from commenting on someone’s abilities or performance to assuming someone’s feelings and a number of other very hurtful aggressions.
In the early 2000s Dr. Derald Wing Sue and his colleagues explained how racial microaggressions stab people of color with hurtful slights (Sue, Capodilupo, Torino, Bucceri, Holder, Nadal, and Esquilin, 2007 can be located at https://www.cpedv.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/how_to_be_an_effective_ally-lessons_learned_microaggressions.pdf). They explained that “Racial microaggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether
intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color. Perpetrators of microaggressions are often
unaware that they engage in such communications when they interact with racial/ethnic minorities.” While all of this is so concerning, my main concern is what we are passing down to generations to come? If Sue and his colleagues said people microaggressing are “often unaware” then what about children who hear or witness racism and propaganda?
If us adults are unaware of the wounds we are inflicting then how are we spreading these microagressions to children? If a child grows up in this racist America or hears their caregivers stating racial microaggressions then it is not unlikely to think the child may bully their peers who are Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). One can do so much to address their unchecked racism such as self reflecting, learn more, or start with one of the bias or White fragility quizzes out there. I haven’t checked my biases on these quizzes for some time now and as a White presenting person I will reevaluate now. Let’s name our stuff and try to do better everyday so we don’t keep hurting people. If we care about reducing the impacts of bullying we can start with ourselves now.