There is no such thing as a “micro” aggression. Aggression is a state of being….much like being pregnant, either something is aggressive or it is not…even a little aggression is quite simply aggression. There is no place in my world for aggression of any kind. To that end, I would like to share with you some aspects of my world that of late have been reduced by thinkers in the world of ethics to the realm of “micro” aggression. If one receives a steady diet of “micro”…when do they add up to “macro?” The specific aggressions I’m talking about (and many more) loom large for me and for people who walk in my similar skin and social location. Other aggressions present similar challenges (I immediately think of fat phobia in our culture.) Let’s call it what it is: aggression…and it is ugly. To paint a clearer picture, I thought I’d pose a few questions from my own catalog of not so micro aggressions to consider:
What is it like to wear sagging jeans, Timberlands and a hat and go unshaven for weeks at a time, and be seen as a hipster and not a hoodlum?
How does it feel to not have it assumed that because you are studying to be a minister, you are a Baptist?
What is it like to never had to explain your hair…not your hair style, but your actual hair, its texture, color and quality?
How does it feel to have portrayals of yourself in the media that don’t automatically include RuPaul and Wesley Snipes in a dress?
What is it like to never have to talk to a perfect stranger in a social setting about the size of your penis?
How does it feel to never see the word “rape” in a woman’s eyes when you walk down the street?
What is it like to never be asked if your skin color rubs off.
My better world will not be based on assumptions of any kind, but will allow me and anyone who is ‘othered’ in our society the daily dignity of self expression and a safe environment, physically and emotionally in which to grow and thrive.
Bless the world y’all.