By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever and Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities
(Image from TheViitals)
What we say matters.
What we say might not be considered outwardly racist–maybe we think we’re making a joke. Maybe we’re making a statement that seems like a reasonable assessment of the world around us, not a hurtful stereotype. Maybe we think what we’re saying is a fact. Maybe we have no idea what someone experienced in childhood or is experiencing in his/her life right now.
Regardless, what we say matters, and we’re responsible for the hurt we cause in others.
The Microaggressions Project blog is a collection of short stories of people being hurt, made to feel less than, or being ridiculed/laughed at. The individual statements or actions might not seem like much (some do), but when you see them all together, it’s easy to see how easy it is to cause pain in others.
There’s some information on their Facebook page about the purpose of the blog, and I’ll include a passage here:
The project is NOT about showing how ignorant people can be & simply dismissing their ignorance. Instead, it is about showing how these comments create and enforce uncomfortable, violent, and unsafe realities onto people’s workplace, home, school, childhood/adolescence/adulthood, public transportation/space environments.