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What is Microaggression?

 

Microaggression is the unintentional discrimination against minorities. It's often well-intentioned and therefore hard to identify. For example, many Asian Americans have heard things like "you must be good at math" or "where are you REALLY from?"

 

Some may say these comments sound like compliments or friendly small talk, what's the big deal?

Imagine an Asian kid who is struggling with math. If his teacher assumes that he is good at math and neglects him, he would lose his right of equal education, not to mention the shame he may have experienced for not being good at something that "he is supposed to be good at."

 

The more we tolerate seemingly positive stereotypes, the more we strengthen the negative ones (e.g. the flip side of "you must be good at math" may be "you are probably a boring nerd"). Research shows that chronic exposure to microaggression may lead to low self-esteem and mental health problems such as depression.

Wanna learn more? Here is a fun video:

How microaggressions are like mosquito bites?

Books

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

Author: David D. Burns, M.D.