As we engage with members of culturally marginalized groups, our words and actions can cause hurt and do harm.
In his book, “Microaggressions in Everyday Life,” Derald Wing Sue teaches us about our impact, whether intended or not, through three types of microaggressions. Micro-insults. Micro-assaults. Micro-invalidations.
- Micro-insults are rude, insensitive comments about another person’s cultural heritage or identity.
- Micro-assaults are derogatory, violent verbal or nonverbal attacks aimed at hurting through name-calling, avoidant behavior, or purposeful acts of discrimination.
- Micro-invalidations are comments that exclude, negate, or nullify the thoughts, feelings and lived experience of marginalized group members.
Want to wake up? Become conscious of microaggressions. Notice them in your thoughts and behavior. Sadly, we all commit them.