December 02, 2010

Microaggressions website

A website documents all the stupid things people say about race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc.


Some of the hundreds of examples from the site:I briefly worked as a telemarketer in late 90’s and had a man repeatedly tell over the phone that I was “difficult to understand and sounded like one of those Jew folks.” He then preceded to ask me if I was “one of those Jews.”

A boy refuses to believe I’m Indian until someone sharpies a black dot on my forehead. It’s clearly visible in the yearbook photo that is taken later that day.

“I raped this shit out of that girl.” --A “friend” talking about killing a female character in World of Warcraft.

“You speak so well. You don’t sound like other black girls.”

During the Oka Crisis of 1990 in Quebec when the Mohawks of Kanehsatake, along with other First Nation allies, barricaded a highway to protest Oka City Council plans to develop their burial grounds into a golf course, a bunch of us workers--all white--are having a beer after a long day. We discuss the crisis, then unfolding, between the Indians and the provincial police. One of the guys says, “Fucking people--why don’t they all just go back to India?” We all just stare at him, dumbfounded.

Out to lunch with two heterosexual men when one mentions that a mutual friend of ours “doesn’t seem that gay.” The other responds, “Are you kidding me? That dude is gay as AIDS!”

I start talking about the importance of gender equality in class. A male student comes up to me, points his finger in my face and says, “People like you are the reason why the world is a terrible place.”

An older man who I am hoping is a veteran feels the need to tell me, “I killed many of your people, but I have no ill feelings towards the Vietnamese.” I’m Filipino.

“You look exotic. What are you?”
A commenter on Racialicious sums up the site's value:Microaggressions is a great, simple (meaning “non-complicated) website idea. Those posts document how racism, homophobia, sexism, classism, and other prejudical attitudes are pervasive in everyday life in the USA (or wherever that site’s posters are from).Comment:  I covered this subject in Minorities Suffer Microaggressions. One could say that this blog is a record of the continuing microaggression (racism and stereotyping) endured by Indians and other minorities. It literally never ends.

Moreover, it's something white males like me have little or no experience with. Until you've been called a savage or chief or mocked with feathers, whoops, and dances, you can't know how harmful racism and stereotyping are. You can only suggest it, as I've tried to do here.

For more on the subject, see Stereotypes Drive Racism in South Dakota and Tonto Revisited Stereotype Exhibit.

Below:  Paris Hilton tells the world that Indians are inferior (primitive, savage).


dmarks said...

"“You speak so well. You don’t sound like other black girls.”"

Like when the current Vice President strongly implied that our black President was one of the flew black men who wasn't filthy.

Maria said...

Thanks for highlighting this website. The whole " you're too white to be _____" really struck a nerve.

Anonymous said...

I like that Paris Hilton picture. Real Indian women aren't so...fanservicey. ;)