Columbia University professor Derald Wing Sue, who studies the psychology of racism and anti-racism, summed up racial microaggressions as the “everyday insults, indignities and demeaning messages sent to people of color” by individuals who are often oblivious to the offensive nature of their words or actions.
An example of a microinvalidation is when a white person says they’re “colorblind” to racial differences (thus minimizing the struggles that non-white people have dealt with because of their skin color) or tries to claim that racism doesn’t exist anymore.
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The cumulative effect of microaggressions over time can be harmful to people of color and other marginalized groups.
The perpetrator and even the recipient of the microaggression may try to brush off these comments as if they’re no big deal, but the cumulative effect of these interactions can be damaging to Black, Indigenous and people of color’s mental and physical health.
“The Black Lives Matter movement was being discussed in a space of mostly white people and I was the only Black man.