RACISM -From Start to End
“I can’t breathe” … “There’s no peace without justice” …
The last words of an Afro-American, when Derek Chauvin, a white police officer knelt on his neck for a couple of minutes. Floyd kept on chanting that he could not breathe, onlookers calling out for him, but no police officer listened to any of the utterances, and eventually, he died.
Sound heinous…? Though true.
This story is about 46 years old George Floyd, who was killed by police officers in Minnesota on May 25, accused of buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill.
But this does not come to an end here, nor does it start with Floyd. Rather many other Floyds died because of being black. The story is not merely about America, only a few dodged the bullet, it stretches to China, Germany, Brazil, and so on. Because racism knows no boundaries, it is alive in almost all countries.
Microaggression has its share:
When it comes to discerning racism it is quite convenient, but it becomes pretty hard to deal with a more treacherous form of racism- the microaggression. Microaggression is thought of as a part of racial discrimination for some time now.
But what basically is a microaggression? And how does it partially relate to racism?
Microaggressions are antagonistic slurs or insults that are either spoken, of conduct, or environmental that targets black people or those of native communities. It is now most usual, and not recognized as treacherous anymore.
“Where are you from? “a question asked from Sahar Ibrahim. Because she was with brown skin tone and thus recognized as foreign. But how deplorably and pervasively it hurts the person can only be felt if it is asked from the asker. As for the one being asked ‘where are you from’ are being reminded constantly of their alienation. State of not the deserving one and feelings of riskiness become part of their reality.
Microaggression is no less than racism:
People harming others maliciously, being bias against marginalized groups, leaving the sufferers with feelings of being insulted and thus uncomfortable.
Now, does it make sense to say microaggression and being rude are the same things?
Microaggressions are way more than rude comments or general idiotic behaviors. They are in fact specific, painful remarks, the thousand little cuts because they have to do with a person’s dignity, are the tip of the iceberg. Though the more nefarious thing is they occur frequently, casually in everyday life, containing a hidden insult.
It is not wrong saying microaggressions are the most harmful hurting acts because the doers of it are not even aware of the harm, they are actually committing them. The crux of the matter is such words or actions sprinkled either voluntarily or involuntarily leaving others in a state of feeling about themselves.
“But you don’t really seem gay! “
Remarks were given to a homosexual person who altered his way of living just because of the fear of being called a gay, making him at his wits’ end.
There is a key to every locked door! But what aids in avoiding microaggressions and conscious bias- the constituents of racism?
Unless you are not aware of a problem you cannot intend to solve it. The other theme of the statement is unless you are not aware of the extent to which one is left in dire straits by your words or actions you cannot typically avoid it.
Educate the perpetrator:
The term microaggression must be educated to anyone who commits it either intentionally or non intentionally. A pupil at a university lecture said I can read the lesson well because I spent some years in the US must be picked up on his words. There is a dire need to address him and every other pupil present over there about the immoral act he just committed. Because roots proliferate growth to the whole plant the very roots of anything leading to conscious biases must be cut.
Disarm racial microaggression:
If you choose to stand face to face to microaggression, how exactly will you respond? Is educating the perpetrator enough to diminish it?
If not, let us think of disarming it.
Taking into consideration the actual harm caused by racial microaggressions, it becomes mandatory for the nation and survivors to disarm and dismantle the continuous assault of microaggression. The silence of the sufferer must not be the only solution to coping microaggression. One must disarm it at once as a citizen of a peaceful nation.
Offer support to the bystanders:
Did you really just say that?
Let us make the white allies hold responsible for what they said.
The bystanders in nonmarginalized groups must offer support to those in marginalized groups. If a person calls you out for something that hurts them, do not be judgmental but offer your support to them. Be all ears to them initially, let them expose what actually hurt them, and let them make you realize what harm you did to them.
“But in the process of defining what they are, individuals within these marginalized communities usually have reflexively understood their meaning,” he adds. “Which is a clear indication that what we are defining is real.” Says Zhou.