microaggressions – BIG SCREEN

 

LATimes.com

 

Get Out was the number one in America last weekend. Written by comedian Jordan Peele, Get Out uses satire to discuss racism and its subsequent prejudices and microagressions.

This film combines fiction and reality to make the topic of race more palatable/ comfortable. Microaggressions are a common phenomenon. They plague the media, relationships and conversations.

Microaggressions: 

the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

They are typically are conveyed through back-handed compliments or comments that just feel off. Intentional or unintentional,  micoaggressions leave the receiver of a message feeling confused and degraded.

Most microaggressions are created through making an assumption about someone based on a component of their identity.

For example:

  • Telling an international student that they “speak English really good.”- Why wouldn’t they?
  • Telling a young lady that the is “pretty for a black girl.”- Is prettiness reserved for certain races?
  • Asking if they “drive cars in your country?”- Why assume the development of a country is lesser than America just because you haven’t heard of it?

Sometimes those who utilize microaggressions do so unintentionally and mean no harm. But regardless of the intent, microagressions are hurtful and indicative that prejudices are still a prevalent part of society.

I liken the satire of Get Out to that of a modern The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Though humorous and entertaining, the audience is cognizant of a deeper underlying issue.

Mark Twain and  Jordan Peele have both used their platforms to bring awareness to racial inequality.

Microaggressions stem from assumptions and you know what they say about assuming…

So don’t assume. Be intentional. Be inclusive. Be thoughtful. If you make a mistake (as I often do) apologize, and try not to make the same mistake twice.

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