micro aggression

Common Micro-aggressions: African Americans and/or
Black People

Anonymous said: What are some common micro-aggressions that a black american will regularly have to deal with?

Behold this masterpost of common micro-aggressions towards African Americans and/or people in the African Diaspora, several of which may be applicable to other PoC. Micro-aggressions can be perpetuated by White people as well as fellow Black people and People of Color.

This is just to give a thorough understanding of some of the things a Black person (often in America) deals with. Don’t run forward and jam-pack your Black character with every one of these experiences, though I can say I’ve personally experienced every one of these or know someone who has.

General Micro-aggressions

  • People excusing blackface.
  • Having our grammar and annunciation corrected.
  • "I don’t see you as a Black person/ I don’t see colour.”
  • Calling Black people ghetto, thugs, rachet, sassy, urban…
  • People debating why they should be allowed to say the n-word.
  • Then saying the n-word anyway.
  • Whispering, spitting, or stumbling over the word “Black” as if it’s a curse.
  • Refusing to pronounce your name right, or just calling you by a different name that’s easier.
  • Alternatively, “jokingly” calling you a "ghetto" name.
  • Constantly mixing up unrelated and not even resembling Black people, because you know.. ‘Black people all look the same’.
  • Dismissing our experiences as “just overreacting,” defending the wronging party, or using our plight to talk about one’s own experience (e.g. “well as a gay man i’ve got it rough…”).
  • Telling racist jokes and calling you sensitive when you don’t find it funny.
  • ”______  is the new civil rights movement!” Black folks are still fighting for their rights so…


  • Fox news (xD)
  • Caricatured depictions of Black people on TV.
  • Casting calls for Black people only tailored for “race roles.”
  • Media treating white criminals and killers better than Black victims (see these headlines).


  • Assuming you only listen to rap/hip-hop/r&b.
  • Assuming you love chicken, Kool-aid, and/or smoke weed.
  • Assuming you’re good at sports.
  • Assuming there’s no father in the picture in Black families.
  • Assuming all Black people (see: young girls) have children.
  • Calling Black people who don’t conform to one’s image of Blackness, “less black,” acting white or “oreo.”


  • Non-Black People mimicking/imitating AAVE.
  • People falling into AAVE when talking to Black People.
  • “Why don’t Black people speak real English instead of ‘ebonics’?”

Insults/doubting intelligence:

  • You’re so articulate!”
  • You take advanced classes?!”
  • "How did she get into that [prestigious school and/or program]?”
  • "They only got x because they’re Black/Affirmative action.”
  • Assuming a Black person (usually male) attends college because of a sports scholarship.
  • Counselors discouraging Black students to take prestigious coursework, assuming it’s too difficult for them.

 Respectability politics:

  • "You’re a credit to your race."
  • “I’m glad you’re not like those other Black people. You’re not ghetto or listen to that rap stuff..”
  • Tone policing: dismissing someone’s reaction/argument/etc. because they are too “emotional.” Thinking that we need to be calm in order to be taken seriously. 
  • Pitting African immigrants against African Americans, especially those coming to America for education, aka “Good Blacks.”

Beauty Standards and Dating


  • People asking you what you are or where you’re really from.
  • Referring to Black people or our features as “exotic.”
  • Referring to Black people’s skin as chocolate or other foods.

Black Women/Misogynoir

  • Saying Black women are “strong, independent and don’t need no man.”
  • Calling Black women “sassy" or angry if she shows passion/emotion.
  • Referring to white and non-black women as “girls” and “women” while calling Black women “Females.”
  • [White] males who apply courtesy to white women (holding doors, giving up seat) but don’t apply the same to Black women.
  • Referring to Black women on government assistance as “welfare queens” (While ignoring that white people get more government assistance than Black people in the USA).
  • "Black women All woman are beautiful.” (Stop. That. Please.)


  • People touching/petting your hair without consent.
  • “So is that your real hair? Are those extensions?”
  • Calling natural black hair unprofessional.
  • White people appropriating Black hair styles (dreads, twists, etc) and being praised as edgy, while it’s “ghetto, unprofessional, and unclean” on our own heads.

Poverty Assumptions:

  • “Do you live in the ghetto?”
  • “Can you afford that?”
  • “Here are the value prices of this product…”

Racial Profiling + Criminalization:

  • Crossing the street to avoid passing Black men/people.
  • Following in stores, assuming Black people are stealing.
  • Moving aside when we pass, clutching purse, locking doors.
  • Asking Black people for I.D. when paying with card (while white people are not asked).
  • Being pulled over + arrested at astonishingly higher rates than white people.

For a fuller understanding of micro aggressions and the effects it has on individuals overtime, please see this: “These incidents may appear small…”

~Mods: Colette and Alice

Exotic means there, not here. Them, not us. You, but definitely not me. Exotic is a word defined by the speaker’s perspective, which assumes dominance and normalcy over the person being called exotic.

I’m not a parrot. So don’t call me exotic.

It’s a micro-aggression. It’s a backhanded compliment. And it’s simply inaccurate.

rosesandspiders asked:

I really like being typically girly and etc but whenever I bring up feminism or equal rights im never taken seriously. People laugh at me when I'm really mad about rape culture and whatnot and I get told "you're so cute when you're mad" and i PUBLIC

I just don’t know how to handle this response because whenever I express how demeaning that is I get told it was a compliment and I’m overreacting. Do you have any tips for dealing with this?

Don’t be friends with/hang out around people who belittle your emotions and demean you when you are expressing yourself.  That’s my advice, sorry that it’s so blunt but it’s really the best advice I can give.  Be friends with people who respect you, and “Haha you’re mad, how cute” or “Stop overreacting I was just joking” is NOT respectful.  It is sexist micro-aggression.



There are many ways to kindly and respectfully compliment the way a woman looks. But one descriptor that should be left out of such comments? “Exotic.”

Cristen Conger of the How Stuff Works podcast, Stuff Mom Never Told You, takes on the topic of “exotic” beauty.

Watch the full video with Conger explaining how Lupita Nyong’o was “extocized” during the 2014 Oscar season here. 

Super random but I remember a few summers ago I went over to this white (yes, her whiteness is relevant to the story *eyeroll*) girl’s house to hang out for the first time and she was like “hey do you want some watermelon? I know you like watermelon.” And snickered, and I just sorta gave her a side eye and let it go because I really did want some watermelon, but then she went to cut the watermelon and from the kitchen was like “You’re black, know of any special watermelon cutting secrets?”, and I was too uncomfortable at the time to speak up but I hope somehow she knows that her racist comments and constant micro-aggression are why I haven’t seen her since. Fuckin’ racists, man.

Frida Kahlo painted about micro aggressions long before the term was coined

Unos cuantos piquetitos, por Frida Kahlo (a few small nips)

A newspaper report about an unfaithful woman murdered in an act of jealousy provided Kahlo with the subject matter for this work. The murderer defended his actions before the judge by saying: “But it was just a few small nips!” The violent deed makes symbolic reference to Frida’s own mental state and her own emotional injuries.


see how micro aggressions work: bit by bit a few snips can, will and does kill us! Got this connection at the retreat I had on Monday w/my new staff! Facilitator TO was everything!

  • racist:*says something racist*
  • person:Even if their opinion is racist, they have a right to say their opinion. It's their opinion :) I am Charlie :)
  • person of colour:*expresses their hatred towards their oppressor, having experienced forms of aggression, micro-aggression, violence, pain, violation, and dehumanisation on a systemic and personal level daily*
  • person:Um, that's reverse racism. And really offensive. As a white person, I'm really offended with that racist thing you just said.

So we were having a family meal and everyone was having a good time and after we’d all finished eating i had left some on my plate, it was just some sides that i didn’t like, mainly broccoli and carrots. My mother questioned me on why i didn’t eat it all and i simply said i didn’t like it, well this turned into a scene with my mother repeating the line you’re a growing boy you need to eat it. However when i pointed out that her and my uncle had left similar amounts i was completely dismissed “you can make you’re own decisions when you’re an adult.” I was completely outraged but ate it anyway to shut her up. So the message i got was adults got free choice while children get broccoli.

(submitted by patriachyandfriends)



Once again, masculinity defies definition. The men can’t answer the question without making a joke out of it, and when they don’t make a joke out if, the statements they make can easily apply to females as much as males. And the most serious of the respondents couldn’t define masculinity, he could only define being human (he was the most coherent of the respondents.) One of the females expressed a homophobic micro-aggression (as did one of the males later on) by stating that masculinity equalled ‘being attracted to females’, hence furthering the stereotype that not being attracted to females makes one ‘unmasculine’ and therefore ‘not a man’. This only goes to show that masculinity is a complete fraud. The sooner non-heterosexual males reject this idiocy of trying to ‘be masculine’, the sooner we ALL step into our own power and get liberated.

anonymous asked:

Wait a white person doesn't know who that hip hop artist was and that makes them racist?? All I know is dr dre makes good headphone haha

Not knowing the answer isn’t racist, it was their behavior and responses to the question that was. Every single response I wrote about was a micro-aggression against blackness and black culture.

The history of hip hop/rap vs. white people is a long and extensive one but long story short: white people don’t believe anything having to do with black culture or people is worth knowing or understanding, and it shows in their behavior when confronted with black things. They snub it, they make passive comments about how they “shouldn’t be expected” to know black things whereas any poc growing up in western culture HAS to know white things in order to make it anywhere. We are expected to know and understand and like whiteness, but not vice versa. That’s the problem here.

Older male stranger on street, as I haul my suitcases to the bus stop: “Heh, typical woman, too many bags!”

Me, smiling: “Tsss, because men never carry anything or own possessions.”

He, laughing, as we passed: “I bet it’s all shoes!”

Things I could have said:

- It’s mostly marking and books, actually.

- Hey, that’s a really offensive and stereotypical thing to say

- Sorry, I didn’t realise the content and volume of my luggage was any concern of strangers

- Do you regularly make these foolish assumptions about people based on their gender performance?

- I appreciate the reminder that patriarchal expectations of a gender binary will always place the normative feminine as inferior and laughable in comparison to the normative masculine. Piss off.

What I actually said:

- nothing.