University Report: A Room Full of White People is a Microaggression
ACCORDING TO a new report released by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, just “walking into or sitting in” a classroom full of white people is a microaggression in itself.
“Students of color reported feeling uncomfortable and unwelcomed just walking into or sitting in the classroom, especially if they were the only person of color, or one of a few,” stated the report, which designated the experience a microaggression.
“People do not necessarily say I do not belong, but I feel as if I do not when I am in a classroom and I am the one non-White person,” said one student, identified as a Latina female, who is quoted in the report.
The report, titled “Racial Microaggressions,” was based on an online survey of more than 4,800 students of color during the 2011–12 academic year, and it found more than 800 examples of such microaggressions on campus….
One Asian student reported having “been told to go back to running a Laundromat,” and a multiracial student reported that she once “overheard other White students discussing admissions and laughing about how the only reason stupid Mexicans could get into this school was due to affirmative action.”…
“Being the only student of color in the classroom” was on that list, as was “being discouraged during meetings with one’s academic advisor” (one student determined that her adviser had questioned her choice of major only because “she realized I was African American,” and therefore, “in her mind, I wasn’t able to successfully complete the major”); “being dismissed or ignored by the instructor before or after class” (an African-American male stated, “when I raise my hand, I am often not called upon”); “receiving hostile reactions to participation in the classroom discussion” (one student said she has “witnessed and felt that when a minority student tries to correct [a] comment . . . they are then viewed as angry or defensive when in reality they are simply trying to inform others of what is true”); and “being excluded from participating in a group project” (one student says he keeps quiet in these situations because “I feel as though what I have to say often doesn’t matter to the rest of the group members.”)
Despite the fact that so many of these “microaggressions” are designated as such based on questionable assumptions, the study still recommends that the school take drastic measures to stop them: requiring that all students complete a “General Education requirement about race, White privilege, and inequality in the United States” as well as “both a non-Western culture and a US people of color cultural course”; fundamentally altering the curriculum to ensure that a third of all college 101 classes “include diversity and inclusion”; providing workshops, trainings, campaigns, and brochures “to help students identify when racial microaggressions are occurring”; creating a “slogan or language” — such as the phrase “Racism Alert” — to use when they identify one; and developing a “mechanism for students to report perceived racial microaggressions.”
Call me cynical, but I have a lot of doubts about these suggestions. I could see college students mocking a phrase like “Racism Alert!” rather than taking it seriously, which could just create further discomfort for everyone involved….
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Source: Red Ice Creations
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