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What do you know about racial microaggressions?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2021 | Workplace Harassment

You are one of a few racial minorities working in your California office, and you feel that you may experience minor harassment. Perhaps you experience veiled racism rather than overt displays.

Forbes discusses forms of racial microaggressions that you may face in the office. Determine if you could have a workplace harassment claim.

Defining microaggressions

A microaggression is an everyday and momentary environmental, spoken or behavioral degradation aimed at a minority group or individual during a personal interaction. Such displays may be accidental or intentional. If you experience poor self-esteem, anxiety or poor job satisfaction but do not know why, microaggressions may have something to do with it.

Types of microaggressions

There are three types of microaggressions: microinvalidations, microassaults and microinsults. A microinvalidation overlooks, invalidates or shuts out an individual because of that person’s race. An example of this microaggression is a white coworker not inviting a Black coworker on a skiing trip but inviting all other white coworkers. The white person may imply that Black people do not ski.

Microassaults take place when an individual intentionally speaks or acts out of racism or through racist allegories. Examples include using “harmless” phrases or words centered on race and pretending that the words do not harm racial minorities. Pushing the efforts of minority employees aside in the workplace and ignoring their contributions represents another form of microassault.

Microinsults are insensitive spoken and unspoken actions that discredit a person’s race. A person may not know that her or his words could come across as a microinsult to a minority coworker. An instance of a microinsult is a white coworker asking a Hispanic coworker which community college she or he went to. This may imply that minorities cannot get into traditional four-year colleges or universities.

Do not discredit any inklings you have about racial microaggressions. Taking action may improve your workplace and your mental health.

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