Good luck getting that toothpaste back into the tube. Perhaps this concept shouldn’t have been introduced to the academic environment in the first place.

The College Fix reports:

‘Microaggressions’ professor: ‘Not everything is a microaggression’

Derald Sue, a professor at Columbia University and one of the principal popularizers of the concept of “microaggressions,” recently stressed that “not everything is a microaggression,” and that such exchanges “have to be seen in context.” Yet the professor emphasized that the theory of microaggressions continues to be valuable and relevant today.

A “microaggression” is defined as “a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority).” The term has become popular on college campuses in recent years, with students frequently accusing each other of committing microaggressive acts, usually associated with race or sex.

In a phone interview, Sue told The College Fix that the concept did not originate with him but with a psychiatrist named Chester Pierce in the 1970s. “It was never picked up. It was almost like [Pierce] was a victim of a microaggression. They didn’t think his work was valuable and wasn’t considered something that was worthy of social scientific studies,” he said.

Sue himself would pick up the work several decades later. “One reason I think people didn’t pick it up was because there wasn’t a taxonomy or classification system that directly explained the types of microaggressions, what they looked like, their harmful impact, and what went on in the heads of both perpetrators and targets,” he said.


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