By Jemmi Seeherman, Beth Tikvah B’nai Jeshurun
Microaggressions are small things that people do that negatively target a stigmatized community or marginalized group. These could be words or actions that go unnoticed by most, but make someone feel uncomfortable, or like they don’t belong. A lot of the time, people don’t even know what they are doing is a microaggression. But even if they aren’t aware of what they’re doing, it could still be really hurtful to someone else.
A microaggression could be based on a bias or stereotype relating to someone’s religion, ethnicity, or disability, along with many other things. For example, an adult is talking to someone who is autistic, but they are talking slowly and “dumbing it down.” This would make the person they are talking to very uncomfortable.
By speaking up about microaggressions, people become more aware of them. This means people will have the information they need to avoid saying or doing things that are microaggressions.