When did we become a nation of perpetually offended? It seems barely a week goes by without someone claiming a new form of micro-aggression. I can usually laugh it off. After all, if I don’t, I’ll become macro-aggressed and that’s not a good thing. Unfortunately, this morning I saw an article on The Daily Caller that not only had me shaking my head but wondering what in the world they are teaching in schools today. It seems two professors claim to have discovered a new form of micro-aggression. Nothing surprising there. Their sample base to support this so-called discovery is. They interviewed – wait for it – 13 non-white women at five different campuses and from this small group discovered “invisibility microaggressions”, of which there are five different forms. My first reaction was to wonder if a microaggression from this small a group was a micro-microaggression. Then I wondered if it was all a joke. But no. There is a professional paper written about it. C’mon, give me a break.
So, what is a microaggression, other than the current buzz word of the socially enlightened?
The Daily Caller, and presumably Professor Jasmine Mena and Professor Annemarie Vaccaro, define microaggression as “when someone — say a white person — asks an Asian person where they’re from. While the question isn’t offensive in and of itself, the act of asking a person who may get the same question repeatedly throughout the week can be annoying and therefore offensive.” I don’t know about you, but I’m micro (or is it macro?) aggressed by this example that it would be a “white” person asking. But then, in the parlance of all too many social justice mavens, only whites can aggress.
“Invisibility microaggresion”, according to the professors, falls into “environmental” and “interpersonal” forms. The former occurs when these women are “among the few, or only non-whites in a workplace or communal context.” Interpersonal invisibility microaggressions supposedly “hinder non-white people in everyday work roles because their ethnicity or gender is being ignored or because they don’t see other non-white people there.” The solution is to do away with the meritocracy on college campuses when it comes to instructors and administrators. Don’t recognize the merit of these microaggressed people like you would any other employee. Instead, the college administration should select “non-white women for high-profile awards and celebrate them on alumni magazines, newsletters, and other materials.” They should be “especially vigilant” in recommending the offended for leadership roles. Again, without looking at merit.