Harvard Dean Martha L. Minow: “Microaggressions” As Bad As Sexual Assault

Harvard Dean Martha L. Minow: “Microaggressions” As Bad As Sexual Assault

Harvard Dean Martha L. Minow: “Microaggressions” As Bad As Sexual Assault

Microaggressions. They plague college campuses. In fact, they are such a serious problem, Harvard Law School, Dean Martha L. Minow ranks them right up there with sexual assault. That’s right. Pointing out how someone pronounces “Cool Whip” and walking into a classroom of all white students is on par with…

sexual assault.

Minow, who received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1975, traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan this past Sunday to speak at the university’s winter commencement ceremony. Minow, deemed as the “teacher who changed his life” by one Barack Obama during his Harvard days, urged graduates and students to not be “bystanders” in light of racial injustices (AKA microaggressions) but to be “upstanders”-a term borrowed from Samantha Power, her former student and current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

“We all know it is easier and more familiar to do nothing and say nothing. We often fail to speak out simply out of fear. We fear for our own safety, our own reputation.

Taking even seemingly small acts in one’s own school can build the culture that prevents violence, bullying, sexual assault, and racial microaggressions.”

So, Harvard students and students at college campuses nationwide, take heed: saying “America is a melting pot” is on par with sexual assault. Telling someone that they can get anywhere if they worked hard enough is also one in the same as a sexual assault. Telling someone that you believe the most qualified candidate should get the job is also a violation. Even being a fan of the Beatles (no, I’m not kidding) is a microaggression and yep, you guessed it-microaggressions are worthy of being placed next to sexual assault on the list of injustices.

These are also just as bad as sexual assault:

While Minow and her counterparts offer the encouragement with the expectation of graduates and students going forth in the world confronting injustice, there are a few big problems these scholarly types have overlooked in this process. For to confront injustice, one must have a little bit of a thing called bravery. It is hard to confront injustice, racial or other types, when individuals are too busy being so offended by sometimes innocuous, sometimes ignorant remarks that they go running into your “safe space” because someone hurt their feelings via “microaggression”. If they’re going to take a stand, they are going to have to realize that others are going to be mean and cruel but they will have to defend their position regardless. It is hard to confront real injustice when they are too busy combating the manufactured injustices that the academic elite are spoon-feeding in lecture halls. It is hard to confront injustices when one’s situational awareness is limited or lacking. And furthermore, one can’t speak of individuals judging, being treated unfairly or claim to be the victim if he or she is taking a stand…it does not work that way in the real world outside of the safe-space university bubble. Ego, butt-hurt feelings and over-sensitivity do not bode well in the constitution of an individual whose desire is to take a stand and fight the social injustices of our world. After all, how can an individual have a spine when their very own has been ripped out?

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