Feminism in Action Interlude: Microaggressions are a BIG DEAL

As we are all watching the news stream in about the shooting of Mike Brown, I encourage you all to be critical consumers. We are all pretty good at spotting overt racism: racial profiling, bias in the reporting/media, etc. but be on the lookout for microaggressions and CALL THEM OUT.

What is a microaggression?
Here’s some info to get you started:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microaggression
http://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/racial-microagressions-you-hear-on-a-daily-basis
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/microaggressions-in-everyday-life/201010/racial-microaggressions-in-everyday-life

Now, for something more interactive. Can you spot the microaggression in these 2 clips from last night’s The LAST WORD with Lawrence O’Donnell?

Clip 1:

Clip 2:

I’ll give you a hint:
1) Watch the first video at 00:31
2) Now, jump to 08:28 in the first video
3) Now, jump to 00:19 in the second video

Did you catch it?

If not, take another look.

At 00:31, Tiffany Mitchell says she was in the area because she was picking up her EMPLOYEE. Again, at 08:28, she references her EMPLOYEE. But by 00:19 in the second video, Lawrence O’Donnell has internalized that she was there to pick up her FRIEND. Accident? Doubtful. Look how he interviews her attorney-style, sharp as a tack. Could it be that white people aren’t used to seeing young black women in positions of authority or leadership? This is the only fact he gets wrong.

This is microaggression. It’s NOT OK. Call it out so people can learn and move toward being a little less racist each day.

Lawrence O’Donnell, I’m calling you out – You cut down Tiffany Mitchell when you referred to her employee as a friend, as though you don’t see her as someone’s boss. I’m calling you out because I like you and I care. I know you are a progressive guy, I know you want justice, I know you consider yourself not-racist but you need to do work. All us white people do. Fighting racism isn’t something you do once and then call it a day; it’s a daily effort.

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