Dealing with microaggressions: Aguilar

August 2, 2019

“Microaggressions are the poison ivy of living life as a person of color,” writes Stephen J Aguilar. “They’re irritants, and those of us whom they affect must find ways to soothe the uncomfortable feelings they elicit.” Aguilar reflects on a situation in which a senior faculty member sent a congratulations to another Mexican American scholar for the publication of a paper that Aguilar wrote. He advises others who find themselves in similar situations to weigh their reactions against possible consequences and encourages them to reach out to their support networks and allies. To those who are at fault, Aguilar suggests simply owning the error and apologizing: “In the end that’s all we want: a sincere effort to learn from your mistakes. We 100 percent have no interest in hearing an epic tale about how the microaggression manifested through a confluence of unlikely events, thus absolving you of any responsibility.” Inside Higher Ed (International)