When microaggressions occur, they take you by surprise. You think to yourself, how can anyone be so ignorant in 2011. We have to remember that these mini attacks sometimes render us speechless and at other times start our blood to boiling. We must also realize that many times microaggressions can be intentional or unintentional. Either of these reactions and actions are detrimental to our equilibrium as human beings.
The experience I observed this week of Thanksgiving involved an activity the children were doing in the classroom. I heard a volunteer singing and teaching this song, "1 Little, 2 little, 3 little Indians....woo, woo, woo, woo go the Indians, woo,woo, woo, woo go the Indians, now sit down like Indians do". I could not believe my ears.
I asked the volunteer to step out of the classroom and told her we appreciate her giving her time but the song was inappropriate because it stereotypes Native Americans. She had committed an unintentional microinsult. She apologized but said she didn't think it was "that bad". She then committed a microinvalidation with that statement. I told her we would be having a workshop soon on cultural diversity and sensitivity and I encouraged her to attend.
Sue, D.W. (2010). Microaggressions in Everyday Life [Video](2010) Laureate Education, Inc.