Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Practicing Awareness of Microaggressions / No I Didn't Just Hear Her Say That!

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.


  1. Hi! Stephanie I would have not thought of that being a microaggression because I know in Head Start we do sing the song one little two little three little Indians and the children are sitting in Indian stying and so what you are saying because she said now sit down like Indiand do that would be sterotyping Native American Indians? If so you are right we have to be careful what we say and do because it was never any intension to sterotype Native American Indians. It was just a game but if someone who was Native American in that class would have gotten up set because of that statment could have really affended the child or person and their culture. Great post.

  2. Stephanie-

    I love your title-I had to read your posting then. Your example reminds me of the Thanksgiving program our Kinders just completed. They sing 1 little 2 little First Americans. Not sure that is better. I am curious if your volunteer will show up for cultural diversity. Excellent Posting