COMMA-LA Face Mask , Such microaggressions are said to take a particular toll on members of minority groups. In Rita Kohli and Daniel Solórzano’s study of minority students across the United States, “many participants shared that the issues they experienced with their names in school caused them a great deal of anxiety, shame or feelings of ‘othering’.” For example, they report an incident in which a vice-principal bungled a Chinese American’s name before laughing at his own mistake.
He butchered her name mercilessly, shaking his head and laughing as others laughed along… It is likely he did not intend malice.… But because this student had endured years of subtle racial slights, her cumulative experience with the fumbling of her name led her to feel humiliated by his action and see her culture as inferior.
Sigmund Freud infamously argued that mistakes are deliberate, in that each facilitates “an unconscious intention.” He and his colleagues attached special significance to proper names being misspoken, misremembered, misheard, misread or misspelled. All such mishaps were psychoanalyzed as performed below the level of awareness, as subtle slights — personal names being personal, after all.
A few minutes before, while talking about experimental psychologists in general, he had allowed himself to make the scurrilous remark that in his opinion they should be called the pantry-cooks of psychology, on account of their menial field of work; the passage from ‘cook’ to ‘kitchen’ is obvious.
COMMA-LA Shirt , whom Freud considered a leading adversary, advocated instead for a more scientific approach to introspection and mental processes, using experimental procedures, measurements, and observations in a controlled laboratory. Titchener also warned against the “stimulus error” — failing to tease apart objective experiences from how we think, know or judge them to be.
Titchener’s century-old concerns are echoed in psychologist Scott Lilienfeld’s arguments that microaggression research falls short of scientific rigor. Racial microaggressions are subtle acts of racism and aggression, which certainly occur, but Lilienfeld shows that their valid application to individual situations is fraught.
For example, Carlson’s “whatever” was decidedly dismissive and arguably aggressive (if defensive), but it was anything but subtle. Was it also racist? Critical race theorists like Solórzano et al. would probably say so. As Robin DiAngelo puts it: “The question is not ‘did racism take place?’ but rather ‘how did racism manifest in that situation?’”
Kamala Harris T-Shirt I’m a pretty chill guy and I know my last name isn’t the easiest to pronounce, like many immigrant names. I appreciate it when people ask me how to say it and I’ll tell them, it’s “PEH-trow” not “PEE-trow.” Often I’ll correct someone who mispronounces it — once or twice, maybe a third — always with a smile. But if they continue to call me “PEE-trow,” it’s pretty obvious that that they’re either not listening or just don’t care. Either way, it’s a sign of disrespect.