At Rowan University you can get in the microaggression line if you think concepts like succeeding on the basis of merit or ignoring racial differences have any relevancy.
The school’s “Interrupting Microaggressions” guide shows students how to expose people who talk about supposedly dated ideas like “meritocracy” or “color blindness,” two ideas that used to be part of democratic fairness and racial equality.
Anyone looking for clarification can find the guide on the Rowan University Bias Assessment & Response Team (BART) website alongside a myriad of other “tips to stop bias” that claim to offer a comprehensive list of “microaggressions” followed by strategies for “third party intervention” and concluding with a “communication approach,” Campus Reform reports.
The “Myth of Meritocracy” makes the claim that by merely suggesting “everyone can succeed in this country, if they work hard enough” one commits a microaggression that must be challenged immediately by demanding examples of everyone succeeding.
“Color blindness” also constitutes a microaggression, according to the guide, with two of the most blatant examples being found in the statements: “I don’t believe in race” and “When I look at you, I don’t see color.”
Anyone hearing the first statement should ask the person saying it what it is they believe in. The second statement warrants a response of “tell me more about your perspective.” Others in the vicinity should also be asked to “weigh in” with their opinions.
The guide dismisses any attempt at being inclusive with outmoded suggestions that “gender plays no part in who we hire.” Astute observers of microaggressions will note: “How might be examine our implicit bias to ensure that gender plays no part in this and we have a fair process? What do we need to be aware of?”
There’s more. As the BART website explains, “At Rowan University efforts to provide a respectful, inclusive learning environment and community are dependent on everyone’s ability to recognize, respond to, and prevent bias-related incidents. As a [professor], you have an obligation to take an active role in fostering an appreciation for diversity and sending the message loud and clear that bias-related acts will not be tolerated.”
After absorbing all the helpful hints found in “Interruptng Microaggressions,” viewers can proceed to other sources of related information, including a “comedy” video yanked from YouTube that playfully compares microaggressions to a mosquito bite. There’s also some feminist material advocating caution when selecting “pronoun use” and instructing men to “talk less.”
There’s even material for the culprits committing all these microaggressions. “Tips for Interrupting Bias” is the place to go for folks “called out” for their violations; it tells them to beware of their “natural defensive behavior” and to just “make a commitment to change your behavior and follow through.”