Microaggressions as Violence
The most common critique levelled against the concept of microaggressions is that it involves a dangerous exaggeration, treating simple mistakes or miscommunications as acts of violence. I argue in this essay that microaggressions should be defined as patterns of interaction that perpetuate a certain kind of structural violence (namely, oppression), and as such are rightly considered a form of violence in themselves. I suggest, too, that microaggressions are a form of violence for which we stand responsible, despite the fact that they are often committed unintentionally. I first offer a brief history of the concept of microaggressions and a response to two of its most famous critics, then I work to redefine microaggressions within the context of a theory of structural violence and a theology of structural sin.
This article originally appeared on July 28, 2020, in Practical Matters, http://practicalmattersjournal.org/
Hamilton, Brian David. “Microaggressions as Violence.” PracticalMattersJournal, 29 July 2020, http://practicalmattersjournal.org/2020/07/28/microaggressions-as-violence/.