Behavior vs. Self-Concept

The Microaggressions Panel on September 25 was an eye-opening experience for me and the group of similarly privileged students with whom I went. While it is important for people to learn about more explicit forms of aggression and discrimination, only learning about those forms can cause those in positions of privilege to mentally separate themselves from those who commit these acts. They tell themselves that since, for example, they would never do such a thing as murder someone because of their race, they are therefore not racist and the advice of activists do not apply to them. This mindset is harmful, because everyone who is in a position of privilege is likely to exhibit forms of racism, even when they are unaware of it. Most of my white friends have never heard of microaggressions before, but commit them regularly. The more aware we become of the effects of our everyday actions and language, the further we can progress in making Davidson, and the world, a safer and more welcoming place for everyone.