"Understanding Racial Microaggressions"- Examples Of Offensive Statements


As a woman and person of color, I know what it feels like to dread going to work because of the sexist, racially offensive, and downright personally degrading comments that I experienced almost on a daily basis. Things like: “You speak so well! “ Yet, I spoke no differently than my white counterparts.  Or, my male boss suggesting that I wear a short skirt for a business presentation to close the deal on an account. I remember trying not to show my anger and frustration because I feared affirming the angry black woman stereotype.

We call these messages micro-aggressions; yet, there’s nothing micro about it. I’ve also been on the other side, witnessing others say inappropriate statements, and wishing that someone would say something not thinking that maybe that person should have been me! I learned rather quickly how hurtful it was to be on the receiving end of these hurtful words, and watching my fellow co-workers remain silent.

My personal experiences gave me a sense of responsibility for calling out racism and sexism when I recognized it. Gloria Steinem said it best. 

Whenever one person stands up and says, “Wait a minute, this is wrong,” it helps other people to do the same.

I didn’t have the skills or courage back then to use these instances as productive teaching moments for my counterparts, but training on these topics to increase our self-awareness is a huge part of my work today. If my experiences sound similar to yours, or what you’ve witnessed for yourself, I invite you to learn more and host my workshop at your workplace. A popular session is titled “What Did I Say That’s Wrong?” –Understanding The Impact of Messaging & Microaggressions.  Contact me here to request more information. Please post and share this resource to individuals who may find this useful.

To further your knowledge on the topic, below is also a list of examples of racial micro aggressions. Click here to download the full list.

As always, I hope this serves you well. 

- Chantel