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College Schools Students and Staff on Microaggressions' 'Death by a Thousand Cuts' and the 'Myth of Meritocracy'

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Have you been guilty of paying someone the wrong compliment, AKA an aggression?

Said assault may have been of the “micro” variety, but it was aggressive nonetheless.

So says the UK’s Imperial College London, concerning particular gestures toward people who aren’t privileged.

As reported by Campus Reform, the school’s Faculty of Engineering has posted a course aimed at preventing terrible treatment.

The heading introduces it aptly: “Microaggressions — What You Should Know.”

“This short online course,” the page states, “is recommended for all Faculty of Engineering staff and students. It provides an introductory and basic overview of” the following:

What microaggressions are Guidance on how to appropriately challenge microaggressions that we witness, experience or commit Tools to help create a more inclusive workplace culture

It’s a very different world than just a mere couple decades ago. In the past, we were told words couldn’t hurt us.

If we were once made to believe we were stone, the new science evidently points toward glass.

Therefore, society moves to become increasingly careful.

Imperial College provides a video illustrating the effect of insolent syllables.

They are, the guidance says, “subtle, invisible, and insidious.”

“The thing is,” the tutorial informs, “if you’re putting up with microaggressions on a daily basis, it can have a cumulative psychological impact. Not just on you as an individual, but on an organization’s culture.”


“It has been described as ‘Death By a Thousand Cuts.”

The animated clip features cartoon people with stress bolts shooting from their heads after being aggressed.

An example:

“Oh, you’re gay! You should meet my friend Jen, she’s gay, too!

“Oh, because I’m gay, I’ll like all gay people?”

Here’s a doozy:

“Great talk! It must be so much harder to give a talk when you’re blind, I’m so impressed.”

“Why be shocked that I can achieve as much as my able-bodied colleagues?”

A further instance: A desk worker demands to see a black woman’s ID, even though he knows she works there.

Plus: A white woman asks if she can touch another woman’s hair because she’s black.

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