First of all, This is not a complete list. I just decided these 10 would sufficiently illustrate the point.
When I was a kid, there was no term for what today are known as “micro-aggressions.” So I knew these were hurtful, but had no direct term for explanation or categorization of the behavior… or whatever.
But an official label wasn’t necessary to recognize that those responsible were oblivious to their wrongdoing. In fact, they considered their statements as perfectly fine.
I’ve never tried again to convince those who said these things that they were painful. I stopped trying to show them how THIS is what racism is. That THIS is how it hurts and THIS is what causes RACIST white people to act in negative ways towards others even when they don’t realize they are doing it.
And once again… remember that the ones responsible were oblivious to their wrongdoing. In fact, they considered their statements to be perfectly fine and even justified.
- “Tee neg.” (A name that was used in reference to me without any one thinking it was a problem. If you know any French the translation might be obvious. This phrase means “Little n*****.” It was used by white people in the past often to speak about black children.)
- “They asked if she was mixed!!! Why would they do that?!?!” (stated in a tone that says it was not only absurd but mean and hurtful to suggest the girl might be mixed)
- “It’s okay for you to date whoever you want cause you’re mixed, but she’s white … so she should only date white men.”
- “I have to think of MY daughter, so I can’t let her go by her cousin who dates black men. I can’t let her think it’s ‘okay.'” (3 and 4 were said by the same person in the same conversation.)
- “Sand N*****s.”
- “I don’t know why. My mom just said you can’t come over but these girls can.” (stated to myself and another brown girl while all the obviously white looking girls were allowed to go.)
- “She’s getting bullied for being mixed but it’s her mom’s fault for having her with a black man.” (said about a young child during a discussion in which the speaker assumed I was “Mexican” and wouldn’t be offended.)
- “But I don’t see you that way. You’re my family.”
- “No it just isn’t right. No one will accept you.””So if they say they accept me as no different and I’m mixed, why would who I date change that?””No. No. You just can’t. They will turn their back on you.””So basically, they don’t really accept me. They are only okay with me so long as I deny that I”m mixed and only socialize with white people.”(Side note: This was only true of some people in my family. Some had no issue and this statement was made as hyperbole although the speaker hoped I’d take it as truth.)