Updated: Sep 7, 2020
EVERYDAY RACISM by Alexis Maycock
August 13, 2020
For some White people, there is a lack of awareness about the racism that Black people - women, men, and children- encounter every day. It’s easy to spot blatant acts of racism. The tragic murder of George Floyd is one of far too many examples. But what is not so easy to spot are the small acts of racism...the racial microaggressions that occur on a day to day basis that harm to people and communities of color.
For black women, these microaggressions exist when voyeuristic comments about the texture of our hair, the fullness of our lips and the curvature of our body shape are made.There is the stereotype that we are “angry”. Especially when we speak up and out against injustice. The hint of surprise when we open our mouths to speak and are often told that we sound “well spoken” is a racial slight because of the stereotype and the unspoken assumption that most black people speak unintelligibly. The looks we receive when we enter certain stores, unable to shop freely, asked at every moment “Do you need help?” Our experiences are different than our white counterparts. These examples and more are the everyday racism that people of color in my community and in your community face. These are examples of racism that I face.
This everyday racism perpetuates and is backed by systemic racist structures that need to be dismantled. For every act of blatant racism that is shut down, there are racial microaggressions that need to be shut down just as quickly. For it is these unaddressed examples mentioned above of everyday racism committed in homes, schools, and communities that seep into the cultural makeup and lifestyle of society. These seeds of racial microaggressions can turn into blatant acts of racism if not addressed and course corrections made.
As you work through the resources in the EMBRACE Action 21-Day Challenge, commit to speaking out against the everyday racism that occurs in your home, at your family gatherings, amongst your friends, in your workplace, and in your community. Learn what the term racial microaggression means and have a conversation with your family around how you will support your friends and community members of color by addressing everyday racism.