Profs claim 'microaggressions' reflect 'racist beliefs'

Celine Ryan
California Campus Correspondent

  • A recent study conducted by six university professors suggests that “microaggressive” statements made by white students reflect their “racist beliefs.”
  • Based on surveys of 33 black students and 118 white students, the professors say their findings “offer preliminary support” for the belief that “delivery of microaggressions by white students is not simply innocuous behavior."
  • Among the "microaggressions" used in the survey was the statement "The police have a tough job, it is not their fault if they occasionally make a mistake."
  • A recent study conducted by six university professors suggests that “microaggressive” statements made by white students reflect their “racist beliefs.”

    The study, promoted the in the University of Connecticut’s official news service, claimed to be the “first attempt” to show that microaggressions reflect “the racist beliefs and feelings of deliverers” rather than simply being “subjective perceptions of the target.”

    "The deliverer’s true feelings are unknowable on a case-by-case basis."   

    [RELATED: Study: social justice activism is ‘rife’ with ‘oppression’]

    To conduct this study, professors used a “cross-sectional” method of collecting the responses of 33 black students to statements made by 118 white students.

    “Black students reported the degree to which a series of statements would be experienced as microaggressive,” the study explains. “White students reported their likelihood of delivering those statements and completed measures of racial prejudice.”

    Phrases such as “the police have a tough job, it is not their fault if they occasionally make a mistake,” and “all lives matter, not just black lives” were among the many that respondents deemed microaggressive.

    While the study acknowledges that “the deliverer’s true feelings are unknowable on a case-by-case basis,” such “unknowability of the deliverer’s true intentions may, in fact, contribute to the potential deleterious health effects of microaggressions.”

    The study concludes by affirming that the results “offer preliminary support” for the belief that “delivery of microaggressions by white students is not simply innocuous behavior,” but rather “may be indicative of broad, complex, and negative racial attitudes and explicit underlying hostility and negative feelings toward black students.”  

    [RELATED: Prof finds majority of minorities don’t face discrimination]

    “Results suggest that the construct of microaggressions is rightly situated within the science of racism and prejudice and contributes to our understanding of how racism is enacted in everyday interactions,” it adds.

    Monica Williams, associate professor at the University of Connecticut who helped conduct the study, told Campus Reform that “while there has been some question in the academic community as to whether microaggressions are indicators of racism or simply benign cultural errors,” she and her colleagues confirmed that they are “in fact forms of everyday racism or discrimination.”

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @celinedryan





    Celine Ryan

    Celine Ryan

    California Campus Correspondent

    Celine Ryan is a California Campus Correspondent, and reports on liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. Celine is a sophomore at Cuesta College, where she serves as president of Young Americans for Liberty.

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