- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A report by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign into the topic of “microaggressions” found that the simple task of “walking into or sitting in” a room full of white people can be problematic for minorities.

“Students of color reported feeling uncomfortable and unwelcomed just walking into or sitting in the classroom, especially if they were the only person of color, or one of a few,” said the report, titled “Racial Microaggressions @ University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign,” National Review reported Wednesday.

“People do not necessarily say I do not belong, but I feel as if I do not when I am in a classroom and I am the one non-White person,” said one student in the college’s report, National Review reported.

Many colleges turn to Dr. Derald Wing Sue of Columbia University for a definition for the term “microaggression.” He has described such offenses as “brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership.”

The Princeton Microaggressions Facebook page relied on Dr. Sue’s definition for its purposes in December 2014, but added: “The perspective and lived experiences of each individual contextualizes the world around them and thus places a particular meaning in words based on their distinct subjectivity. What counts as harmless banter to some may be emotionally triggering to others.”

The University of Illinois report suggests that one way to ameliorate microaggressions on campus may include “General Education requirement about race, White privilege, and inequality in the United States,” National Review reported.


SEE ALSO: Princeton students start ‘microaggressions’ page to combat ‘papercuts of oppression’


The school surveyed more than minority 4,800 students during the 2011–2012 academic year for its report.

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