As I was reading the blog posts regarding microaggressions, my mind quickly jumped to my Interpersonal Communications class and the book that we just read on being assertive. When learning about assertiveness, we learned that it is important in being assertive to stand up for yourself and say something to someone when they give you a certain look, or a microaggression. The book on assertiveness says that if someone gives you a look that you take to be a passive aggressive way to discount you or what you are saying or doing, you should say something along the lines of “I’m not sure what you mean by that look. What were you trying to say?” The book explains that everyone has a right to assert himself or herself and stand up for themselves when it is necessary. However, while reading the blogs I realized that being able to be assertive in many situations is a white privilege.
Many of the blogs reflect that minorities feel that they do not have the right to question the microaggressions of others. Instead of being assertive and questioning the person that expressed the microaggression, minorities instead have to question themselves. They have to question whether or not that person meant to be racist or sexist or if that person was just having a bad day. Minorities experience microaggressions everyday but do not have the ability to be assertive and question the person that expressed the microaggression. The blog post by Caplan expresses the feelings of a minority; he does in fact feel that he cannot do anything because no matter what he may want to do, if he does it it will be portrayed as a negative. The book that I had to read for Interpersonal Communications says that every person has the right to be assertive. Does the author really mean that only every white person has the right to be assertive when he says that every person has the right?