Microaggressions and Being Assertive

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.

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Racism Isn’t Just Black & White

Jeremy Lin has been in the headlines for his basketball skills, but a lot of people have taken interest in another aspect of his identity, his race. Lin is one of the first famous Asian American NBA players, and the media can’t seem to get enough of him. From ESPN to Twitter, Linsanity has taken over. Recently, there has been controversy over ESPN’s repeated usage of the phrase “chink in the armor,” especially as a headline on their website referring to a recent Knicks’ upset below a picture of Lin. See image here: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2012/2/18/2807696/espn-chink-in-the-armor-headline-jeremy-lin. For the purpose of this post, I will be discussing the picture in the link above and this video of a news anchor using the phrase again: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcneal/2012/02/18/espn-uses-chink-in-the-armor-line-twice-did-linsanity-just-go-racist/ ESPN has since removed the headline and reprimanded the people involved, but unfortunately, thanks to technology these images will live on in internet infamy.

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