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Vic Mensa: SHELTER

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Lesson 8, Topic 62
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Key Language

Words mean things.



Of the three types of microaggressions, microassaults are perhaps the easiest to identify and most closely related to outright prejudice and discrimination. Derald Wing Sue (2010, p. 28) describes microassaults as “conscious, deliberate and either subtle or explicit … biased attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors that are communicated to marginalized groups through environmental cues, verbalizations, or behaviors.”



Microinsults are described by Sue (2010, p. 31) as “characterized by interpersonal or environmental communications that convey stereotypes, rudeness, and insensitivity and that demean … a person’s identity.” Unlike microassaults, microinsults are often committed unconsciously and may seem more subtle, yet still cast a negative light on a particular personal characteristic or demographic group.



Microinvalidations, in the words of Sue (2010, p. 37) , are “characterized by communications or environmental cues that exclude, negate, or nullify the thoughts, feelings, or experiential realities of certain groups.” By questioning the accuracy and validity of another individual’s personal experience, one is casting aside those experiences as being less relevant than one’s own perceptions and experiences.