Microaggressions are often cloaked in what some may call everyday language (including humor or feigned ignorance) but are actually conveying hostile, insulting, or negative messages to historically underserved populations. Though the harms of microaggressions are sometimes downplayed as the targets of them being “too sensitive,” studies, including by the Center for Health Journalism in 2017, found that microaggressions (like other forms of discrimination) can negatively impact the mental health of those who experience them. The effects have been shown to compound over time as well, contributing to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as physical conditions like hypertension and heart disease. When relevant to coverage, explaining how microaggressions can manifest, and the negative effects they can have, adds essential context for audiences.
- Racial Equity Tools Glossary (Racial Equity Tools)
- Glossary of Terms: Race, Equity and Social Justice (International City/County Management Association)
A microaggression is an action, statement, or behavior that communicates derogatory messages to a person or group of people that may be subtle or concealed in everyday language. When relevant to coverage, explaining how microaggressions can manifest, and the negative effects they can have, adds essential context for audiences.