The weight of racial micro-agressions

During our 4 day trauma healing training, we had some discussion about the trauma experienced in the form of ongoing racism. It wasn’t a big portion of our training but certainly sparked some strong feelings. And rightly so. Those of us who live in a world of white privilege have trouble really comprehending what it is like to be stopped DWB (driving while Black) or other micro-aggressions where a person is stereotyped in subtle but powerful ways.

You might find Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s interview on Fresh Air pertinent to this topic (link here). About 20:10 into the interview (you can fast forward), he is asked, “When did you realize you had a gift communicating to people about science?”

Now, on the surface, you would likely agree with the interviewer. DeGrasse Tyson is a talented communicator and makes it   understand very difficult and complex physics concept.  But notice how DeGrasse Tyson responds. You might think he is over-sensitive but listen on. If you remember both Larry Bird and Michael Jordan, do you agree that this difference (Bird as a student of the game vs. the natural talent of Jordan) is the result of racial stereotypes?

Imagine living with constant surprise that you are a smart and hardworking individual.

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