“Microaggression” is the newest label the establishment, elites and educated have given to anything that a normal person says or does that offends them. It is a brilliant use of language along the lines of substituting the word “choice” for being pro-abortion. Anyone who opposes abortion now has to fight off the accusation of being something inherently anti-American; being against freedom to choose. Americans are inherently laid back too. This may not be obvious on its surface, but it is true. We are the people who aggressively pursue innovation and achievement, but we are also the people who are keenly aware of pushiness and rudeness. Calling someone “aggressive” in anything other than a sports or business environment is saying something about them is really wrong. The effect of calling an action a Micro Aggression is two-fold; it makes you stop in your tracks because no one wants to be a jerk (the commoners term for an overly aggressive person from the highway to the office building to Wal-Mart) AND it makes you second guess every action because the jerkiness might be so small that only a microscope could see it! You see how great a word microcaggression is? Americans are so sensitive to being called a jerk that we are afraid to leave the possibility that even the tiniest part of our lives can rightfully be pointed out as jerky.
The really funny (and by this I mean completely odd and off-putting and out of place and ironic) thing is that the people who are laying this new label on normal people are aggressively aggressive and jerky about anything that disturbs their plastic banana, phony baloney, good time rock and roll lives. And since they are inherently disturbed there is no and will be no end to microaggressions. They will always be able to build a new, more powerful electron microscope enabling them to see how offensive the world is. Building a better microscope is not building a better life; not for the offended, who become more and more over sensitized, and not for the offenders who become more and more paralyzed. We need a better answer than a label. We need to bring an end to being offended altogether; if we don’t we will all become jerks.
The way to get rid of jerks is to ignore them. We used to know this. We also used to know that giving the time of day to a jerk was the pathway to becoming a jerk ourselves. Sticks and stones really were the things we needed to worry about, not names. Names could never hurt us. But we lost our name. This is the inevitable consequence of a godless world. By godless I am not railing like the church lady against the prevalence of “sin.” I really mean the absence of god. The more we exclude god from our collective consciousness, the more we lose our identities. Or I should say, the more we reject god and all the existence of god implies, the more we must become the creators of our own identity – we must make names for ourselves. We lose the sense of givenness and begin the struggle for self-definition. The reason the sight of a confederate flag became intolerable last year wasn’t because we’ve grown more as a people, it is because we’ve shrunk. Our identities are not strong enough to minimize that symbol to fit snugly in the dustbin of history where it belongs. Now we must be protected from a flag. Our name is too small to handle it.
What would happen if all of us became acutely aware of an identity that was so real and so permanent and so good that no words flung at us could stick to us and no deeds aimed at making us feel small could put a dent in us?? And what if no one could take away that name? That would be cool. That would mean we could not be offended any more by anyone. How could we be? Our good and higher name would immediately squash the lesser names. Our good and higher identity would crush the acts of the bullies and leave them impotent. The answer to microaggression is to have a name. We have to quit being jerked around by every name that comes our way; by every deed that seems to minimize our personality. If only we had someone who would give us this kind of name. If only someone could reach high enough to make this true. If only we had a god who would do this for us… If only.