Wednesday, November 27, 2013

“But You Speak So Well”: How Latinos Experience Subtle Racism


Silvia L. Mazzula, Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY) and President-Elect of the Latino Psychological Association of New Jersey, writes about microaggressions on atina/os.  Last month marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and across the U.S., many Americans proclaimed that Dr. King’s dream had indeed come true. Perhaps many people believe this because overt acts of racism aren’t as common and are typically frowned upon. However, covert forms of racism are all too common. These more subtle forms of racism are called “microaggressions” and communicate hostile and racial insults. Microaggressions are things said or done – many times unconsciously – that reflect a person’s inner thinking, stereotypes and prejudices. They are difficult to recognize because they are brief, innocuous, and often difficult to see. Why are they important to talk about? Because microaggressions are pervasive and have a detrimental impact on people’s psychological and physiological well-being.


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