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Penn State Asks Students To Report ‘Microaggressions.’ What The Hell Are Microaggressions?

By  Pardes Seleh

Administrators at Pennsylvania State University are now requiring students to report any intentional or unintentional language with potentially racist undertones, or “microaggressions,” to campus officials, according to Michael McGrady at the College Fix.

“There is no place for hate, overt or subtle, at Penn State – such actions do not represent our mutually held values,” Eric Barron, president of Penn State, wrote in a letter to the university. “Any violence that causes physical or emotional harm to any individual harms our entire community, too.”

In order to counter the “violence”, the university set up a Report Bias system under Penn State’s Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity. The Report Bias system encourages students to fill out a “web form for reporting acts of hate or intolerance that occur at Penn State.”

Students and affiliates are also encouraged to call the school’s Affirmative Action Office if they notice any such intolerance. The following image, one of 1,000 images distributed on and around the Penn State campus, was also associated with the recent campaign to report acts of intolerance:

Lisa Powers, director of strategic communications at Penn State, explained in an email to McGrady that “an act of intolerance can be identified as any forms of microaggressions, verbal assaults, and/or racial subjugation.”

What the hell are microaggressions? If universities can legally punish acts as slight as wearing a Mexican sombrero or hipster baggy pants because of “cultural appropriation” or “racist undertones,” where does the line defining microaggressions end?

Interestingly, Penn State has an entire course focused on exploring this idiocy. The course, called Subtle Slights: Understanding the Impact of Unconscious Bias and Microaggressions, defines microaggressions as “unspoken, often unrecognized “little things” that foster sentiments and attitudes of inequity and incivility.”

The course aims to assist students in defining and identifying a microaggression when they see one and use that skill to “remedy instances of potential or perceived incivility” and “overcome those barriers.”

The University of California was kind enough to provide the following examples of microaggressive behavior and many more, in a list of guidelines published last summer:

Where are you from or where were you born?

According to UC president Janet Napolitano, this is really another way of assuming the person being spoken to is “not a true American.”

You speak English very well.

How dare you compliment people on their language skills!

What are you? You’re so interesting looking!

You disgusting person, commenting on people’s appearances. We’ve got Vogue and People Magazine for that.

You are a credit to your race.


Wow! How did you become so good in math?

You literally just implied the person is Asian, you fool.

When I look at you, I don’t see color.

Is my makeup that bad?

There is only one race, the human race.

Stop discriminating against other mammals, you anthropocentric bigot.

America is a melting pot.

Not when we socialists are in power.

America is the land of opportunity.

That is an incredibly oppressive colonialist statement. Wash your mouth with soap. Now.

“Any violence that causes physical or emotional harm to any individual harms our entire community, too.”

Eric Barron, president of Penn State

Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.

Again, we the socialists.

Affirmative action is racist.

Of course it is. But you’re white, so shut up.

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