Readers React

'Where are you from' is microaggression? Grow up, college students

To the editor: I agree with Cal State Los Angeles sociologist Bradley Campbell's logic that focusing on microaggression will make us see ourselves as victims instead of strong individuals who can withstand teasing and genuine questions. A simple question about your family's history or a culturally themed party — both what some people say are everyday, harmful slights that count as microaggression — should not move someone to self-pity and to make wild accusations of racism. ("College students confront subtler forms of bias: slights and snubs," Nov. 12)

Perhaps those who feel victimized should instead feel appreciated that people are interested in their culture. I don't see anyone whining about St. Patrick's Day being celebrated by non-Irish Americans. America is indeed a melting pot of cultures, contrary to what the microaggression-sensitive would say. If it wasn't, this country would not have progressed as much as it has.

All people, not just minorities, are bound to be insulted multiple times in their lives. College students should be able to differentiate between actual aggression and casual comments.

Deborah Lau, Costa Mesa

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To the editor: Any student of recent history will see that the concern about microaggression is a mere speed bump on the road to a perfect, progressive world.

I say we jump right to the next logical step: ridding the world (or at least colleges) of nanoaggression. Like the microaggressor, the nanoaggressor may not even be aware that aggression is taking place; failure to smile at a person of color is an example of such inadvertent, aggressive behavior.

There is no telling what damaging effects nanoaggression can have decades hence, so we'd best get rid of it now.

Jim Tanksley, Lancaster

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To the editor: I used to think lawyers and politicians were ruining the country, but it looks like sociologists are giving them a run for their money.

Jim Stein, Redondo Beach

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