“You must have been through some hardships growing up.” The moment I heard a graduate professor utter those words, I felt unease. At the time, I didn’t know why, but I knew his statement didn’t sit well with me. It wasn’t until I saw the term “microaggression” floating around (and watching the horror look at some of my friends as I relayed the things he said) that I knew it was more common than I’d realized.
While recent events have pushed many to learn about white privilege, inclusive language, code switching and what All Lives Matter really means, it also opened up a bigger discussion on how we all can be more mindful about implicit bias (or how to respond to it when it's geared towards us). But first, we need to start by breaking down what it means: