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Discussion Topics

Microaggressions

Definition: “Racial microaggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults towards people of color.” Those who inflict racial microaggressions are often unaware that they have done anything to harm another person.

Source: Sue, D.W., Capodilupo, C., Torino, G, Bucceri, J., Holder, A., Nadal, K., & Equin, M. (2007). Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Implications for Clinical Practice. The American Psychologist , 62 (4) 271-286.

Media Links and Discussion

Each of the following topics includes a link to a piece of media and discussion questions that can be used in discussion.

Indians Don't Talk Like That

Audience: Grades Pre K-5
Goals/Learning Outcomes: Children will learn the definition of and how to disprove a stereotype
Discussion questions: If class types permit, after watching the clip, have students break into groups of two and discuss the following:

  1. How to "Indians" of "Black People" talk?
  2. Is your answer a stereotype?
  3. How can you change it?

Unintentional Prejudice Revealed

“It’s the little things like making false assumptions that keep us at odds with others and create tensions between races. Everyday interactions can be aggressive, irritating, or easily misinterpreted.”

Audience: High school through adult
Goals/Learning Outcomes: Provides helpful examples of racial microagressions


Archie Bunker Meets Sammy Davis, Jr.

Audience: Middle School through Adults
Content:

  • (4:05 – 4:55) On Archie - “But he’s not a bad guy Mr. Davis, I mean he would never burn a cross on your lawn.” Lionel “Naw, but if he saw one burning, he’s liable to toast a marshmallow on it.” Sammy Davis, Jr.
  • (7:25 – 9:10) What makes someone prejudiced? “Now look at me, do you figure me for prejudice?” Sammy Davis, Jr. goes on to answer by highlighting some of Archie’s implicit racist behaviors
Discussion questions:

  1. What are examples of microaggressions exhibited by Archie Bunker?
  2. How do you think Archie's words and behavior impacted Sammy?
  3. How do you think similar behavior impacts African Americans in the real world?
  4. What are examples of what you could say or do to confront such behaviors?
  5. Have you ever witnessed or been at the receiving end of such behaviors? How did it make you or the other person feel?
  6. What can be done to stop such behaviors?