These 7 Microaggressions Could Ruin Someone’s Day

Examine everyday racial and religious biases with these Look Different spots.

Imagine that it’s 8:30 a.m., and you’re already having the best day ever. The sun is shining, the humidity is near-nonexistent, and you’ve even found a forgotten $20 bill in your pants pocket. The stars are literally aligning in your favor, and then — BLAM! — someone runs past you and accidentally knocks you to the ground. You dust yourself off, and continue through your day as if it never happened. Only, it did happen, and even though you’ll probably forget about it, that one moment of inexplicable insensitivity has spoiled what was otherwise shaping up to be a pretty much perfect day.

Now imagine that happening over and over and over again.

That’s what a microaggression — a brief and commonplace statement or action motivated by conscious or subconscious bias — feels like.

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And over time, they get harder to brush off. MTV’s Look Different campaign found that over time: “[microaggressions] have been found to affect the mental and physical health of recipients, create a hostile work or campus environment, lower work productivity and problem solving abilities, and be partially responsible for creating systemic inequities.”

Not to get all “Schoolhouse Rock,” but knowledge really is power, and educating yourself is an effective way to combat the underlying ignorance that often leads to such intentionally prejudiced actions and statements. Watch these seven “Broken Glass” spots below — each one acting out a different scenario involving an everyday racial or religious microaggression — and try to recognize how you can break that cycle of bias.

1. “I can’t tell Asians apart.”

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