Culture

Princeton Students Set Up Microaggression-Reporting Service

Princeton students traverse their microaggression-laden campus.
Anything can be a microagression because “there are no objective definitions to words and phrases.”

Princeton University students recently launched “Tiger Microaggressions,” a service that takes other students’ reports of microaggressions and publishes them on its Facebook page — so that no one has to “carry the burden alone to call out ” offenses against political correctness. 

“If you witness a microaggression and would like us to put it on blast, submit your experience,” encourages the page, which, by the way, also refers to microaggressions as “papercuts of oppression,” which are “so small but slice deep.”

Most of the page’s posts are screenshots from a social-media app called Yik Yak, which allows users to make anonymous posts (called “Yaks”) to a live feed that other people in the area can see.

According to the operators, “microaggressions are all around us” and anything can be a microaggression because “there are no objective definitions to words and phrases.”

“The perspective and lived experiences of each individual contextualizes the world around them and thus places a particular meaning in words based on their distinct subjectivity,” they explain. “What counts as harmless banter to some may be emotionally triggering to others.”

A “like” on any of the page’s posts is considered an “act of solidarity” against whatever “racist/anti-black/sexist/classist/transphobic/transmisogynistic/ableist/homophobic/et cetera content that warranted a post to this page.”

Some of the featured posts are incredibly offensive — better classified as blatant racism than “microaggressions.” But others, not so much.

For example, this Yak:

“We need to start charging the squirrels tuition because they are going here and not even contributing anything other than their hostilities towards the students.”

One Princeton University student named Zeena Mubarak wrote a piece for the Daily Princetonian pointing out that putting seemingly innocuous posts next to clearly offensive, racist ones trivializes the latter.

“As a minority student on campus, I do want people to be aware of my experience and the things that can make students like me feel unwelcome,” Mubarak writes. “However, I do not want these concerns showcased alongside harmless jokes as though the two are in any way comparable.”

“Tiger Microaggressions” was originally created last summer and relaunched on December 5.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.

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