The Corner

If I Only Commit a ‘Microaggression,’ I’ve Underachieved

If it wasn’t clear before, it should be clear now: There is a segment of the population that will interpret virtually any form of communication from the “wrong” people as offensive or provocative.

The concept, well known by now, is that life is full of “microaggressions” against the marginalized, and the most innocuous of comments can be the basis for claiming offense. Peruse the examples at microaggressions.com, and it’s hard not to laugh (one example of a “microaggression?” A mother, aunt, and grandmother asking a young woman if she’s “met any nice boys.”) In fact, I had to check it twice to make sure that I wasn’t being fooled by an Onion-style parody site. I’m still not completely convinced.

For conservatives, the very existence of “microaggressions” should be clarifying and liberating. For years, I’ve been berated by fellow Christians, claiming that if only I were more “winsome” or communicated differently, then — what? — legions of people would fall down at the foot of the Cross? The faculty at Oberlin would join the rope line at a Ted Cruz rally? Now I’m told that even my body language or my friendly greetings can be basis for public complaint.

In fact, however, for a certain segment of the population there is literally nothing you can say — and no way you can say it–that won’t offend. Unless, of course, you capitulate to their views.

So, Christians and conservatives, be free. Speak your beliefs and live your values with grace — because that’s right — but also with conviction and fearlessness. After all, one man’s “microaggression” could well be tonic to another man’s wounded soul.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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