a student-run publication that seeks to provide space for voices that are not being heard on our campus. we are grounded by politics that are radical, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-classist, anti-homophobic, anti-ableist, and anti-transphobic (against all forms of oppression) and that reject the structural neo-liberal paradigm that characterizes middlebury college and its official publications
by Diku R. @dikoolaid
*may be relevant to all POCs. Results may vary depending on the day, gender, sexuality, microaggressor, and person.
1. You will be lost for words when microaggressions happen to you, although they happen all the time. Although you guessed it was going to happen before you even opened your mouth. Although you talk all the time about what you would do in these situations- face it- you will still be lost for words.
2. You will have no other word to call these instances except “consequences”. Not because you did anything wrong. But because certain people feel that your existence, your success, your skin has wronged them. Therefore they make you suffer with false accusations, broad generalizations, and usually straight up bullsh*t.
3. You are welcomed into certain areas with open arms and fake smiles. This gives you the false sense of security, of belonging, of blending in. This makes it even more difficult when you are confronted with said microaggressions in number 1.
4. You will be stared at. A lot.
5. You will look for comfort in others who look like you. Sometimes that makes you feel even more isolated than before.
6. You will have to defend yourself in battle with the only weapons you know- your words. You will have to use these weapons when the person you’re talking to across the counter thinks that you are not prepared for
7. Your armor, your tough skin, your laughter, your sanity will be tested and beat down. But you will get used to it and consider it as “just one of those things”.
8. You will expect to receive horrible, accusatory customer service. You will expect the person across the counter to think there is nothing wrong with the product you are returning, because how dare you not be satisfied with what massa generously provided to you- although you spent your hard earned money on it.
9. You will occasionally test those who try to test you. You will go up to the cashier who looked away when he saw you coming. You will respond to his generic “how are you” with an even more generic, “I’m good. How are you?” Even though you are not good. Even though you are tired. Even though you wish to say, “I was fine until your colleague just treated me like sh*t”.
10. You will continue to smile in the face of adversity. Because you were taught how to smile, because you are expected to smile through the pain. Because if you don’t smile, you create a wound. And there are enough wounded soldiers in this battle. Not to mention the amount of casualties. So you smile, and dust off your armor, and prepare for your next battle. It may be in the classroom, on the street, in a restaurant, or in your own room.
But you will dust off your armor and move on.
If anyone is interested in more, follow Diku’s study abroad blog at https://bktotheuk.wordpress.com/