Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Practicing Awareness of Microaggressions

I chose this picture because it speaks volumes to the psychological affects of microaggression.  This young person has the appearance of hurt and defeat; feelings people experience after an encounter with the ugly face of microagression.

It is ironic that this week’s entry deals with discussing a micro aggression I have detected.  Yesterday,  while on a trip to the store with some of my colleagues, the driver of the van made some statements that were very condescending toward a passenger in the van.  There was a woman that brought her husband and son with her to a conference and was told that there would be a fee per day for them to eat since they were not on the roster. While some of his points were correct, he expressed these ideas in a discourteous manner.  He could have definitively handled the situation with more class, allowing himself and the offended party to exit the disagreement without feeling dis empowered. The scenario is appropriate to our discourse because the man was of the "dominant" culture and the family was of Middle Eastern descent and their son had severe challenges.
As I watched the events unfold, I felt embarrassed for the individual and also disappointed in the person delivering the harsh words.  It reminded me of Dr. Wing Sue when he spoke about insulting messages and how this “often cause severe psychological stress and harm.” (Walden, 2011).  This experience definitely made me realize that, with all the best intention, if you do not speak kindly to others and choose the words you convey, the other person can be negatively affected in the end. I also realized that, while many in society want to deny or ignore it, racism, discrimination, prejudice and/or stereotypes are still very much alive and active.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Perspectives on Diversity and Culture

This was a very interesting assignment.  I asked many of my friends, family, and colleagues to answer the two questions and received lots of feedback.  When I asked the questions it was interesting to find that many of them were a little nervous to answer for fear of sounding ‘silly” or “stupid”.  I realized that even in those responses, there was the answer to the questions I posed because when they finally answered them; I found most people had the same ideas about culture and diversity. With this in mind, I told them to answer the questions with their own definition and not to look to the dictionary for the answers. The results I gathered were fascinating. 

Everyone had the same sentiments concerning culture. They may have expressed them in different ways, but everyone concluded that culture had to do with traditions, customs, practices (some religious others having to do with region), and most often norms and values were mentioned.  Some believed culture to be fluid and not stagnant. That culture, although the basis remains the same, its extensions are flexible and kind infuse and become new and refreshed.

Diversity was pretty much the same; many people had the same idea, just different ways of explaining it.  Diversity is thought to be the existence of subcultures and has a lot to do with race, ethnicity, and ideas that allow the world to have its “personality”.  It is believed by interviewees that diversity goes beyond people, but that diversity is all about differences and acceptance.

I was very intrigued by the answers I received. From ages 19- 60’s, everyone have a shared idea of culture and diversity.  Each person touched on all aspects of culture we have discussed and learned about thus far. I was pretty impressed by the answers I received.  Everyone had the overall idea of culture and diversity superseding what is seen, although it is necessary to acknowledge those tangible things in order to understand and appreciate each concept. It was an eye-opening experience and I felt proud to know that the people I choose to surround myself with value others’ cultures and the world’s diversity.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Family Culture

A description of the three items you would choose

I would take a framed calligraphy drawing of God’s name.  It was painted by a very kind and pious man who seems to have a close relationship to God.
I would piece of each of my children’s infant clothes in a small sack.
 I would take a photograph of my family.

How you would explain to others what each of these items means to you?

I would just explain that these are the most important things I was able to carry with me.  I brought them because I want physical reminders of my life before this terrible event.

Your feelings if, upon arrival, you were told that you could only keep one personal item and have to give up the other two items you brought with you

My honest feelings would not be feelings of sadness for the items because they are only material things and my family and spirituality is in my heart.  I would, however, feel a sense of violation and sadness because I have lost my rights to privacy and general human rights.

Any insights you gained about yourself, your family culture, diversity, and/or cultural differences in general, as a result of this exercise,

This exercise just reinforces my feelings of the importance of memories as opposed to material possessions. We can always have and lost material things, but memories and experiences stay wit us for a lifetime.