Maybe I’m old, not hip or just not a politically correct liberal, but I first heard the word “micro-aggression” a couple months ago when my husband came home from a meeting with some college students and asked if I had ever heard the term. He hadn’t either until then, and got quite a conservative chuckle out of it. Since then, we have heard it bantered about quite a lot by the PC crowd. Basically, any affront to your gentle liberal sensibilities by another (usually a dolt or a conservative) is an act of micro-aggression. For example, the University President who said that “all lives matter” instead of the politically correct “black lives matter” committed a micro-aggression against people of color. And since aggressions, large or small, are taboo, and apparently the First Amendment (or is it the First Commandment?) has been reinterpreted to mean that “You shall not be offended/annoyed/slighted or get your panties in a twist, ever, by anybody”, micro-aggressions are NOT COOL.
So last week, I was in the Green Room before an appearance on the Thom Hartmann Show (a delightful, however misguided leftie who has a radio show and a TV show on the RT – Russia Today – network. I won’t be offended if you have never heard of it, although it does have a small cult following by certain members of the US Military who are tasked with monitoring what the crazies do and say.) My co-conservative panelist was there, as were his daughter, a friend and two RT employees. The RT folks (we didn’t know them) were talking about how awful, of course, American Sniper was and the US Military and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, blah, blah, blah. You know, . . . the usual.
The conservative guest politely chimed in with his thoughts about the US Military (worthy of support and thanks) and the wars in general (we can’t really pass judgment unless we were there, etc.) Well, the liberals about passed out! The discussion got a little heated, but Mr. Conservative was enjoying it – that IS what we go on Thom Hartmann to do. After a few minutes of slightly raised voices and the appearance of some lefty reinforcements, the show’s producer came in and told the RT folks to settle down. They all left in a huff, and we thought, “That was fun!” A good warm up for the Lone LIberal Rumble to come.
Well. the producer of the show came back in and wanted to know “how that all started.” He was very upset that RT employees would attack Thom’s guests like that. “You mean, they committed a micro-aggression on us?” I asked.
“Yes! Good use of the liberal term, Kris!” I was told. The other conservative and I laughed – we were fine, we assured him.
“I didn’t know that conservatives COULD be victims of a micro-aggression,” I replied, “I thought we could only be the perpetrators.”
While I agree that generally it is a bad idea to “verbally attack” guests of a TV show in the Green Room, neither I nor the other conservative felt attacked. We thought we were having a voluntary conversation with people who held different opinions. I thought it was pretty tacky of them to huff off when they clearly were not going to change our minds, but hey, its a free country. We go on that show – on that Network – because we believe that even the most committed liberals can benefit from at least hearing what others think. If we didn’t, we would sit at home and talk only to our like-minded friends.
So the good news is . . . I survived my first micro-aggression! I’m sure it won’t be my last.