Far be it from me, a privileged white man, to define "black eye" as a racist microaggression. The sensitivity police, who find racism, trigger warnings and hate speech everywhere, somehow have missed this one. Here I've beaten them to the punch.
For the uninitiated, microgressions are:
... the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.
Hence, clapping is a microaggression because it might make deaf people feel excluded and expecting people to be on time could offend because some cultures consider time to be “fluid." Yes, pretty ridiculous, as so many microaggressions are.
So why isn't "black eye" a microaggression? Black has a load of negative meanings: Blackmail, black mark, black market, blackball, black sheep, black market and black hat. The pot calling the kettle black. We wear black, not white, to funerals. And the worst, "black death," the catastrophic plaque that killed 50 million people or 60 per cent of Europe’s entire population, in the 14th century
So I was flabbergasted when I heard a black man use "black eye" to point to something bad.
Mike Espy, a Democrat running for a U.S. Senate seat from Mississippi claimed that his Republican rival and incumbent Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith was giving the state a "black eye" by using a "racist" comment that confirms the worst stereotypes about Mississippi. He referred to her saying that she thought so highly of a supporter that she would join him at a "public handing." In other words, she supposedly was reinforcing an old stereotype of Mississippi as a hotbed of lynchings. (The two have a runoff election tomorrow, Nov 27.)
I don't know who gets to define something as a microaggression. They seem to pop up unexpectedly and without warning. It's as if an anonymous Grand Poobah has issued an edict in secret that only becomes widely known when the masses leap on an unsuspecting victim who didn't know that he had broken the law.
So far, my browser fails to identify "black eye" as a racist microaggression. But now that I've mentioned it, who knows?
(In case you're wondering, I'm not for labeling "black eye" a racist microaggression. I'm hoping that by mentioning it first, I'm cutting it off at the pass.)