Letters to the Editor

Cuesta College event on microagressions is misunderstood

Cuesta College
Cuesta College jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Roger D. Randall, who wrote a letter to the editor (“Teach Cuesta students to be critical thinkers, not to think of themselves as victims,”) claiming the Aug. 17 event at Cuesta College is meant to get students to view themselves as victims, misunderstands the event. The Viewpoint by Que Dang and Deborah Wulff explained the event is for employers and educators who are responsible for creating a discrimination-free environment.

Randall values critical thinking. Well, this event is exactly that. I encourage Randall to attend the event, to learn this: When we notice subtle discrimination and its harmful effects, and change our behavior to be more kind to all people, that is the most important form of critical thinking — and it is empowering, not victimizing — and that is what this event is about.

For example: When you ask an Asian-American, “No, where are you really from?” such a question implies that you think this person could not actually be American in the same way you are, an insulting and ignorant stereotype.

It’s one thing to be presumed to be totally American and choose to share your family history. It’s another to be totally American yet presumed to be foreign. Practice humility: Do not presume to know how minorities feel if you haven’t been in those shoes yourself.

Allen Dailey, San Luis Obispo