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Intrusions: Daily Impact of Micro-Aggressions

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

He is alive in all the ways one can be alive. He throws his head back when he laughs. Its melody is contagious and suspiciously carefree. He gesticulates with his hands when he speaks. He leans in when you speak. He calls his parents on Sunday and worries about his little sister’s safety when she travels. He participates in text threads and calls when it’s serious.


Should his race matter? Does it matter to the cops that circle the block another time as he jogs through his neighborhood. Do they know he has worked and saved with his wife for 7 years to afford the downpayment on his home?


His wife takes the lead on the finances and he loves that about her, most days. They met on a dating app. One month in, he deleted the app but didn’t tell her because he wanted to “play it cool”. They went dancing on their third date and between the sway of her hips and her mouthing Pharoahe Monch lyrics, his heart almost lost its rhythm. They wait up for each other every night so neither goes to bed alone. They argue about chores and she’s known for her silent treatment, inherited from her mother. They were excited and nervous about hosting their first summer bbq.


Should it matter what race they are? Does it matter to the hotel clerk who asks for additional identification when they check in? She didn’t ask the people before them or the people after them. Does this clerk know they are celebrating their first pregnancy and he’s organized this trip to help her relax. Relax, pull away, stay present.


She is soft spoken and seduces listeners to move in closer when she speaks. She is pensive and chooses her words carefully, never rushed. She devours books and loses herself in thought. She exchanges recipes with her mother and grandmother. She never forgets her friends’ birthdates.


Should her race matter? Does it matter to the doctor who speaks over her questions about the pain in her stomach? She softly hums to herself I have dreams to remember/I’ve got dreams/yeah dreams to remember/help me out. He squeezes her hand when he notices her tension. He repeats her questions to the doctor.


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