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Photo taken from deck of Warren's home.

Did I Micro Aggress?

Yesterday, I was walking home from the clinic after having dropped off a “specimen” from my wife and I encountered three people coming the opposite direction on the narrow sidewalk. There were two Navajo young men (late teens – early 20s) followed by a younger girl. I stepped off the curb, giving them the sidewalk out of courtesy and we exchanged ‘Good morning” greetings as we passed. Ought to be routine, right?

No sooner had I stepped back onto the sidewalk than I wondered…, in this hypersensitive environment that is American society today, did I just insult them? Did I micro aggress through an act of courtesy? As when a non-black crosses the street to avoid a group of young black men coming his/her way, did I just signal to these people that I feared them and stepped off the sidewalk to avoid a confrontation?

I guess it all depends on them; if it offended them, then my courtesy was “racist” and if it didn’t offend them, then it wasn’t racist.

I really hate what political correctness and racial hypersensitivity is doing to this country.

On balance, I have to figure they did not take it the wrong way as I was just getting ready to “Good morning” them when one of them beat me to it. Following my returned greeting, the other young man did the same, so we actually exchanged “Good morning” twice. I’m taking that courtesy on their part as a good sign.

Unless, of course, they said “Good morning” only to assure me that they meant no harm after I ¬†stepped off the sidewalk, clearly out of fear. In which case, I may have in fact offended them and the greetings were strictly to assuage my perceived racially-motivated fear.

That a simple act of courtesy could be taken as offensive  Рand the fact that I have to worry whether an exchange of pleasantries may have been due to a micro-aggression on my part, is a measure of how dysfunctional we are becoming as a society.

Next time, I’ll just cross the street and avoid them.

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