The New School Issues Guide On Microaggressions, Including Use Of Small Seats Or Sitting Away From Homeless People

imagesI have been a long critic of the erosion of free speech on college campuses and the use of the ill-defined concept of “micro aggressions” to sanction students and faculty alike.   Those concerns were magnified with the release of a guide by The New School, a university in New York City, on avoiding microaggressions.  There are now a variety of such aggressions from “microinsults” to “microassaults” to “microinvalidation.”  Microaggressions can now include having seats that are deemed too small or sitting too far from a homeless person on the subway.

Microaggressions as “brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or not, that communicate a hostile, derogatory, or negative slight or insult toward a targeted group.”  We have discussed that ambiguous standard before, including at a school where the failure to maintain eye contact has been defined as a microaggression.


A microassault is defined as “explicit degradation characterized primarily by a violent verbal or nonverbal attack meant to hurt the intended victim through name-calling, avoidant behavior, or purposeful discriminatory actions.”  This includes “getting onto a subway car and sitting as far as possible from a black man, a homeless person, etc.”

However, there is hope if you come forward and address your microaggressions.  The manual says “Congratulations! You realized that you microaggressed” and suggested redemptive steps.

My problem with this new array of improper language and actions is that they are highly ambiguous and often depend on how they are received as opposed to how they are intended.  There are valid concerns about language that insults or demeans others.  However, microaggression rules are now being used to continue the crackdown on free speech on our campuses.  What someone considers insulting can vary widely and the notion that students need to be actively protected from any slight can have an impact on the educational environment and mission. No one wants to appear insensitive or someone who has “microaggressed.”  So, most faculty have remained silent as these nebulous rules are promulgated and enforced.  As these rules spread, more and more language is being denounced as microaggressive and we now see the expansion of proscribed language into areas of “microinsults,” “microassaults,” and “microinvalidation.”

Here is the manual.

82 thoughts on “The New School Issues Guide On Microaggressions, Including Use Of Small Seats Or Sitting Away From Homeless People”

  1. “I have been a long critic of the erosion of free speech…”

    – Prof. Turley

    “Erosion” is treason and the perpetrators must have been prosecuted. The penalty for “high treason” in England until 1870 was “drawing and quartering.” The English took it seriously.

    Perpetrators of “erosion” of the Constitution on college campuses and throughout society must be “re-educated” on American governance, with emphasis on the fact that they are engaged in subversion.

    A nation and its constitution cannot persist without vigorous implementation of law and order.

    Americans used to laugh at Pravda, Izvestia and the “political officers” of the communist police state in the USSR.

    Who’s laughing now?

  2. Joey cut an arFay in class and it was heard. Not a fart. But an artFay. An artFay is a piglatin fart.
    This is a micro of a real fart. Lessons need to be learned.

  3. My problem with this new array of improper language and actions is that they are highly ambiguous and often depend on how they are received as opposed to how they are intended. There are valid concerns about language that insults or demeans others. However, microaggression rules are now being used to continue the crackdown on free speech on our campuses.

    The whole point is to manufacture ‘offenses’ so administrators can harass and punish students they do not care for.

    So, most faculty have remained silent as these nebulous rules are promulgated and enforced.

    Of course they are silent. Making a case for the sort of people harassed with these instruments is status-lowering for faculty. Faculty are nothing if not other-directed and status conscious.

    And you’re assuming progressives have a fixed set of ethical principles which they apply. All they really have are improvisations which they apply to justify harassing and abusing people who are not part of the tribe.

  4. Here’s a wonderful excerpt from a Howie Carr article about “micro”aggression as he lectures the Left about inventive terminology:

    𝘓𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘊 𝘫𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘰𝘯. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘦𝘸 𝘠𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘛𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘠𝘢𝘭𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘺 𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 “𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘏𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘤𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘮𝘦𝘴.” 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘌𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘩 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 “𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘷𝘦” 𝘪𝘴 “𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘰𝘭.” 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘩é 𝘥𝘶 𝘫𝘰𝘶𝘳 “𝘮𝘪𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘨𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯” 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘰𝘭𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘉𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘦 𝘚𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘷𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴. 𝘔𝘪𝘤𝘳𝘰 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘰 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘥𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘰𝘳 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘺, 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘭. 𝘈𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘛𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘦𝘶𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘮: “𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵.” 𝘖𝘧𝘧 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘶𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘺𝘯𝘰𝘯𝘺𝘮 𝘧𝘰𝘳 “𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘵𝘭𝘦” 𝘪𝘴 “𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵.

    However, my favorite quote might be this one about the significant other of “Get Some Muscle Over Here” Missouri Prof. Melissa Click, Chip Callahan, whom Howie thinks needs a serious re-branding:

    𝘓𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘺 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘴. “𝘋𝘳. 𝘊𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘬” 𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘬𝘢𝘺 – 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝘑𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘉𝘰𝘯𝘥 𝘷𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘪𝘯. 𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘶𝘺 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘥𝘭𝘺 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘧𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘰𝘳 – 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘱 𝘊𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘩𝘢𝘯. 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘱? 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘬𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘢𝘣𝘦 𝘬𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨-𝘵𝘩𝘦-𝘢𝘴𝘴-𝘰𝘧-𝘵𝘩𝘦-𝘳𝘶𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨-𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘨𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 “𝘗𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘰𝘯.” 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘱 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘔𝘺 𝘛𝘩𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘚𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘣𝘶𝘳𝘰. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘋𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘰𝘯 𝘛𝘳𝘶𝘮𝘣𝘰’𝘴 𝘧𝘢𝘷𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘴𝘴 𝘮𝘶𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘑𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘧 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘯, 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘉𝘶𝘻𝘻 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘯. 𝘌𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘢 𝘸𝘪𝘮𝘱 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘚𝘢𝘮 𝘎𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘻𝘦𝘥 𝘩𝘦’𝘥 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘞𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘵 𝘈𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢 𝘪𝘧 𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 “𝘚𝘢𝘮 𝘔𝘦𝘭𝘷𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦,” 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘔𝘰𝘣𝘺 𝘋𝘪𝘤𝘬 𝘢𝘪𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨. 𝘏𝘦𝘺 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘱, 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵… 𝘐𝘴𝘩𝘮𝘢𝘦𝘭 𝘊𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘩𝘢𝘯? 𝘈𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘗𝘢𝘺𝘵𝘰𝘯 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘥 – 𝘥𝘰 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘭𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘯𝘰𝘯-𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘨𝘢𝘺 𝘨𝘶𝘺?

    The whole article is hilariously poignant and I commend it to you. It’s entitled “Trigger Warning: Pablum Puking Pajama Boys Should Shut the Bleep Up”:

    1. Great piece, mespo. Thanks. Do you think they teach Orwell anymore in school? I don’t see how they could. We read Animal Farm my jr. year in high school, 1984 my sr. year.

      Bob Kerrey was President of the New School for about 10 years.

  5. The New School for Social Research is a private institution and hardly pretends to be anything but what it is, which is a collecting pool of red-haze sludge. Principles of freedom-of-contract and freedom-of-association being what they are, its not a matter of more than mild public concern. Here is the proper policy response:

    1. Stop subsidizing private higher education. Tuition, room-and-board charges, donations, and endowment income should finance these schools. Loans contracted to pay tuition and room-and-board should be serviced at (non-usurious) market rates and should be attended by moderately elevated creditor protection in bankruptcy proceedings.

    2. Insist that its board of trustees be of a manageable number (say, 11); that all trustees be elected at the same point in a quadrennial cycle (say, the year before a federal presidential election), that candidate registration and ballot tabluation be conducted by the New York State Board of Elections, that the eligible electorate be any New School degree holder registered to vote in the State of New York, and that the eligible candidates for trustee be any living New School degree-holder not incarcerated, on probation, on parole, or under an order of guardianship. Candidates could register with the state board by paying a low-four-digit deposit and dropping off a 600 word statement of candidacy. The board would assemble the statements into a prospectus to be mailed to each eligible voter. The state board would also print the ballots. There would not be a single stereotype. Rather, there would be as many stereotypes as eiigible candidates, with each candidate having an equal change to occupy a given slot in the ballot order. This can be achieved by drawing names at random and placing them on a daisy-wheel. To construct a stereotype, pick one name for the first position and then move counter-clockwise around the wheel to fill all the other positions. Print equal numbers of each stereotype and mail ’em out. The voter would be instructed to rank-order his choices; the ballots would be tabulated according to the conventions of the alternate vote.

    3. Modify the state law on educational corporations. requiring all trustees be required to swear an oath or issue an affirmation which includes an acknowledgement that the trustees are the parties responsible for determining the curriculum and educational mission of the school and guaranteeing its academic integrity, and that their discretion is plenary in this regard. Vest the trustees with sole authority to determine the institutional budget, issue the annual balance sheet, approve bond issues and issues of commercial paper, and determine the criteria by which financial dispensations to students admitted shall be awarded.

    4. Vest trustees with explicit authority to close programs and discharge the faculty therein, without regard to legacy grants of tenure.

    5. Require in state law that any degree program in academics and the arts be drawn from a list of subjects denominated in state statute, and respect the capsule description of the terms of nomination delineated in state law. Require as much as well for occupational degrees.

    6. Require every private institution to issue a disciplinary manual. “Issuance” shall require a majority vote of the board of trustees. The manual must be published and shall be contractually binding on the institution and the student alike (and thus subject to court review).

    7. Require every private institution to issue an annual report on demographic stock and flow of the faculty, staff, administration, and student body at the school, which shall include reports on the SAT and achievement test scores of students admitted, broken down by coarse racial categories (and between male and female). Require such a statement to be certified by an auditor and provide in law for prosecution of the institution and of officials employed therein for lying.

  6. Tha absurdity of this “manual” is that, they way it defines things, you can’t point out another person’s microaggression without yourself committing one. We’re passing through a temporary “Age of Defensiveness”, where the self-righteous are unwilling to reach out to be compatible in the slightest way.

    I’m a big champion of making the conscious effort to “reach out” and connect with people of all types, and I see the challenge as my own to solve within my own head. I.e., I’m willing to take responsibility for being able to connect with others. I’m not going to beat myself up if an interaction goes bad, but I will go away thinking how I can handle myself better given another chance.

    I’m mature now. I wasn’t always that way, and I recognize immaturity as a temporary condition in others. I think the major mistake the “social justice warrior” is making is to indulge immature approaches to problem-solving, and to ignore process, listening, learning, reflection, self-improvement, responsibility and maturation as the path to solving every social problem. Eventually, the young, immature social justice warriors will carry responsibilities and begin to see others in a different light as a consequence.

    Remember, social media have given youth a mouthpiece that just wasn’t possible even 10 years ago. So, the infoworld is now flooded with messaging from people who lack maturity…they are still developing. Let’s keep this in mind, and try to meld our tradition of free speech with circumspection about an abundance of naive opinion. The way to correct things is to give young people as much responsibility as they can handle as young as possible, and to politely and supportively deal with immaturity.

  7. I see., so if you get on the subway and sit at a distance from the urine-soaked man arguing loudly with himself, you’re committing a micro-atrocity? And, If there’s an empty seat next to the guy who is furiously masturbating, New School students must sit there? Why does anyone attend such a joke institution?

  8. If there ever were a textbook definition for The inmates have taken over the asylum; this is it. What is the root cause of this? My opinion; a decline in self-reliance and/or an increase in dependency on the state.

    Kant: What is Enlightenment? (this is just one translation)

    Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a proportion of men, long after nature has released them from alien guidance (natura-liter maiorennes), nonetheless gladly remain in lifelong immaturity, and why it is so easy for others to establish themselves as their guardians. It is so easy to be immature. If I have a book to serve as my understanding, a pastor to serve as my conscience, a physician to determine my diet for me, and so on, I need not exert myself at all. I need not think, if only I can pay: others will readily undertake the irksome work for me. The guardians who have so benevolently taken over the supervision of men have carefully seen to it that the far greatest part of them (including the entire fair sex) regard taking the step to maturity as very dangerous, not to mention difficult. Having first made their domestic livestock dumb, and having carefully made sure that these docile creatures will not take a single step without the go-cart to which they are harnessed, these guardians then show them the danger that threatens them, should they attempt to walk alone. Now this danger is not actually so great, for after falling a few times they would in the end certainly learn to walk; but an example of this kind makes men timid and usually frightens them out of all further attempts.

    1. My opinion: recipients of psychological lobotomies.

      More intriguing to me than those who became victims of social experiment lobotomies, are the millions of us who did not. How were millions of us able to avoid it when others did not?

      1. How were millions of us able to avoid it when others did not?

        If we look at the progression of our culture, I have to wonder if we’ll manage to make it into the 22nd century.

  9. For those who didn’t understand the last reference I’ll teach you the language

    Spell Canada

    Got it Eh?

    That’s why that imitiation reporter Acosta or whatever left it off his list of two he made two mistakes.

    Of the 195 countries in the world, 67 nations have English as the primary language of ‘official status’. Plus there are also 27 countries where English is spoken as a secondary ‘official’ language. Canada for example has 35% that do not speak English

    But in Acosta’s list he included he inferred the USA which does not have an official language except for printing of public documents.

    Canada’s second language is a a form of French which resembles French about as much as Cajun. Ask any Parisian.

    Back to loone hooping

  10. I try for a friendly nod towards everyone I meet on the sidewalk or pathway.

  11. Do these micro aggressions become matters to be investigated by the Fed’s?

  12. I have self deleted my comment. It was absolutely double mega aggressive and god forbid I should be reported to the personal proclivity police.

  13. Are they going to have minders ride the bus or subway to check for microaggression? Is there a microaggression police? What would the WWII vets who went to the New School think of all this?

  14. People really get paid to write this stuff? To teach this cRaP? The best set of reasons I have seen lately to disband the entire Department of Education – Not and it’s choke hold on education nation wide. Now as for those put out of work. We have this left over shovels …never used…..which only required two hands to operate……..You may list this as a macro very large belly laugh and guess what? There are no jobs in real life for such nonsense. Better to hire a real bulldozer or back hoe or dump truck operator than listen to the nattering nabobs of negativism. Finally Spiro has been indicated for being the front man of Safires sentence.

    1. I like the way that you spell apCray. It looks better your way than the pig latin way. We need to coin a name for these micro people. Maybe itshay heads. cRaPheads. cRaP heads.

  15. So, if I call someone a buffoon, is that a micro aggression or just a fact; case in point, Trump.

    1. Depends if you are looking in a mirror it’s truth. If not you are hallucinating.

      two definitions

      noun: buffoon; plural noun: buffoons

      a ridiculous but amusing person; a clown.

      Second it’s the Thai word for an Air Force Colonel.

      Bur a third has arisen

      It’ applies to hooping loonies.

        1. “DOWN GOES RAIN MAN..DOWN GOES RAIN MAN..DOWN GOES RAIN MAN!” Said in a Howard Cosell voice.

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