On September 25, I attended a student panel on microaggressions hosted by Common Ground. The panel was composed of representatives from different affinity groups on campus who spoke about their personal experiences with microaggressions. As someone with white privilege, it was necessary to attend because it forces me to be more conscious of my words and actions and the implications they have when affecting marginalized people. While the 900 room was full during this panel, I wish more people came, especially white people, because I think this conversation is ongoing and necessary. Something I have found interesting about the Davidson community is how people can use buzzwords to appear “woke”, but when it comes to showing up for those communities they say they support, they are nowhere to be found.
This panel also opened my eyes to the difference between an ally and accomplice, with the latter being a person who directly challenges oppressive systems and suffers the consequences of such. I believe most people do not attend panels like these because of the feelings of discomfort that may arise during it, but those feelings are all the more reason to attend. These feelings of discomfort are the first step towards growth. Another reason people may not attend events like these is because they simply do not care, which is something that is even worse to think about. Lastly, I do not know if this panel was open to faculty and staff, but I think it would be beneficial for faculty and staff to be included in this dialogue because microaggressions committed by them have just as much of an impact if not more than a student’s microaggression.