Researchers and academics of color have been revisiting and expanding on the construct of microaggression, which was first described by psychiatrist Chester Pierce in the late 1960s and applied at that time specifically to racial assaults on African Americans. Pierce initially used the term offensive mechanisms, defined as words and behaviors used by individuals from the dominant group to keep African Americans in social and structural positions of insignificance. These processes were seen as subtle new forms of racism that when perpetuated and occurring in multiple environments are cumulative assaults on the individual and become psychopollutants fostering oppression and disempowerment, contributing to erosion of self-concept, and, ultimately, resulting in poor psychological well-being. Offensive mechanisms were later termed racial microaggression, and researchers subsequently broadened the application ...

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