Racism, discrimination and micro aggression

causes of workplace trauma

Racism, discrimination, and microaggression are several causes of workplace trauma. Yes, you are reading this correctly. You might not see the link to it, but people who have and experience this are traumatized. Some know they are. some don’t and a lot of employers/companies do not even realize they are handing it out as it is some sort of gift.

(workplace) trauma

Trauma is the Greek word for “wound”. Although the Greeks only used the term for physical injury, today trauma refers just as much to emotional wounds. Traumatic events leave psychological symptoms (even long after physical injuries have healed) Trauma is caused by extrinsic causes, means, forces, and/or mechanisms. The psychological response to emotional trauma now has an established name: post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. It usually occurs after an extremely stressful event.


Discrimination is originally a neutral word. Over the years, it is often linked to activities, expressions, and behaviors attributed to its meaning. 


The word derives from the past participle of the Latin verb discriminare, which refers to the verbs “to distinguish”, “to observe”, “discretion” and “indiscretion”, “care”,” “decree”, and “secret”. In practice, it occurs in the different forms of treatment:


  • To mark or perceive the distinctive or special features
  • Distinguished by differences or by exposing differences: recognizing or identifying them as separate and distinguishing.
  • To make a difference in treatment or favor on a basis other than individual contribution (example: nepotism)

Micro agression

A micro-aggression is a comment or action that negatively affects a marginalized group of people. A micro-aggression can be intentional or accidental. It is a form of discrimination. A marginalized group includes “individuals, groups or populations outside of ‘mainstream society’, who live on the margins of those at the center of power, of cultural dominance and economic and social well-being.” Groups can be marginalized because of their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.


For example, research shows microaggression is extremely harmful, especially at work. For example, 73% of women working in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) experienced at least one form of sexual objectification. Micro-aggression results in lower self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and trauma.


Micro-aggression can be more difficult to identify. People who use micro-aggressions often do not mean direct harm to the person or group against whom they use it. Just like in the case of bias and privilege. Often, people may not even realize that they are making a micro-aggressive comment or expressing behavior. However, micro-aggressions are very hurtful to the people who experience them.


Racism is a belief based on the idea race is has a high value in human traits and abilities. It is all about the mindset on how racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. ( such as black versus white) It involves emphasizing differences and the denigrating of another versus a superior race is central.


Behaviors or attitudes that reflect and promote this belief are known as racial discrimination or prejudice. In addition, there is systematic oppression of one racial group to the social, economic, and political benefit of another group. There is a so-called system based on racism based on political or social beliefs designed to implement its views.

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