The quintet of human, physical perceptual experience is well established: seeing; hearing; smelling; tasting; and touching. All sentient life – to varying degrees of efficiency – possesses some or all of these five capabilities.

· The eagle, from dizzying heights, can detect camouflaged prey scurrying along the ground.

· The shark, from miles away, instantly can detect the fluid of life mixed with brine.

· The nocturnal owl can detect the slightest disturbance within the brush at twilight – and reach that spot instantly.

· The ant and bee can locate incredibly remote food sources and unerringly return to home-base, and lead others to that source.

· The sight-challenged bat can hum its way through a maze in pitch-darkness.

· The nesting bird can detect micro-changes in temperature that require repositioning of the egg.


Not content with the natural challenges of our five points of perception, we humans (at least we Human-Americans) have come up with a new phenomenon further to test the potency of our perceptive powers. This new recipe for our social ills apparently cooked up in the kitchens of acadème, is called micro-aggression. Actually, the idea is not new, and it was not cooked up. The term was coined in 1970 by Dr. Chester M. Pierce, a Harvard psychiatrist who is African American. Miccro-aggression is how Dr. Pierce describes those frequent, unintentional, slights and dismissals he has noticed to be inflicted upon African Americans by individuals of the larger society.


In 1976, M.I.T. Economist Mary Rowe extended the term to include the same type of statue-conversation (this writer's coinage) offensive to women. Ultimately, the term micro-aggression came to encompass the casual degradation of any socially marginalized group such as the poor and disabled.


Naturally, the Right-Wing, who are the main practitioners of micro-aggression, finds all of this to be a more fanciful imposition of political correctness – which, for decades, has been the majoritarian term for, keeping me from saying whatever the fuck I please about them Niggers, Spicks, Gooks and crips (or Crips)!


Well, with all of that being said, tiresomely, it all backs up upon us Americans and our piebald, patchwork, national philosophy. Perhaps, in the same vein, we need these silly, inexplicit terms in order to come to terms with our inexplicit, hypocritical existence as a nation. Maybe we need the inexplicit, political correctness and micro-aggression to explain away the very explicit, We hold these truths to be self-evident...


**** ***** ****

Once, I met Micro Aggression

At a weird, self-help session.

"How's it going," I said.

He just scratched his head:

"Thought we had the same impression."



Curtis W. Long

Curtis W. Long

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