This video should be 3-6 minutes. I wrote the script
Title card: How to Deal with Microaggressions in Everyday Life for Black Catholics
Voice-over: Welcome to this video, brought to you by the Black Catholic Health Research Institute. In this video, we will talk about microaggressions, a form of subtle discrimination that many Black Catholics face in their daily lives. We will explain what microaggressions are, how they affect our mental health and well-being, and how we can navigate them in an empowering way. We will also share some tips and resources for non-Black individuals who want to be more aware, respectful, and supportive of Black Catholics.
Image: Logo of the Black Catholic Health Research Institute
Voice-over: What are microaggressions? Microaggressions are brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color. They are often disguised as compliments, jokes, or harmless remarks, but they carry a hidden message of racism and prejudice.
Image: Examples of microaggressions, such as “You speak English so well”, “You don’t act like a typical Black person”, “You are so articulate”, “Can I touch your hair?”, “Where are you really from?”
Voice-over: Microaggressions can occur in various settings, such as workplaces, educational institutions, and public spaces. They can be perpetrated by anyone, including strangers, acquaintances, friends, family, or even fellow Catholics. They can be directed at individuals or groups, and they can be based on race, ethnicity, culture, religion, or other aspects of identity.
Image: Scenarios of microaggressions in different settings, such as a Black Catholic employee being passed over for a promotion, a Black Catholic student being asked to speak for their entire race, a Black Catholic shopper being followed by a security guard, a Black Catholic parishioner being ignored by their priest, etc.
Voice-over: How do microaggressions affect us? Microaggressions can have a negative impact on our mental health and well-being. They can make us feel angry, hurt, frustrated, confused, or isolated. They can also cause us to doubt ourselves, question our belonging, or internalize negative stereotypes. They can also trigger stress responses in our bodies, such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, or cortisol levels. Over time, these stress responses can lead to various health problems, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease.
Image: Illustrations of the emotional, psychological, and physical effects of microaggressions on Black Catholics
Voice-over: How can we navigate microaggressions? It’s important to acknowledge that Black Catholics, like all individuals who experience microaggressions, are not victims. They are resilient, resourceful, and capable of navigating these challenges. Instead of focusing on coping mechanisms, which can imply a passive acceptance of microaggressions, it’s more empowering to emphasize strategies for addressing and confronting these instances of discrimination. This shift in focus can empower Black Catholics to assert their dignity and challenge the underlying biases that fuel microaggressions.
Image: Images of Black Catholics showing resilience, resourcefulness, and empowerment
Voice-over: Here are some empowering responses to microaggressions that we can use in different situations:
• Educate: We can use microaggressions as teachable moments, and educate the perpetrators about the meaning and impact of their words or actions. We can explain why their comments or behaviors are offensive, inaccurate, or inappropriate, and provide them with correct or alternative information. We can also share our personal experiences and perspectives, and help them understand how microaggressions affect us and our community.
Image: A Black Catholic woman explaining to her coworker why his comment about her hair was disrespectful and hurtful
• Confront: We can use assertive communication skills, and confront the perpetrators about their microaggressions. We can express our feelings and opinions, and demand respect and accountability. We can also set boundaries and expectations, and let them know that we will not tolerate any further microaggressions from them. We can also report or document the microaggressions, and seek legal recourse if necessary.
Image: A Black Catholic man confronting his boss about his microaggression and asking for an apology and a fair evaluation
• Ignore: We can choose to ignore the microaggressions, and not give them any power or attention. We can recognize that the microaggressions are not about us, but about the perpetrators’ ignorance or insecurity. We can also focus on the positive aspects of our lives, and not let the microaggressions affect our self-esteem or happiness.
Image: A Black Catholic girl ignoring the microaggression from her classmate and smiling with her friends
• Seek support: We can seek support from our family, friends, or community, and share our experiences and feelings with them. We can also join or create support groups, where we can connect with other Black Catholics who understand and empathize with us. We can also seek professional help, such as counseling or therapy, if we need more guidance or assistance.
Image: A Black Catholic family praying together and supporting each other
Voice-over: How can non-Black individuals be more aware, respectful, and supportive of Black Catholics? Non-Black individuals have a crucial role to play in dismantling racism and creating a more inclusive society. Here are some actionable suggestions for non-Black individuals who want to be more aware, respectful, and supportive of Black Catholics:
• Listen: Listen actively and attentively to Black Catholics, and try to understand their experiences and perspectives. Do not interrupt, dismiss, or invalidate their feelings or opinions. Do not assume that you know what they are going through, or that you have the right to speak for them.
Image: A non-Black Catholic woman listening to a Black Catholic woman and nodding
• Learn: Learn continuously and humbly about the history, culture, and spirituality of Black Catholics. Read books, articles, reports, podcasts, videos, blogs, and social media posts that provide reliable and relevant information on Black Catholics’ issues. Do not rely on stereotypes, myths, or generalizations. Do not expect Black Catholics to educate you or answer all your questions.
Image: A non-Black Catholic man reading a book about Black Catholics and taking notes
• Apologize: Apologize sincerely and genuinely if you commit a microaggression, or if you witness one and do not intervene. Do not make excuses, justify, or defend your microaggression. Do not minimize, deny, or blame the victim. Do not expect forgiveness or gratitude. Do not repeat the same mistake.
Image: A non-Black Catholic girl apologizing to a Black Catholic boy and hugging him
• Take action: Take action proactively and consistently to combat racism and promote justice. Speak up and stand up against microaggressions and other forms of discrimination. Support and amplify the voices and causes of Black Catholics. Donate or volunteer for organizations that advocate for Black Catholics. Challenge and change your own biases and behaviors.
Image: A non-Black Catholic boy holding a sign that says “Black Catholics Matter” and marching with a group of Black Catholics
Voice-over: Conclusion: Microaggressions are a form of subtle discrimination that many Black Catholics face in their daily lives. They can have a negative impact on our mental health and well-being, and they can also undermine our dignity and rights. However, we can navigate microaggressions in an empowering way, by educating, confronting, ignoring, or seeking support. We can also rely on our Catholic faith and values, which affirm our dignity and rights, and condemn any form of racism or injustice. As the Second Vatican Council declared, “We cannot truly call on God, the Father of all, if we refuse to treat in a brotherly way any man, created as he is in the image of God” (Nostra Aetate 5).
Image: A quote from the Second Vatican Council
Voice-over: Thank you for watching this video, brought to you by the Black Catholic Health Research Institute. We hope this video has informed and empowered you, and inspired you to take action. If you want to learn more about microaggressions and other issues affecting Black Catholics, please visit our website at BlackCatholicHealth.com, where you can find more resources and support. We are launching our new website soon, so stay tuned for more updates. Thank you and God bless.
Image: Logo of the Black Catholic Health Research Institute and website address
You can use these for quotes: “Some of the Catholic teaching on microaggressions and discrimination that you can include are:
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design” (CCC 1935).
The Second Vatican Council declared that “We cannot truly call on God, the Father of all, if we refuse to treat in a brotherly way any man, created as he is in the image of God. Man’s relation to God the Father and his relation to men his brothers are so linked together that Scripture says: ‘He who does not love does not know God’” (Nostra Aetate 5).
Pope Francis said that “Racism is a virus that quickly mutates and, instead of disappearing, goes into hiding, and lurks in waiting. Instances of racism continue to shame us, for they show that our supposed social progress is not as real or definitive as we think” (Fratelli Tutti 97).
Some of the Bible scripture that you can include are:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7).
“For God shows no partiality” (Romans 2:11). “ The video should be 3-4 minutes