By Mick “Spin” Dumdell
Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei has just openly committed a series of microaggressions against President Obama! Look at his tweet and attached picture:
US president has said he could knock out Iran’s military. We welcome no war, nor do we initiate any war, but.. pic.twitter.com/D4Co7fVuVg
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) July 25, 2015
There is no excuse for the picture of President in silhouette with a gun to his head! This is the very essence of a microagression, as defined here:
Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership. In many cases, these hidden messages may invalidate the group identity or experiential reality of target persons, demean them on a personal or group level, communicate they are lesser human beings, suggest they do not belong with the majority group, threaten and intimidate, or relegate them to inferior status and treatment.
I ask you, did Khamenei think for one single second about how his tweet with its dark imagery might be perceived by President Obama? Did he not consider how this might demean or threaten Obama? He might as well have included this a picture of Obama, or He might as well have tweeted this, which made the rounds several year ago.
Khamenei purposely darkened Obama’s face, and added a gun, which constitutes five separate microagrressive actions:
1. It stripped his identity from him by covering up his facial features;
2. It racially diminished him by emphasizing the darkness of Obama’s face;
3. It threatened him with physical violence by putting a gun to his head;
4. It associated Obama with another socially marginalized group, the mentally ill; and
5. By using the words “criminal” and “aggressive”, implies that Obama is just another violent Black “thug.”
Khamenei and his entire nation should be ashamed of themselves! This action does nothing to cool down the over-heated rhetoric and bad feelings between Iran and America. The international community should call out these microaggressions for what they are, to wit, the insidious and hurtful actions of a rogue nation.
Yours very truly,
Mick “Spin” Dumdell
FootNote: The Image is from a 1960s Birmingham, Alabama civil rights march.