Microaggressions are those not so blatant forms of racism that people of color experience throughout their lifetime. Contrary to popular belief, the U.S does not hold the monopoly on racism, racism is alive and well in Australia. Nearly half of all Australian residents from a culturally and linguistically diverse background have experienced racism at some time in their life.
Racism and microaggressions are the focus of a new mobile “game” developed by All Together Now, Australia’s only national charity that has a sole focus of addressing racism. “Everyday Racism” is a collaboration between the University of Western Sydney, Deakin University, and Melbourne University. The app lets you experience just a small fraction of life as a racial minority in Australia.
It plays out a little like an alternate-reality game. When you load it up for the first time, you’re asked to choose one of three characters, each of whom was created based on real-life experiences.
Muslim woman Aisha was created with the help of Zubeda Raihman, Mariam Veiszadeth, and Aisha Jabeen; Aboriginal man Patrick was created with the help of Blake Tatafu, Adam Hansen, Nat Heath, and Peter Dawson; and Indian student Vihann was created with the help of Rahul Dhawan, Mridula Amin, and Tanvi Bedi.
When you choose your character, you’ll experience four scenarios randomly spaced out every day for seven days.
These include radio broadcasts, work e-mails, social-network interactions, text messages, and videos. You can then choose how to react to each of these scenarios, whether it’s a co-worker telling you that things are done differently in Australia, a racist Tweet from a friend, or a remark on a Web site comment section.
Your choices, however, are limited: two scripted responses, or no response.
Everyday Racism is available now for free for iOS and Android, but it may be incompatible with your device since it was only released in Australia. But of course, as a black person in the U.S., who needs an app for that? I would definitely enjoy an “Everyday White Privilege” app.