To further explain their point, they cited an excerpt of the writings of Chester M. Pierce, a Harvard professor credited for coming up with the term “microaggression:”

“The cumulative burden of a lifetime of microaggressions can theoretically contribute to diminished mortality, augmented morbidity, and flattened confidence,” Pierce wrote in the segment they quote.

Caplan clarified in an e-mail that the phrase “diminished mortality” here refers to people’s living shorter lives due to microaggressions.