How to make people of colour’s life a little easier

Wedding
Photo by Slim Emcee on Unsplash

I saw this piece from Vice and was shaking my head in agreement going through the list.Heres some key ones for me…

2. Don’t assume that all people of color share the same views. We are not a monolith.

Absolutely… Can’t tell you how many times people assume they know what my views are simply because of my race

6. Oh, and rest assured that literally no person of color ever wants you to get back from holiday, show off your tan and excitedly exclaim, “Look, I’m almost as dark as you!” Cease and desist.

I always find tans super strange, especially when people compare them to my skin. Stop doing it…

20. Understand that some days are even more mentally exhausting for people of color thanks to the news cycle. Try not to badger us for our opinions on the latest atrocity that has occurred. Leave us to grieve.

I generally ignore the news cycle as I know it doesn’t help my mental health. If you want thoughts on news items, let it sink in first and see what other people of colour are writing.

22. Share articles relating to the everyday experiences of race and racism written by people of color.

There is the hashtag #everydayracism, use it, repost, retweet and retoot. Just like there is #everydaysexism. More people see it the more peopel will realise.

23. But don’t be that person who is weird and sycophantic and loves to demonstrate their wokeness constantly to the people of color around them. Be thoughtful.

You don’t think I notice when you say Yo to me but not to anyone else? We notice

26. Have a critical eye when watching TV and movies. How are they portraying people of color and why? What purpose does it serve?

Just like the Bechdel test you should check out the DuVernay test

31. If you have kids, buy them dolls of color and books with characters of color.

I don’t have kids but I was very happy when a friend bought his daughter a black doll. That child will hopefully grow up being much more comfortable with people of colour

42. People can be Black and gay and disabled and trans and middle class. Blackness is expansive. It doesn’t look one way. Keep this in mind.

Indeed! This is why we need to start thinking much more intersectionaly.

Mixed race couple
Photo by Creative Hina By.Quileen on Unsplash

48. Never try and pull any uninvited “race play” shit in the bedroom. Seriously, what the fuck?

I had quite a few times while dating, discussions about never having sex with a black man. Its massively upsetting and is like number 50, being called exotic! If this happened in the bedroom it would be over in a heartbeat.

59. Look around your workplace—are the only people of color cleaners or assistants? What can you do to change that? (The answer is almost never “nothing.”)

One of my biggest problems, companies who have a diverse workforce but all the people of colour are cleaners, security guards, assistants, etc.

70. Don’t? Vote? For? Racist? Politicians? Can’t believe I need to say this one but it seems like possibly, maybe, some of y’all did not get this memo.

Its simple, don’t vote for those who make their views clear about which side of the fence they sit. People seem to forget this when election time comes around.

78. If you have ever thought a phrase like “Black lives matter” is too assertive, consider why you’re so uncomfortable with Black people standing up for our humanity.

Absolutely… You need to check your white fragility because people of colour of dying

90. Care about race on the 364 days that aren’t Martin Luther King Jr. day.

Black history month is something which bugs me, I get there are seasons but it feels so insulting that everything is held to then or not bundled together because of that month.

96. Understand that nothing in your life has been untouched by your whiteness. Everything you have would have been harder to come by if you had not been born white.

Its hard to discuss but we are getting closer to the point when we can finally have those conversations. That is progress

99. Recognize that fighting racism isn’t about you, it’s not about your feelings; it’s about liberating people of color from a world that tries to crush us at every turn.

The problem is systematic racism, we need each other to make things better for everyone.

Family stands for black lives matter
Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

One thought on “How to make people of colour’s life a little easier

  1. @cubicgarden thanks for sharing this. I hadn’t come across the Vice article. I’ll check it out. Appreciate your commentary on the ones you called out.

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