I have some quite sincere group of white friends who have really changed how I think.
You see, in the past two years, I have met some quite hostile humans who made me feel some type of way.
So back to my new friends I know sometimes I may shock you when I describe some of the things that hurt me. Things that to you, seem normal.
And this is why I thought I should write this article so we don’t get to that awkward point where you make me cry or scream, while you sit there wondering where you went wrong ?……
1. Just because you can’t see racism around you doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Trust people of color’s assessment of a situation.
2. Don’t assume that all people of color share the same views. We are not a monolith.
3. Don’t assume or guess people’s races. This is NOT a fun game for us.
4. If someone tells you they’re from Uganda, don’t say, “I went to Nigeria once!” Just, please.
5. Related: Don’t refer to Africa as a country. It’s a continent and it’s wildly varied. Yes. Take a moment.
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.
7. Don’t assume that a person of color knows everything about their country of heritage. Do you know everything there is to know about America? Germany? Sweden? That’s what I thought.
8. Don’t assume we can run if we’re Black, do math if we’re Asian, have drinking problems if we’re indigenous…
9. Regard us as autonomous, unique individuals, not as representatives of our race.
10. Don’t make embarrassing jokes to try and be “down” with people of color. We’ll laugh at you, not with you.
11. Don’t rinse our culturally specific memes. They’re ours.
12. Avoid phrases like “But I have a Black friend! I can’t be racist!” You know that’s BS as well as we do.
13. When you endlessly complain about how terrible white people are, you are being that terrible white person. Jeez.
14. Don’t say shit like, “I know what it’s like to be a person of color…I’m a ginger!”
15. Don’t question someone’s Blackness if they’re light-skinned. It’s not your place. Other Black people can make sure that light-skinned Black people are cognizant of their privilege.
16. Never try and tell a person of color what is or isn’t racist.
17. When you find instances of racist bullshit online, please don’t send it to us. We know racism exists, thanks.
18. Read something already written about it rather than coming to your friends/acquaintances of color looking for hot takes on anything and everything appropriative a Kardashian/Miley Cyrus does. We don’t wanna think about this shit 24/7!
19. 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.
20. 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.