This has been an overwhelming, draining year for everyone. From the results of the election to the countless violent outbursts to the number of legal injustices, this year has been devastating to say the least. And though no one wants to openly admit it, I have no problem saying that people of color were the ones who experienced a majority of these devastations. And, while I think that many people of non-color are looking to be supportive with making New Year's Resolutions if you want to be a better ally to people of color, I don't necessarily think that I agree with it.
As a young, black, and educated woman of color, having the support of my white friends is amazing. To be honest, when Trump was elected president, a few of my white friends mourned and apologized on social media about the injustices that that were on the way to women and — more notably — people of color. The other few white friends I had were supportive of the new presidency and were vocal about that, which is OK because everyone has to believe in something.
With the support from my friends came questions like, "What can I do to help you?" or "How can my people better understand what you're going through?" Although the gesture is both noticed and appreciated, there is no one answer to those questions. Being an ally to people of color is not just something that should happen for a moment or because we get a new calendar year, it should be something that happens daily. Racial Equity Tools noted that educating yourself and your children on racism is a good way to start the support for people of color, and I'd have to agree. You can't jump into something with understanding what it is or why it's happening. Likewise, Alternet encouraged those who are not of color to work amongst their own people to create more allies, which I think is an amazing suggestion, too. However, people who are not of color just simply cannot stop there.
As a black woman who has dealt with both racism and prejudice more often than I'd like to admit, there are a few things that white people must keep in mind if they're willing to support us, our fight, and assist in the building of our future. Too often I believe people say that they want to support what people of color go through, but when the going gets tough, the fearful get going.
If you're looking for a few ways to help people of color out, here are a few tips to bring into the New Year with you, and hopefully, make them lifelong.