Although there are common New Year’s resolutions made by people that are beneficial for the individual (lose weight, eat healthy, quit smoking, etc.), this New Year white people in particular should make resolutions that not only benefit them, but society as well. This list can be used by others, but it’s created with white people in mind. So here’s a list of resolutions that white people can make and work towards in 2019!
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
As stated earlier while this list is for white people, everyone, especially since we are indoctrinated with whiteness in the U.S. at an early age, can benefit from this one. Challenge yourself. If you’re comfortable traveling, try staying put and vice versa.
For white people this is the “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” resolution. This can begin in small steps if you’re just starting. If there is a conversation you’re in that moves towards race or politics, don’t excuse yourself to avoid the discussion. Stay put. Get uncomfortable. If it feels like it may be too much remind yourself that your discomfort is created in your mind — built in you by this country to maintain the status quo.
It’s all in your head. There are many of us who are experiencing more than discomfort (slurs, assault, jail, cages) in this society for simply being a minority. If you want this to change, this step is a necessary step.
Once you’ve mastered staying put when these conversations take place, start seeking them out.
Listen More, Talk Less
Many of us are talkers who don’t listen. At the very least, we don’t listen well. To understand people we need to listen and not just to the words, but the tone of what is being said. Tone will tell you more than the words used. If you’re honest with yourself, it’ll inform whether this “connection” is going to bite you in the ass down the line. Listen to others when they speak, and listen to yourself.
For white people, this is the “stop telling minorities what they need and let them tell you” resolution. You can’t spout equality while treating us less than equal. Stop claiming to be an authority on what is best for people of color and talking down to us when we dissent.
Becoming defensive is a natural reaction, but try to push it down and hear what we are telling you. Because we are minorities in this country, we have experienced and been in this fight our whole lives, so listen with that in mind.
Pass the Bullhorn/Speak Up
Be a bullhorn, for white people, this is the “amplify minority voices” resolution.
Representation isn’t where it should be; however, we are able to make ourselves heard. Although, for many minorities, it’s similar to standing on a corner yelling to passersby. White people should give minorities the megaphone, the stage, the radio station, the retweet, etc.
Just because our voices are not mainstream doesn’t mean we aren’t talking. It means you are not doing enough collectively to get our voices out there into the mainstream. Even the top leaders of the so-called “Resistance” are white people and half the time they’re just raising up other white voices. Do better.
For fellow minorities, think about this as well. How many minority voices to you uplift and how many white?
The speak up part is, “call out microaggressions or racial bigotry” resolution. While it make appear to be the opposite of the ‘talk less’ it is not. Talk less about topics you have no experience with, i.e. listen to minorities tell you their experiences. Speak up to defend minorities when you see them being targeted. You have a better chance of emerging from the situation both unscathed and better for it.
Vote Like Black Women
If you truly want to improve society, check out the vote like Black women hashtag. Black women have the strongest Democratic voter turnout and it’s time you not only start listening to them, but following their lead. And they do not want a white male 2020 presidential ticket. We’ve had nothing but white males as president (save one) and none of those times have positively benefited minorities.
We can’t change a society built on racism, by continuing to elect the race and gender that benefits most from the current system. To have a white male speak about racism and discrimination is like have a man speak on sexism against women. Sure, they may occasionally have an interesting take on it, but nothing will compare to the first hand accounts and knowledge a women could offer.
If it doesn’t matter to you what race or gender is in office, then get behind Black women and elect and support the candidates they need to see run. There are some amazing Black women on twitter that you should be following and you can find out about them through that hashtag.
Only four resolutions that, while uncomfortable, can be followed if you are serious about doing better and not allowing your privilege to hold you back from being a decent person. As previously said, change has to happen in the world in order for laws to effectively change and these will help with that.
Let’s triumph in 2019!