Note: No blog post next week. It is Spring Break and I’m taking the week to do some catch up reading, napping, and TV watching.
Hooray, you are now COVID vaccinated or maybe on your way to being vaccinated. Please remember as you reenter the world there are things you still shouldn’t do.
Invade POC centered spaces – After a year at home or staring at screens many are eager to be with others. If you’re white, you’re still not allowed to invade POC centered spaces. In fact for many POCs COVID was a nice time of not having to deal with white people’s fragility, weirdness, or space invasions.
Get too close, still stay 6-feet away – Please still respect the six-feet away rule, cause you know we don’t need ya’ll up in our faces, touching our stuff, or literally touching hair, tattoos, and bodies. Keep your grabby hands to yourselves.
Jump the line, again – We’ve watched white people angle for every advantage during the pandemic. I don’t expect this to stop but one can hope. Now that you’re vaccinated (maybe even chasing extra vaccine doses or driving far to get a shot), chill and sit back, no need to rush out to get the next advantage.
Take from POCs – POCs have worked super hard during the pandemic to protect our own people who are disproportionately impacted by the hardships of COVID. Don’t take what we’ve done and use it for personal gain. This can look a lot of ways, like celebrating our stories without permission or acknowledgment of the hard work created by POCs, sign up for things meant for POCs first, etc.
Suggest POCs are the same as whites – Vaccines aren’t miracles, they don’t erase hundreds of years of oppression or level the playing field just cause we all got the same inoculation.
Unmute – Stay muted please, we hear from white people a lot. That mute button is a good thing at times. We hopefully all learned how to use it during COVID Zoom life. Translate some of it to IRL.
Be the Devil’s racist Advocate – Most people say “don’t play the devil’s advocate,” time to up it and say don’t play and more importantly now that you’re vaccinated, don’t be the devil’s advocate. Pandemic life has shown us that ugliness comes out in many different ways. Step it up and be on the better side. Stop yourself from saying something that centers yourself rather than POCs, focus on racialized systems rather than your feelings, don’t use POCs to advocate for your personal needs – all of those and many others are how the devil plays. No amount of vaccine can make you less racist.
Travel – I know we all want to hop back on planes to travel, but many places tourist destinations got breathers during COVID. Dolphins returned, locals got to use their beaches, pollution dropped, the land and people healed a bit. Can we hold on to these gains, I hope so – POCs benefit when we have a healthy environment and remember the norm isn’t traveling all of the time.
Be a jerk – Inoculations aren’t magical, you still need to think and do the work. If you don’t know what this means there is a good chance you’ve acted like a jerk to POCs, so go get your learning on and you’ll understand better how not to be a jerk.
This blog post was inspired by Eli Grober‘s Things Fully Vaccinated People Are Still Not Allowed to Do in the New Yorker. Apologies for the injustices I did to the original piece, and thank you for the original writing and laughs.
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