The term People of Color (POC) is the crown jewel of diversity related descriptors. It’s supposed to be all-inclusive; incorporating the many minority factions that make up the huge melting pot of America.

In a perfect world, all minorities would kumbaya with “We Are the World” playing in the background (the original version, not that sorry 2010 remix). We would recognize the strength of our collective experiences, pooling energy and resources to fight a unified front against white supremacy.

What seems to happen though is that many people of color leverage the struggle of the black community when it is conducive to their own group’s come up and then go out their way to distance themselves once the come up has been achieved. If any relationship is maintained, it is purely transactional (Chinese restaurant, Korean nail shop, Indian convenience store, Dominican hair salon, etc.)

My lineage is black american on one side and black hispanic on the other side. As a kid, I’ve heard conversations where Hispanic relatives who immigrated over to America and are darker than I spew anti-black rhetoric at a mile per minute.

In grad school, I’ve worked on group projects with people of color that show legitimate contempt and anger whenever black issues are brought up in class discussion.

Professionally, I’ve sat at tables with other “educated” people of color while they jokingly question why black women use weave if they’re “so black and proud”.

The term POC sounds good, but it needs to be more than just a buzz word. If we truly are in this together, there needs to be mutual understanding and respect.

And shame to other people of color who look down on and ridicule black folks. Our ancestors fought during the Civil Rights Movement to ensure that white people weren’t the only ones with access to the liberties that life in America affords. Recognize that MLK, Malcolm X, etc. laid the groundwork for the immigration platform that many of you have used to gain entry to America.

There are in fact people of color and white folks who stand in solidarity on black issues. All types of people have shown up in support at Black Lives Matter rallies, protests, etc. Still, more of this is needed.

Fellow people of color; next time a black issue comes up, make sure you put some respect on our name. Birdman, I see you.