It’s been another week of crisis. But this time it’s a different disease . . . and one that’s been plaguing our country for a very long time. Racism.
We’ve seen amazing leaps of progress in technology, medicine, transportation, and communications. But when it comes to the most basic human rights of our fellow human beings, we are still in the dark ages. Racism, and other forms of intolerance, are all around us. But collectively, we’ve done a terrible job of addressing it – especially when it affects “someone else.” Somehow we’ve allowed empathy, respect, and love to be displaced by selfishness, fear, and in some cases, hate. That inevitably leads to institutional racism – the effects of which we’ve seen play out last week, and many many times before.
So how does this relate to business? I believe this is a call to action . . . an opportunity for all of us to inspect what’s under the hood in our own institutions. Are we doing our part to cultivate equality and fairness in the work environment? Do we demonstrate empathy in our brand AND in our practices? Are there ways we can improve? We have the power to control how we affect and influence others – and we can lead by example.
We talk about tolerance, but is it enough to simply “tolerate” those around us? Instead, let’s celebrate what makes us unique. And when we learn from perspectives that differ from our own, we grow as people. But most importantly, we have a responsibility to those around us. Let’s never make the color of someone’s skin mean they are lesser than anybody else. And in the wake of the brutal murder of George Floyd, let’s remember that the black community is suffering once more. Let’s show them that we care and that we’re finally ready to address “their” pain and the conditions in our society that lead to it.