In the Broadway musical Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast sings about the “world turned upside down.” While that certainly fit the mood for the American Revolution, that also seems to be the atmosphere in 2020. Things already seemed to be spiraling when the news came on May 25th about the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer who knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. While this was (by no means) the first such instance in this country, many people are now more determined than ever to ensure that it is one of the last.
Breonna Taylor…Tamir Rice…Ahmaud Arbery…Treyvon Martin…these men, women, and children have been lost due to the senseless violence that is now tearing apart this country. As a white woman in the business world, I feel that my own personal experiences have been so far removed that I have a hard time fathoming the fear that a child or loved one might not come home when they leave the house in the morning.
So, what can I do about this? What can any of us do?
The helplessness that so many of us have felt coming like the perfect storm in the midst of COVID-19 has led many to take to the streets and protests. But these are not the only means at our disposal. In the past few weeks, Adams Edge Marketing has donated to the NAACP in an effort to give our support to stopping the blight of racism.
But it doesn’t just end there. One of the best ways to further this cause is with education. As white Americans, we should be listening to our brothers and sisters of color. We should be educating ourselves and others about the Anti-Racism movement. Those of us in businesses should be pushing for more diversity in the workforce through equitable hiring practices and opportunities. We, in the business and marketing communities, must also take a look at ourselves and those we do business with to see they’re in line with our personal values in this matter.
And most importantly, we need to do something that can be very uncomfortable. We need to sit down with our friends and family members and have open and honest conversations about the root causes of these problems such as systemic racism. Although I now reside in Arizona, I grew up in the South and I understand how difficult it is for people to speak out and speak up about the issue of racism.
As musician Patterson Hood once said, “Racism is a worldwide problem, but…it’s always a little more convenient to play it with a Southern accent.” This is no longer just a regional issue. It is something that everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion, or location, must grapple with and come to terms with. And from there, we must come together to do something about it.
I ask you to please look at the resources I am listing below and have these tough conversations. It is only through honesty, education, and, ultimately, love that we can defeat this problem together.
RESOURCES: These are links that I have found interesting and helpful in learning more about Black Lives Matter