After the events of the last few weeks, I was not sure how to respond. However, it really hit me when I watched the video of George Floyd’s arrest. I was in sheer disbelief of what I was seeing. I felt a mix of emotions I’m not sure I have felt all at the same time before: pain and disbelief for the utter disregard for another human being.
Unfortunately, this highlights a much larger issue, a pattern of behavior seen in some organizations and people. It doesn’t represent them as a whole, but it is enough that change is needed.
To say my heart aches doesn’t begin to describe it. I’m not sure why in 2020 racism is still very much present. Even if it is not always as blatant as it used to be, we still hear far too many accounts of people experiencing it. Yet it’s still a controversial topic in the U.S. Shouldn’t it just be a given that humans are all treated, well, human?
While I’m not personally affected by these tragedies, I am unequivocally against them. I stand with the Black community. Racial equality is absolutely the right thing to promote and fight for because it’s not yet universal. I’m grateful to work for a company that made space to reflect on this issue by having an entire organization-wide moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to represent the time George Floyd was pinned before he died.
Few things really take me back, but I was so distracted from my responsibilities last week. I couldn’t take my attention away from this horrific situation. I’ve listened to some of my Black friends and colleagues and heard their pain. I decided to further educate myself on the topic through reading books and joining a support group.
I love this statement from Martin Luther King, Jr: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” (Loving Your Enemies)
I’m white, but I’m also half Native American. I have certainly seen the stigmas placed on that part of my family, though not to the extent Black people experience. Having grown up in NC and now living in NYC, I’m grateful I’ve been able to live in diverse communities that expose me to others who don’t share the same life experience or beliefs as I do.
I hope this can be a moment of change for our country and world. I hope somehow, we can break down the wall of racial inequality and simply agree we’re all human and should be treated as such. I also hope that I can be a small part of that change.