The on-going trend of police brutality and murder of innocent, unarmed black people has knocked our country to its knees. The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd were only a few of the too many names that have lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement. And at first, all of the killings (and then the protests) seemed shocking.
But it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. It’s just something not everyone is forced to think about every day – which is basically the definition of privilege. Unlike many of our other Tribe members, we were born with a skin color that gives us social privileges. While we pride ourselves on being a POC-owned company, we realize that we take many of our privileges for granted on a regular basis.
Which is why it’s time for us to show up, with open minds ready for listening and learning. We’re ready to listen and acknowledge that our privilege blinds us sometimes. It can blind us to the suffering and persecution of other POC who don’t benefit from the same privileges as us.
And as a privileged person, all of this can feel overwhelming. It puts us in a humbling place where we’re forced to acknowledge the glaring inequalities that still exist in our country. It forces us to acknowledge that we haven’t been doing enough to fight for equality. After all, for most of us, it took an incredible act of violence to reawaken our senses.
So how can we be better allies in this push for greater equality?
Listen, folks. It’s time to own up to our own failures and recognize that this isn’t just another fad. The push for equality is an on-going battle, and we haven’t been doing enough to support our black brothers and sisters. Quite frankly, we’ve let it go on for far too long without standing up and demanding change.
Sometimes we feel ashamed of how uneducated we are when it comes to understanding how black POC are affected by inequality and racism. That’s ok. We have to move past that feeling of embarrassment and educate ourselves on how we play a role in the on-going systemic racism of our current society. And the burden is on us to learn. Don’t place the burden of educating us on the black community.
Read books, diversify your social media feeds, watch documentaries, and learn from others. But the onus is on us to educate ourselves. Do not be that person that is sliding into DMs, asking for the black community to educate us on how we can fight their oppression.
If you can, donate financial resources to organizations that support the push for equality. There are so many worthwhile organizations that you can donate to. Need some good recommendations? You can find a whole list here of worthy organizations that working to make a difference.
We understand that not everyone has room in their budget to donate money – especially with the number of unemployed workers increasing due to Coronavirus. If you can’t donate money, you can donate your time. Volunteer. Sign petitions. Do what you can.
This one’s completely free and costs us nothing. But it takes bravery and it requires us to learn how to speak up to fight on-going inequality and injustices. This is where educating yourself comes in. Learn about systemic racism so you can challenge it when you see it. This is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to make a difference. But it’s not easy, especially when you’re talking with family or loved ones. Remember to be patient with others – and yourself. But always remember to speak up.
The Time is Now
We’re working towards being better and continually improving – always. Will we make mistakes? Probably. Will we own up to them? Definitely. In the quest for change, we can’t wait for perfection, we need to focus on progress. In today’s time, silence is not an option. So will you join us on this journey to make this place a better, and more just world? The time is now, Tribe. Let’s do this together.