My sonshine works for one of the oldest financial services providers in the United States. I’m not going to name names because that part doesn’t matter. Not really.
Today they began their staff meeting with 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence. He said at first the group thought being quiet be easy but as second by silent second passed, the truth of what really happened to George Floyd became painfully evident. Murder, on live stream.
My mind still cannot fathom how we got here. A pandemic world on fire. Or rather how we are STILL here? With everything we have in our oh so modern world, we are woefully inadequate in this respect. We should be better by now.
Continuing on with the lesson, next the team conducted a quick study. Everyone started by holding up both hands. The rules were to put a finger down for each yes answer to a series of questions …
- Have you ever been the only person of your race/gender/socio-economic status/ sexual orientation in a classroom or workplace setting?
- Have you ever been bullied or made fun of based on something that you can’t change?
- Have you ever tried to change your speech or mannerisms to gain credibility?
As the questions continued, some among the group closed both hands after the first 10 questions. My Pony Boy ended after going through all 35 with eight fingers still in the air. He softly laughed with tears in his eyes, “yeah there were a couple of economic questions in there which is why I put two fingers down but man mom, my eyes are open even more”
We Understand That We Will Never Understand, However, We Stand
We know that with this privilege comes great responsibility. It’s a privilege we were gifted for no other reason than one day being born. Silence is no longer an option. Silence = acceptance.
And before the hate mongers ask me how could I … please know one can be outraged by the murder of George Floyd while continuing to support law enforcement. The two are not mutually exclusive. But I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that racism is alive and well in our country. And in your heart of hearts I think you know that too. I’m speaking out now because the first step to solving a problem is admitting we have one.
As always, more to come.