Friends of diverse colors, genders and generations have written to say:
Thanks, dear Friend. I am not okay. Nor am I safe. And…
While I believe that your gesture is made from a place of genuine care, I have lacked the will to respond. What I trust you intend as a warm embrace feels like a heavy yolk upon me, compounded with each and every, additional text.
More than once, the impact on me has felt as though I am being summoned as nursemaid to tend to your reaction to “recent events.” I, too, am short of breath…and feeling my way to an impossible balance between how much white noise I allow myself to take in, and how much suffering I attempt to unapologetically tune out.
Someone else, a fellow workplace inclusion consultant, asked:
Please continue to reach out—but farther, towards transformative action.
Can we agree that this is not my moment—for any reason entrepreneurial, color-related or otherwise? Or, yours?
Yet, now has seemed to be an opportune moment for capital and social enterprise to exploit. Below are samples of emails sent to my inbox this past week.
Marketing messaged like the snippets above undoubtedly competes with sustained advocacy efforts on the part of organizations that have put in the work to institutionalize inclusion as a practice, and not defaulted to being quietly anti-racist. I reached out to the last organization quoted above to ask how it has practically committed to understanding “the systemic impacts of bias and oppression at every level of [their] internal and external work.” I am awaiting reply.
Folks, the moment cannot be solved; it is the fruit of seeds sown. Today does not stand in isolation; its roots are deep. To friends who have reached out since Mr. George Floyd was killed: Please continue to reach out—but farther, towards transformative action.
Be a friend to Truthfulness, Trustworthiness and Justice.
As good friends sometimes do, I’ll re-gift you with a message my big cousin recently gifted me. Speaking beyond dominant narratives, he demonstrated love by offering a new narrative: “Hey, I just wanted to let y’all know that I love y’all so much. With all this hate and negative out there, I wanted y’all to hear something different.”
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