After the murder of George Floyd, we saw an immediate push by many commercial businesses to say, “Hey, we’re not racist.” The messaging was swift, visual, and pulled at the heart strings. Exactly what an advertising campaign should do in order to keep the African American consumer spending money with their company. All of these companies sending this message of redemption, became very suspicious after a while.
What were they really after? Was it really all about the spending? Where they really looking out for the African American community or was this another PR stunt by companies that realize that a large portion of their revenue comes from Black and Brown people. What was it that made these companies feel compelled to put forth such an effort to make sure that they were seen by the minority community?
The sad part about this effort is that it doesn’t truly reflect the type of change that is needed for African Americans in some companies. Policy and procedure changes are what will matter in the long run. Not catchy slogans and saying, “We should have done better, sooner.” If these companies really want to show that they are truly on the right side of history, they will evaluate their hiring policies and their strategies to make sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to advance within.
Another sad part of all of this is the way some white Americans are reacting to these changes. While many white Americans totally get it and are having the hard discussions in order to help themselves understand better, other white Americans are maintaining that they aren’t racists despite participating in a racist mindset. Many white Americans don’t realize that being racist doesn’t only mean wearing a sheet and burning crosses. Having a racist mindset includes the willful inability to understand that another group of Americans have the same right of expression and access to opportunity as they do. Some white Americans may not want to believe it or admit it, but some of them are happier when African Americans are quiet, passive and agreeable. Why else would some of them keep saying, “He should have complied,” even though it has been shown that unarmed African Americans are still killed by the police.
There is no telling what will happen in the distant future. The way this country is going, rolling off a cliff seems mild. Will there ever be a time when all people are happy in this country? No. Someone will always be unhappy or feel unheard about something. Prayerfully, people will stop being so irrational about Covid-19 and begin to wear masks and keep social distancing.
One would think that those who are having a hard time with African Americans demanding justice after years of oppression and/or being compliant with Covid-19 safety precautions, would be willing to consider the reality of what is happening in private, if not publicly. People who have been comfortable for a very long time in this country with their privilege, have to adapt to the change that is coming. If they don’t wish to repeat the failings of their forefathers, all they have to do is crack open a truthful history book.
After all, they say, “Hindsight is 20/20.”
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