In all your getting, get understanding.
In the backdrop of a global pandemic, the murder of George Floyd has sparked a coordinated response to recent events and other relentless and systemic injustices happening in Black communities – the same communities that are still reeling from the disproportionately lethal effects of the virus, COVID-19.
The causes that placed us at these crossroads include a 400-year national history of marginalization, disenfranchisement, police brutality, and global systems that perpetuate racism. These truths need to be acknowledged while we tackle the ongoing effects of that history on the black experience in the United States. To White America, commit to the hard work of getting educated on equity, inclusion and advocacy for people who do not look like you or share your worldviews. The breaking point that many of our cities have reached because of this violence against black bodies is where the process of re-building trust and community can begin.
Protests are more than organized marches and leaders chanting on a bullhorn about the change we want to see. Protests are the lifeblood of driving collective, synthesized, and focused calls to action. Even in the complexities and multifaceted aspects of what justice must look like in this country, if I say “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE” or “SAY HER NAME” or “LOVE WINS” you have an idea of what those demands are. You feel a conscious tug that brings you to attention even if only for a moment. You have an idea of who is hurting. You get a peek at some of the broken things in this country. It is your choice to either tune in or tune out. I do not condone violence and I do not condone damage to property or looting. However, I do know protests can be used, like any other good thing, for different intentions that can possibly hurt a movement. I also understand that sometimes people respond to uncertainty and transgression with fearful and destructive behavior. What will forgiveness look like on every side?
My heart breaks for all black life that has been injured, traumatized, or destroyed by people and systems. To my colleagues, legislators, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders that shape culture for future generations, let us break every wheel that has been programmed to divide us. We need more people ready to build something new. For some it is too scary. For others it is too risky. For me, it is more than necessary. I’m a Black woman in the wine and cannabis space with Black brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews who deserve safe communities and a fair shot at generational wealth building. When you turn this page or scroll down this screen, think of every thought leader on your social media feed that writes, provides resources, designs curriculum, shares posts and makes it easy for those who want to understand to do just that – get understanding. Will you have the courage to take the hard steps of immersing in this moment? Will it change you enough to make you an advocate for black lives?
Many of us want to build bridges, not walls, in every industry if you will.
Co-Founder, SHOKi Beverages
Owner, Motovino Consulting
Read the conversation starter curated for white people that want to begin the work of becoming allies and champions of black lives. #AdvocateAndCommit