top of page

Here's the Truth

The despicable events that took place on January 6, 2021 were an attempt to overthrow American Democracy. President-Elect Joe Biden & Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in on January 20th, 2021. This is how America and our elections work. Nothing was stolen from Trump, yet he continues to fabricate and lie both in person and on his permanently suspended Twitter account. In addition, I am compelled to point to another horror that exists in “Trump’s America” which is the existence of white privilege and systematic racism. If the rioters (domestic terrorists) were black, they would have been shot, strangled, and lynched. These are not merely strong words but complete truths as seen this past summer during BLM protests. White privilege is real. Systematic racism is real.

We have much work to do…This starts with education and communication. Employer’s, now more than ever, have an obligation to educate their employees surrounding serious issues, such as inclusion, diversity, equity, and belonging. We must have these tough conversations. As a white male, and member of the LGBTQ community, I am here to help and listen.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I found the below to be an important must read that is from raceAhead by Ellen McGirt on January 8, 2021:

Here’s the truth: I’m slightly older than the Voting Rights Act, which means that I’m the last person who was born into my family without my full set of civil rights. I’ve never really gotten over that, to be honest. But it also means I’ve seen some things, including Robert Kennedy’s assassination, live on television. But I have never seen anything like the madness that descended on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. We have to talk about it, and by “we” I actually mean white people, and by “white people” I actually mean executives. This is the moment when CEOs and senior leaders stand up. Ya’ll have had some real dry runs—from standing up for transgender bathroom access, taking stands on gun safety and voting rights, to real investments in Black lives, community health, education, and skill building. Keep on with that, and I’ll keep covering it here. But all of that has been just a rehearsal for what happens now. We’ve been having a long and tortured conversation about what a new capitalism might look like—stakeholder-focused, purpose driven, anti-racist, and prepared to tackle the big issues with everyone at the table in some meaningful way. I will spare you my take on the many corporate statements condemning the riots in the Capitol, with one notable exception that I did not see coming: National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons issued a full-throated condemnation, calling the rioters “thugs” and asking for Vice President Pence to participate in invoking the 25th Amendment. “The outgoing president incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy.” Good for him. But, if you are a leader at a company who has taken “difficult conversations on race” seriously in the past, then this is your moment to dig back in. Because if you think it was hard to walk into a conference or a Zoom room with Michael Brown, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, or Breonna Taylor’s name on your heart, the days ahead are going to be wrenching for your Black, brown and other underrepresented employees. A mob organized by and including white supremacists tried to take over Congress, and nearly succeeded. They were egged on publicly by President Trump, whose dangerous and racist transgressions have been ignored by the privileged for years. Those same rioters, after desecrating the place with selfies and face paint, were escorted off the premises, now free to plan a second run at power. And five people are dead. If you haven't spent time imagining what would have happened if the "protesters" had been primarily Black and brown, your Black and brown employees have. Now, if you pretend like nothing has happened, you are part of the problem. So get talking—and denouncing—early and often. Talk with your kids, your friends, and your neighbors. Michael Bush, the CEO of Great Place To Work and a raceAhead treasure, has some excellent and very specific advice on what to say and how to take a clear stand in his latest blog post. “Don't let people speculate about how you felt about what you saw. Silence is a bad move here,” he says. But if you lead a big team, it’s also time to listen to your employees, your most important stakeholders, about how to shape your words and commitments going forward. Let us know what you need and how it’s going. But here’s one quick tip: Do not even think about canceling Juneteenth this year. Just don’t.

Click here to subscribe to Forturne Newsletter ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We must have these tough conversations now. Communication and having the conversations are a start. If we do not, I am afraid we are going down a very dark path. Employer’s now is the time to act. It is not too late. I am here to continue listening and here to help.

The display cover image was on a NBC News site, Chelsea Stahl

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page