This post is the second in a series of five perspectives forthcoming from the managing partners of Simpatico Studios addressing the issues of systemic racism and inherent bias in American culture. The series is inspired by Simpatico’s objective to start and sustain a conversation about these important issues—a charge we gave ourselves in a July 2020 joint statement. You can read the prior week’s perspective, written by Simpatico VP Rick Hain, here.
This post is short, because what I want is for people to think. I want people to educate themselves—to read How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. I want people to take action to improve their communities for everybody.
This post is also short because I have never been attacked while running. I have never been shot while sleeping in my own bed. I have never had the cops called on me for being in my own neighborhood, in my own house.
Instead, when, as a teenager, I went out riding my bike at 3 a.m. because I couldn’t sleep and encountered a police officer, I got home safely to my parents. Instead, when I absentmindedly fumbled simple questions about what I’d been doing out of the country, the TSA agent just impatiently waved me through.
In short, I got—and continue to get—the benefit of the doubt. I get the assumption of good intentions, despite making mistakes.
Asking to be treated like you matter, like a human being, is the very least that you can ask of another person. If you, like me, are white, thats all thats being asked of you.
Black Lives Matter. This is a statement of fact. I want people to take a moment and think about the truth of that statement without any qualifiers. Now, take another moment to think about how our laws, actions, businesses, and communities DO NOT reflect the fact that Black Lives Matter. Think about all the black people that have been harassed, hurt, and murdered. Think about what people are doing to change this. Think about what you can do to change this.
It will take everybody—individually and collectively—to dismantle systemic racism. White people who aren’t sure where to start, please read any of the numerous resources shared and then examine your own reactions, actions, and lack of action. I’m still trying to educate myself. Nobody is perfect, but we can all be better and do better. We can each decide that our communities deserve better. Take action: listen, learn, donate, protest, vote, have difficult conversations, and help others to get their voices heard.
“…when, as a teenager, I went out riding my bike at 3 a.m. because I couldn’t sleep and encountered a police officer, I got home safely to my parents…when I absentmindedly fumbled simple questions about what I’d been doing out of the country, the TSA agent just impatiently waved me through.”
“…examine your own reactions, actions, and lack of action. I’m still trying to educate myself. Nobody is perfect, but we can all be better and do better.”