The images of police knees on top of George Floyd sickened me to the core. Like many of you, seeing this video of the death of yet another black man in the hand of police custody brought out raw anger, frustration and disappointment. Yet, equally similar, an eerie feeling of normalcy as it happens far too often all over not just in the US but in Canada and over the world. I don’t want to make this article about my past experiences with Police, nor my thoughts on what I think should be done… This is going to about speaking out as a socially responsible corporation that owes our community the help it needs to spread awareness and importance of BLACK LIVES MATTER and further support Black owned businesses in Edmonton.
Why responsible companies need to speak out and take sides?
Over the week, we have seen countless protest, anger, frustration reflected in all aspects of life. While 99% of it has been peaceful protest that promotes conversation, awareness and push for progress through advocacy in legislation for change, there have been negative actions like property damage/looting/rioting that unfortunately covers all the positive work the BLM movement is about like a wet blanket over a fire. By speaking out and taking a stance, a responsible corporation can redirects focus and concentrates attention on the core ideas that matter and helps take the BLM in a positive direction.
The power of BLM spread like wild fire and unified a generation to come out and speak up. Businesses big and small that spends years on saying they are community focused, built for the people needs to step up, come out and make a stand.
Silence represents Complacency
Being silent is making a statement. Racism relies on people keeping silence same as civil rights infringement, domestic abuse and police brutality just to name a few. Being silent shows you are ok with it and sends an incredibly strong message about your brand. Brands have a responsibility to uphold their core values, support issues that impact their customers and if they have a chance to speak up should do so. Yet, customers supporting brands that remain silence on society issues should rethink where their hard earned money is going towards.
Is posting a black tile enough?
We have decided against posting a black tile on our media. Why? We feel we need to do more to understand the situation, create conversation where necessary and put in a heart felt effort help raise awareness to inadequacy and inequality of our society. We have observed what others have done and felt a strong effort on our part needed to be done to make a bigger impact of creating conversation rather than push for likes. It is our hope we can partner with our community to come together, share our stories and push for change.
- Research, ask questions, donate and show up to support the Anti-Racist / BLM movement. Here's a great list to start.
- Speak out. See something that you don't feel right at work, in the street or at home? Be weary of gas lighting by others trying to flight the their shame on you. Make a stand and ask the tough questions. Racism is not ok. It's not a joke, its not funny and you owe it to your self to speak out and raise awareness rather than be silent.
- Research companies you buy from and see where they stand