As an English speaking white male married into a Mexican-American family, I’ve got a lifetime of experiencing racism and sexism from the lenses of people thinking I held the same broken views of people and the world. First hand, I’ve seen the hate and bias, learned to take action to stop the behavior, where possible.
It shocks me today, as it did the first time I witnessed in business, 25 years ago, without question systemic racism. Not by coincidence, my team was the most diverse, also outperformed everyone else. We stopped doing business with clients because of their behavior; it was the first time I have presented an opportunity to discuss and then take-a-stand for the right thing.
While living in the south, not to say they have a monopoly, my eyes opened to hate-groups and hate-people. I was a young professional, unsupported by management, to cease doing business with a business, who only wanted white contractors. This request came using the N-word as casually as saying good morning to your child. I was stunned; after a pause, I re-ask the question about contractor qualifications, sharing that I must have misheard him, I did not. Thank goodness I didn’t cave to the pressure to overlook this illogical and hateful behavior; I terminated his contract with a notation about the racist conversation and request.
I hope my approach to these situations is helpful to stop the behavior and educate people on how hurtful and damaging to people and society in general. As humans, we all have “stuff” we work through, overcoming adverse circumstances and destructive decisions.
The color of our skin can’t be decision criteria, a choice, a discussion to change it; this should be obvious; it’s not due to fear and ignorance. RESPECT people, get to know people, connect with people, then & only then it might happen for you.
I share this because of current events in the world, and after a period of purposeful division for economic and power gains, the world is experiencing. The systemic shift has been in heightened for several recent years. My hope and commitment are to continue to learn how to act-do-my-part to stop and educate those who believe in racism and sexism at the moment, those who ignore the apparent acts of bias and anyone who uses the excuse, “it’s just how they are.” #improvetheworld #equality I’ve had the honor and privilege of friends and family with diverse backgrounds and cultures. I embrace love and respect for the human family: Latin, Mexican-American, Native American, Mexican, South American, Canadian, Chinese, Indian, Asian, African-American, African, European, Australian, New Zealand, and all I’ve missed. Thank goodness for Zoom, WhatsApp, and Social Media to stay in touch.
In my next 50 years, I am excited to fill in more of my gaps with people and cultures. I don’t know much about it. I hope, and my commitment is continuing to learn how to act-do-my-part to stop and educate those who believe in racism, classism, and sexism at the moment, those who ignore obvious acts of bias, and anyone who uses the excuse, “it’s just how they are.” #improvetheworld #equality #humanfamily