As we anticipate this video being released. And I’m not gonna say which one cuz those of you who care enough to know, probably already know. And those of you who don’t know already are probably living under a rock somewhere and choose not to know. Um, and have placed yourself in situations where you don’t have to.
No. I wanna say to those who do care and those who are, uh, present and making it your business to know what’s going on with the people of color in your life, the black lives in your life, uh, that you should protect yourself, protect your heart, protect your mind, uh, what goes in must come out. And so when we take on this hurt, this pain, this tragedy again for another time, , we have to consider what we’re going to put out into the world once that hurt has consumed us.
And I don’t wanna make an assumption that you are going to allow this to consume you or allow hatred or the violent nature of it all to consume you. I just know that we’re not immune to what’s happening in the world. And as much as we like to say, oh, maybe we’re getting to a point where we are desensitized because of the violence that we are consuming in television, media, and in the real world, that we won’t react and we won’t have emotion.
That’s simply not true. We are going to feel some kind of way about this video and about people once it’s released. What we don’t have to do is make generalizations after watching this video or after hearing of this video, or hearing people’s thoughts and opinions about this video about other people, and I think that’s a huge responsibility that we have to remember that the actions of a few, or the actions of one or two, three or four, doesn’t necessarily equate to a whole community of people being a certain way.
I think that it’s important to have that conversation with young people and with your neighbors and with your family members who will sit around the table with you and have this dialogue. If it does not, um, let me first say that there’s some folks who refuse to have these conversations because it’s not safe and that I understand.
But if you have people who are willing to have that conversation, please because what we’re not willing to address within our small, intimate circles or whatever, um, groups that we are a part of, whatever we’re not willing to address within those circles, we begin to internalize and distance ourselves and behave with bias and speak with bias because we are internalizing it or we’re taking it on.
We have to do our best to interrupt that, and that takes practice, which means that you have to practice having these dialogues and these conversations with people so that you can become stronger in your allyship and stronger in your accomplice-ship for other people and if you’re like me and you’re choosing not to watch the video, that’s fine too.
I wanna reassure you and affirm you in this moment and let you know that you don’t have to watch another video of violence. You don’t. You don’t have to subject yourself to that at all. However, I will say that you will always be a part of the dialogue and the conversation, and that you should consider yourself to be someone who needs to speak up for yourself and have a voice on how these issues concern you and the communities that you say you care about. And I wanna be clear that I don’t believe that dialogue is going to fix the problem. Right. I don’t think that dialogue is the answer to solving all of our race problems in America or our equity issues in the workplace.
But what I do think is that the more we continue to talk, the better our relationships will be with one another. The, uh, increased respect will have for one another, the better our productivity will be in the workplace and. I also think that it is a start, a starting point because in order to correct and change our behaviors, we have to know and be aware that there’s a problem, right?
And so if we refuse to talk to one another, we, you are not talking. We’ve shut down all communication on topics that are too difficult to have, then we can’t expect that there will be change. Behavior language leads to behavior.
As for those of you who are managers in the workspace who are navigating these waters and trying to have these and facilitate these conversations amongst your staff and other employees within your institutions, I want you to challenge yourself.
I want you to challenge yourself so that you are able to have these conversations without choking. , right. Have these conversations and create safer spaces. You’re not gonna get it right every time. You probably won’t get it right the first time, for sure, the second time, the third time.
But you have to continue to create space, continue to make the workplace one where, uh, political correctness isn’t, um, at the forefront. And you’re not being the bias police, but you’re creating space for people to have these dialogues open. , and please, please, please consider your organizational outcomes, right, and your commitment to diversity that you made.
That shouldn’t pop up and be a conversation only when someone dies and we have a video that comes out that compels you and pulls at your moral heartstrings, right? These are conversations that should be ongoing. Be talked about all the time again, so that you can get comfortable with them and that you can get comfortable with addressing bias in your workplace so that the culture changes.