Category Archives: race

Racism in Society: Is it a growing problem?

The below video clip is from an interview I did with NECN alongside Wendy Murphy this morning.

From NECN: Racism in Society: Is it a growing problem?

Having discussions on race is so important. Shying away or ignoring the real problems that we face daily do not actually make them go away. As our population shifts and changes, so must the way we think about ourselves and the way we engage others. The idea of a majority population is changing when you think about the growing number of people who check off multi-racial on the census. Did you ever meet someone and wonder “what they are?” or “where are they from?” It’s part curiosity and part need to help us put people in a box (even if you don’t use that internal language, you are doing this). To know someone is from a certain country or from a certain geographic area helps us file them in our mental database which we associate with the characteristics we think we know about that place. It happens so fast we don’t even think about it.

Talking about race and talking about our lens helps us work through stuff that is there. It helps us learn.

In the Paula Dean case, she should own her bad behavior for what it was and call it what it was. It was racist behavior. Does that mean people cannot evolve? No, the beauty of the world is that we have the capacity to evolve. The real question is whether or not we have the will, strength and desire. Where there is smoke, there is fire. That is why we react so strongly. People don’t just accidentally use the “N” word. If you look more closely at other behaviors, patterns emerge. That is, unless we are actively looking at ourselves and making intentional changes.

We are always growing. And now, we have a society that is paying attention. We witness racist behavior that makes our hair stand up, makes us outraged, makes us cry. We also are seeing the responsible supportive active voices saying that we will no longer tolerate this. And we are also using our individual voices to move along that accountability chain. Social media plays a huge role in letting employers and corporations know what we really want. It is in their financial best interest to listen.

Racism is not a growing issue, it has been here. We are just finding new ways to confront it. Our work is not done.

I welcome a thoughtful dialogue around this topic. Feel free to submit comments.

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last night, I was honored to be able to share a message in memory of Dr. King’s legacy.  Inspired by one of his many quotes, the message was one of personal responsibility.

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Injustice is only allowed to both prevail and thrive because we allow it to do so.  So much of what happens is witnessed by the “good” and allowed to continue because the “bad” are not held accountable.  From what is seemingly harmless to the outright criminal, unjust behavior is unjust.

We all affect and are affected by our community, however you define community.  When something happens to someone else, there is some impact on us, whether we are aware of it or not.

Last night, the Town of Danvers Diversity Committee went above and beyond by recognizing the efforts of members of their community for taking on the unjust and doing something to create change.  We all have the capacity affect the life of another person.  We choose through our action, or inaction, just what that impact will be.  I challenge you to be a positive influence in the life of others.  Don’t turn a blind eye to the marginalization of your  neighbors, co-workers, family members.  Learn how to engage and take on the difficult task of holding each other accountable.  It is the only way the world will truly change.

Remember that silence translates to the action of allowing injustice to prevail.

YOU can make a difference.  You can also acknowledge the every day efforts and courage that people around you show…don’t wait for a special day, once a year.  Lift each other up and be LOUD.

http://danvers.patch.com/articles/mlk-dinner-honors-leaders-of-justice#photo-8910209

Thank you Danvers, for honoring the legacy of Dr. King and thank you to the honorees for being brave and taking a stand in all of the ways you were able to make a difference.  Please click on the link for more information on the honorees.