The past week has been very emotional for my family. We have encountered so many different emotions, I didnt even realise that I for one possess.
I have moved from explaining to my eight years old what’s happening at times in a sheltered way and others through tears.
From anger to frustration, fear, and even downright wanting to rebel are so of the words that spring to mind. In it all, I have seen people jump on the bandwagon using hashtags #BLACKLIVESMATTER #sayhisname #ICantBreathe not because they mean, but it is en vogue.
Then others jumped off the sideline because it saves their brands and makes them appear to sympathisers of the struggle we face.
And then we have those who are still standing with their arms folded, far too afraid to try and see the other side, even with so much brutality right in their living rooms.
There was one video on IG, that highlighted the blatancy with which some families are deeply rooted in their hatred for our race.
In the video, a little girl scolded her mother, who told her she was tired and didnt want to see or hear any more of the racial uprising.
The little girl could be heard, expressing sheer shock at her mum’s intolerance. Now pause and imagine that.
On the flip side, I have seen real compassion, where friends of mine genuinely checking in on us not because it is cliche, but because they see me not my race, and I am part of them.
The conversations need to continue because all life cannot matter until black lives matter.
My grandma and I had a conversation recently, and so did myself and my mother. In that discourse, I was reminded that it had been the same conversation they had with their grandparents. This would mean six generations on, and we are having the same dialogue. Te dialogue to change one’s sex did not take six generations, yet race is taking over four (400) under years.
I cannot imagine and want my son ten years from now, to have even be having these conversations – the said ones Martin, Malcolm, and Rosa had.
It is time for real change that sees black kids not being afraid to run errands to their corner shop for their parents for fear of being gunned down..
Fear that robs them of speaking with their hands while gesticulating. Too afraid of being stopped by a cop or murdered like Sandra Bland, George, and too many to name here as we all know whether we are black or white.
The time has come for employees to look at the way they hire, are their teams diverse, their governance, and boards. What representation is there?
The classroom, are we taking off the labels and funnel for black children?
When your children show up with a non-white partner, are you ready to accept him or her, or will you get out of the shotgun? Ultimately the choice is yours then.
But here is a real chance to start the shift towards helping that decision if it came on your steps in the future.
The time has come, when we all need to exist in harmony- like the oak and the pine: the whale and the shark.
They are all after one thing, trying to survive, thrive, and look after themselves and families where this is relevant.
*What will that change look like for you?
*Employers, how will you change?
*Is your staff diverse?
*Is there representation on your boards?
*It is the time to reflect and do a SEF.
*Can you change how you post on social media, how you collaborate in business deals, or even choose what you say?
The doors are now open, and we will need to become uncomfortable in parts to honestly use the hashtag all life matters.
Discomfort can push us, and we all need to hold hands across the globe and start today, not tomorrow, or when this is over. Now is the time for real change to start!
COVID would have seen many lives saved by blacks.
How can they be kind enough to save your lives and care for you when you are sick, then when you are better, they are the scum of the earth?
There is a broken link, and this now needs mending.
As Gandhi said, we have to be the change ….you have to be your change. I am ready to have a dialogue with any of white colleagues who are opened to understand and talk this through.
Serena William’s husband has set an example, learn from him.
Take a watch…this is coming off the sidelines.