Monday, April 11, 2016

Hate by Design

I’ve had enough.

Something has changed in the American dialogue about faith, gender, sexual orientation, and decency. I can turn on my television any night of the week and listen to Presidential candidates discuss their passion for banning certain groups of people from entering the United States simply because of their faith or country of origin. 

I watch states like North Carolina and others legalize discrimination against our own people. I see corporations across the county that still do not recognize equal rights for all of their employees.

It makes me sick. This is not leadership…this is hate by design.

Wake Up Call
Apparently there is such a strong sense of frustration that bigotry and hate are now acceptable. The core documents that this country was founded on…that include language that all people are longer apply. 

What happened?
Here’s a little reality check for those of us who have the privilege to lead our organizations. The millions upon millions of votes that are being cast for candidates with these extremist views are coming from our employees.

How does that feel?

Golden Opportunity
There is an incredible opportunity in the madness that has descended upon our world. Sadly it is not going to be something any politician embraces. However, those of us who shoulder the burden of leadership can make a huge difference.

But only if we’re brave enough to take action. 

- It is time for policies, benefits, and resources to be marshaled to ensure every one of our employees feels like an equal and valued member of our organizations.

- It is time for us to use the power of disciplinary action in a decisive and impactful way when bigotry raises it’s ugly head in the workplace. 

- It is time to for respectable organizations to disavow public policies that would discriminate against any person, regardless of their faith, race, gender, sexual orientation, or country of origin.

It is time my friends. 

How About You
Let me close today with a quote from Martin Niemoller, who shared one of the most powerful messages in all of human history. Sadly, it still applies to America in 2016.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses. 


  1. Maybe the melting pot that was the USA has cooled to one that chooses its ingredients.
    Anyway what is an American? Perhaps eating your own will become fashionable too? Its all too sad....

    1. Good stuff...I wish I had the is a sad state of affairs right now. We will come back though...we always do!

  2. I've lived in Mississippi all my life. I've lived in the Deep South. I've seen racism first-hand. I've seen others judged for being different.....Yes...simply for being different. (Feel free to pick/choose from a variety of differences.) Yet, through it all, I hoped that the good, kind people would be what Mississippi is know for.

    Then, mere weeks ago, I lost a bit of the hope that I once held. Our state leadership voted to say that a part of the citizenship could be discriminated against by another. (Merits of who is victim here can be argued either way. For me, I always look for who is being shunned by another group.)

    I've seen religious people protest and proclaim with absolute venom. It's sad...very sad.

    I've been in HR over 10 years. In that time, I've worked very hard to be fair to ALL people. I try to treat others with the same respect I would want given in return. I am amazed that I now live in a state where some, from Gov. Bryant to State Sen. Brantly, collectively give everyone else yet ANOTHER reason to frown upon Mississippi.

    When all else is stripped away, we all carry one solitary label. We are ALL human.

    It is my hope that people will one day stop being so inhumane and show an inkling of humanity.

    1. Fabulous note Kyle. Thank you for sharing...and don't lose faith. You are one of the reasons your state will power through this painful period.

  3. I applaud the spirit of goodwill behind this post. I suggest a mistake of perception. The hate and bigotry has always existed. Those eloquent founding documents counted millions as 3/5 persons, not to mention the struggle for civil rights that continues. What has changed is lowering of barriers;to communicate hate, to inhibit expression of what was always there. Those facts are forcing a new reckoning, and I think that's a good thing.

    1. Good points Martin....and yes...the Founding Fathers did not fully appreciate all people. But we've come so far...this current (and I trust temporary return to ancient thinking) will hopefully transition away as we all learn to appreciate everyone.

  4. You're right Martin, throughout history there have always been humans who feel superior, regardless of the motivation or reasoning, and have acted on those feelings (even our Founders). In almost every era, there have also been those who have challenged that superiority, and through resilient actions have championed the sense that we all possess inherent human rights to live our lives as we choose without the shackles of discrimination. This struggle will continue, as long as human individualism continues to flourish (thankfully).

    With communication barriers lowered, voicing superiority is greatly enhanced, yet the majority of Americans disagree with this. I hear a whole lot of negative backroom "head shaking" about the emergence of rhetoric that supports superiority. That's fine, but we need to get past dinner table and water cooler recriminations and apply strong voices to drown this out. The call for leaders big and small to champion individual freedoms is greater than ever. As a fictional leader once said, "This is a time for serious people, Bob, and your fifteen minutes are up." It's past time to turn that quote from fiction to reality.

    1. Good stuff K.C.....thanks for being part of the conversation!