Monday, February 20, 2017

No Lives Matter

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak, is to speak. Not to act is to act."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Other than my parents, I have two heroes who have influenced my life more than any others. I've written about them many times here on NoExcusesHR.

Martin and Dietrich.

They guide me..and today I will write how I honestly feel...and try not to disappoint them. To be honest, I'm not sure I can do it. But I'm going to try.

I would like to humbly offer my voice to the #BlackBlogsMatter project.

Are You Kidding Me?
I've heard the complaints for a long time. That somehow, the deck is stacked against whites. It's as if the push to bring equality to America has somehow disenfranchised white people. 

What? You can't be serious? These excuses, that I've heard for years, are some of the most bizarre deflections for not working hard, making an impact in their jobs, and being a difference maker.

I wonder what the response would be if the events of the last few years (or centuries) were reversed, and black police officers were gunning down whites regularly? Hmmm. Maybe a different reaction?

Black lives matter.

Losing Friends
I have to admit that earlier in my life I tried to maintain friendly relationships with everyone, both personally and professionally. But, that approach was not meant to be. I reached a point where I could no longer tolerate the racist comments, cheap shots against persons of color and other vulnerable groups, and just had to say, and do something.

I lost friends.
I called out colleagues publicly.
I made it very clear where I stood...and candidly did not care if those around me who felt differently were offended. 

Black lives matter.

Standing Tall
As time passed I grew increasingly confident in my views, and fortunately, was blessed to be in an executive position with considerable influence. Make no mistake, I used that influence to achieve my agenda.

I pushed to make major changes in my organization with the Board of Trustees, which were approved, implemented, and still stand today. The details are not important here, but suffice to say issues of diversity, inclusion and equality became part of the fabric of the organization.

Black lives matter.

How About You
As you consider your legacy...yes, would you like to be remembered? Is being a "dutiful soldier to the majority" something that feels good? Or, is there another path? Perhaps one that gives you the opportunity to be a leader for everyone in your organization...and in your life.

I can not thank my parents enough for teaching me that when groups of people are treated unfairly it is our responsibility to lead the way and support them, regardless of the criticism, peer pressure, or political fallout. We must always do the right thing.

I hope Martin and Dietrich are not disappointed. 

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

inspiration: Sarah and Body Count

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