Looking for something simple you can do to fight racism on Monday?
A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend of mine and he said something so profound
“The higher you go the lighter the skin and the deeper the voice.”
all I could say was wow! that’s so true and so profound.
Now there are many reasons that this is true, and I don’t want to talk about whether it’s right or whether it’s fair. What I want to talk about is what you can do on Monday to change things…
See there are people in the world that are wicked. WICKED. WICKED.
But what I’ve noticed is that most people are not evil or wicked, they’re just trying to make that paper…they want to make more money in whatever they’re doing and they often use a shortcut to get it.
I’ve lived in quite a few places in my life, and I noticed some interesting things.
For example, Africans (who have lived in Africa) who migrated to America will always celebrate when they meet other Africans. Like, if it’s a diverse place, some people may go as specific as looking for someone from their own Country or someone from their own state or city in that Country. But if you’re living in a place that’s not diverse, then just let someone mention that they’re from Africa and you’re hi-fiving and hugging and laughing together like long lost brothers and sisters.
I still remember my first visit to Connecticut where I met this older gentleman who was from Namibia. First of all, it was during thanksgiving where they have this marathon, and although there were hundreds of people (maybe even thousands of people), it was only a handful of black people present. But the moment the gentleman from Namibia and I made eye contact we started talking and then we found out we were both from Africa, we started shaking hands and laughing. I was there with one of my good friends, and he offered to buy us some snacks and drinks from the convenience store where we were standing. We were family.
Now if he had a job that he was hiring for, and I was qualified for the job, who do you think he would be more likely to hire? The person who doesn’t look like him? or me? the person who he was seeing as family?
Sometimes it’s like that for Brown people trying to apply for a job where it’s predominantly non-Brown people.
It’s not that the non-Brown people hate us, it’s just that they are used to their own, and so they have this shortcut that says, “make the safe pick – pick the person you are most confident in, don’t take a risk. You’ve never worked with someone like this before… how do you know they won’t disappoint you?”
So this is where you can help me on Monday.
This is where we need your help.
No matter how frustrating it may be on Monday, I am begging you to not quit working.
Now you may need to leave a job and that’s okay… but I’m begging you not to run to your own business just to get away from the awkwardness. Because yes it will be awkward, non-Brown people are not used to your beautiful Brown self. You do things differently from them, you think differently from them, you are different from them, and that’s okay, actually that’s what they need, but they don’t know it yet… right now they are afraid of different, because they haven’t gotten to really experience and appreciate you.
But if you choose to stay in the work world, and let people see just how fabulous Brown people like you can be… then guess what, they will be more willing to trust and hire more Brown people next time.
So can you do me this favor on Monday?
NO matter how challenging it may be, we need you to help us fight racism on Monday, just by choosing to stay in the working world, because the higher you go, the higher we all go.