A friend of mine wrote a very powerful article on Medium titled, Check On Your Black Friends and Colleagues… We Are Not Ok. In it, he shares what his experience is like as a Black man in America and how the little things that you might not think twice about, are a very meaningful and impactful part of his day, here’s a good example:
Every morning at 6 a.m. I go for a run around my neighborhood. Before I leave the house, I’m faced with a decision that most people don’t have to consider:
Should I wear my hoodie or should I leave it at home?
I think: It’s colder in the morning, so I should probably wear one. But, on the other hand, what would my neighbors think if they saw a black guy running around this predominantly white neighborhood with a hoodie on? I stand in the mirror for a few more minutes weighing the decision. I ultimately decide to leave the hoodie at home. Now I’m fully dressed and ready to go exercise.(Source – Medium)
I’ve been having phone calls and Zoom conversations with friends of mine who are Black to hear more about their experience, share my support, and find out how I can be supportive as a friend. The feedback I’ve had from everyone is how amazed they are that so many people just ignore what’s happening and continue to post on Twitter, Facebook, etc. as if nothing is going on, just business as usual.
One of the companies I invested in early on is Sandbox Commerce, the founder, Sterling Smith shared this powerful image on Instagram recently:
If you have been silent this whole time, know that it’s never too late to break your silence and stop pretending everything is okay. Like James says in his article, he is not okay, and all of my Black friends have echoed his words, they are not okay. I’ll end my post with what James shared at the end of his article that I encourage all of you to read and take to heart:
And our ask is simple: We need you. We need your voice. We need your support. We need your privilege. And we need you to become Allies while locking arms with us in solidarity. What you’re witnessing happen in this country right now is a by-product of the voiceless going unheard for so long. And what we need now, more than ever, is for those who have a voice and who recognize their privilege to really step up and use those things to help us fight and finally put an end to systemic racism and racial injustice.(Source – Medium)