In a more and more polarised world, I am thinking What The Fu*k! and almost more importantly, Why the Fu*k! Is it too much to ask people to share points of view, seek first to understand, challenge yourself, sleep on it, make your opinion, and repeat?
Why are you trying to convince me that my support of my own community is in any way or shape a bad thing? It is messed up on so many levels. Let me explain:
- Do you think you stand a chance? I have been reflecting on Black issues for the past 8 years on this blog! 8 years! I am not a newcomer who recently starting to think about this. Moreover, I have spent the past 20 years reading everything I can on cultural differences. I have trained hundreds of people in negotiations. My wife has a business promoting diversity in kids’ books. I am reading the OG books on slavery. I am reading new books on systemic racism. I am part of a European and American network/think tank focused on Black professionals. Literally, there is not a single day when i am not trying to further my knowledge in this field. And I have skin in the game! I have kids that I want to face less racism than many people experience. I have kids who should never feel prejudiced regardless of who they love or who they are. So do you really think that you can rationalise bigotry with me?
- Are you trying to convince yourself or me? Since Black Lives Matter got the long-awaited front stage it always deserved, more and more people are engaging me in this discussion. Again my views on the topic are respectful and well known by anyone in my network. As a result, people have started to target me for the discussion. A bit like how a bully would target the biggest kid in recess, They think that if they can convince me (good luck with that), they will somehow turn the tide. Spoiler alert, the tide is not changing. Just ask yourself what side of the history you want to be on. Ask yourself what you will tell your grandkids when they ask, “was bigotry real?”, or “why did people used to say that they did not see colour?”… Let that sink in
- Look at yourself before gaslighting people. People love to look for extremism in my rhetoric or in my actions. “Is there anything in his professional or personal life I can pick on and attack?” Firstly, there is probably something if you look hard enough. Secondly, I do not care. There is so much to be done to level the playing field that, sadly, even me being ‘extreme’ is not going to balance things out. When we lived in NYC, we committed to spending 10% of our income with Black owned or operated businesses. We could not even find enough Black owned business to spend more than 1% of our income! How’s that for an uneven playing field?!
Seek first to understand, challenge yourself, sleep on it, make your opinion and repeat. The beauty of this approach is that you are never right or wrong. There is no finish line. However, there is a need to agree to disagree and continue on your discovery journey. I disagree if you voted for Trump, but it is your right to vote for whoever you want, and I will seek to understand and learn something. I am committed to respecting all opinions, and I’m not interested in engaging with people who are not as committed as I am.