I think this meme shouldn’t just include brands but for the companies we work for. I’ve seen a lot of posts from places that I shop from, participate in today, and acknowledge the black community at the same time but I haven’t seen anything from the company I work for.
I’m disappointed and disgusted. I was disgusted when I logged on and saw the organization refer to these protests simply as “riots,” showing a lack of general awareness and understanding of the current state of the nation. I’m disgusted because they referred to those who chose to make a statement about the closing of the state as “protests.” The “protestors” showed up armed at capitals and tried to gridlock traffic. The “rioters” show up on foot, unarmed, asking for change that doesn’t involve opening up non-essential stores because we feel inconvenienced. We’re asking to be treated fairly. But as I read the e-mail, all I could think of was, “This is the message you thought was appropriate for this climate?”
Yes, there are riots, yes, there is looting, but you’re overlooking the biggest factor – many of these are protests, just like when so many civilians showed out because they couldn’t get their hair cut or their nails done. We cannot condemn the actions of a few to change the narrative as we see fit and that’s what we’re doing here – we’re changing the narrative. All of a sudden the skin tone of those showing up are no longer “protestors” but “thugs” and “anarchists.” All of a sudden the words “demonstration” and “protests” can no longer be used – all because we are people of color.
I’m disappointed that the company I work for has remained silent (the organization is the client). Not a peep. Not a single word to address the current state of the nation. Nothing. They have employees everywhere; no message reaching out. If big businesses can address the current state of the nation, knowing that it may offend some of its consumers and say, “We hear you. We’re muted so you can amplify your voices,” companies are skirting by because what? You want to promote diversity but keep silent on issues that matter. That doesn’t make sense. And it’s not just my company choosing silence over showing a semblance of empathy.
A simple message saying, “Here at xyz company, we promote diversity and inclusion of all of our past, present, and future employees. Each of you provide valuable insight, exceptional work, and we are proud to have all of you on our team. At this time, if you need someone to talk to, here are some resources we’ve come up with to help you during this time.”
But then again, as I’ve stated in the past, offering assistance like that means acknowledging that mental health is what it is – health. Mental health is viewed with such negativity and shame, we’re alienating the totality of our workforce’s health.
Furthermore, today, with everything that has occurred over the last few days, companies are not only alienating the mental health and wellness of its employees, they are perpetuating the problem by alienating the very essence of the diversity of the workforce they claim to embrace – their black skin tone, their brown skin tone, their yellow skin tone…
What a shame it is that an opportunity to become culturally aware and educated, many are continuing to make the active choice to look the other way, remaining complicit to the mistreatment of black people and people of color in their ignorance.
Your silence speaks volumes and it is deafening.
Until next time – Love, Peace, and Chicken Grease <3
BITD is a blog designed to educate on mental illness and maintain mental wellness through personal experiences.