Help Us in the Fight for Racial Justice
George Floyd died because four people— four people— did not respect his life. His black life. His human life. They could not see themselves or their father or their brother or their son or their uncle... in him.
They would not empathize when he cried, “I can’t breathe” and called out for his mother. They would not envision what life would be like for the people who loved him after they choked the life out of him. Not in a split second, but for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. 8 minutes. And 46 seconds. He was not a threat to them, lying face down on the ground, with a knee in his neck. For 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
Have you watched the video of George Floyd’s murder and pictured a person you love in his place? That’s empathy. Being able to put ourselves in the place of another. To feel other people’s pain. To try to understand their heartache and grief.
When we started Olive & Auger two years ago this week, I wrote:
“I have been deeply impacted by the ugliness in our society today. The meanness. The degradation of our political discourse. The bigotry and racism. We shouldn’t have to look so hard for the kindness.”
Two years later. And here we are. But I hope we are watching the turning of a tide. I hope the great wave of grief and justified anger we’re seeing now will finally begin to wash away the devastating impact of 400 years of brutality against black Americans. Of racism against black Americans in the education, healthcare, housing and criminal justice systems. I do hope and pray.
But prayer without action is just a wish. That we have not actively fought for equality for black Americans before now is our shame. But never again. This month, 100% of profits from our ‘Anti-Racist’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ shirts will go to the NAACP, as they work ‘to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.’
Please read more about their mission here: www.naacp.org.
Next month, and every month after, we will choose another organization fighting for racial justice. Our ears and our hearts are open to input about where our dollars would best be utilized.
When we say, ‘Be a Good Human,’ we simply hope to remember our common humanity. Of course our unique colors and cultures and languages make us diverse and beautiful and we should celebrate them and learn from one another. But our humanity is what binds us together.
Those officers did not see George Floyd’s humanity. They lacked the empathy we must require in people—ALL people—who are in positions of power and authority.
Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, once said, “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
Black lives matter. And we know it is not enough to simply not be racist. We pledge to be better. Never to be silent in the face of racism again. To actively work to change the systems that allow and encourage it. And we are with those who shout Never Again, in honor and in memory, of George Floyd.
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