Many of us are struggling to find our footing in these unprecedented times. The killing of George Floyd, coupled with the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color, have put an exclamation point on injustices that have been present since the birth of our country. We are dealing with feelings that include fear, anger (outrage), sadness, confusion, guilt for not doing enough, and loss. Many of us are experiencing pain that is shaking us to our roots.
As we confront these emotions, we encourage you to lean into the discomfort. These emotions are a human response to a system that treats people unfairly because of factors beyond their control, such as the color of their skin and where they were born. For white people, the discomfort is a reminder of our own complicity in perpetuating conditions that lead to injustice.
Our emotions can and must be a call to action. Those of us who are privileged can notice our blind spots, learn and listen to friends, colleagues, writers, and speakers of color. Not everyone is comfortable being an activist, but we can each take a step toward doing more than we’re doing today. These resources on anti-racism for white people (recommended by Netcito member Rahama Wright), the dangers of performative allyship (recommended by Netcito member Deanna Troust), and Guidelines for Being Strong White Allies are good starting points.
This also can be a time for community. At Netcito we aim to create spaces that are safe and supportive. If it feels right, we encourage you to reach out to your group members to check-in, either in person or online. If not, we honor that and understand that we all grieve in our own way.
For those in our circles who have been impacted by racism, we see you and we’re very, very sorry. We know each of us plays a part and we’ll try to learn and do better. We’ll no doubt make mistakes so please bear with us. When we do we’ll get back up.
We invite you to join us in using the same respect, empathy, compassion, and authenticity with which we solve our business challenges to support each other and tackle injustice and racism. When we’re intentional about authenticity and connection, we align our actions with our values – and we grow our capacity to lead and create.
These events are also calling us to fully see the people most impacted by injustice and to act in solidarity with them. As we navigate this time of unrest, let’s use friction as fuel, embracing this time as an opportunity to become more aware and active when it comes to confronting racism. We are at a unique moment where we can shift the conditions that perpetuate injustice and help to create a more fair, equitable, and connected world.
We wish you and your loved ones for health, safety, love, courage, and compassion in the time ahead.
The Netcito Team,