Day 25 – The N-Word

Welcome to the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge! Throughout the 28 days of February, my posts will not (necessarily) be about HR, Leadership or Management topics.


The N Word still remains one of the most controversial and racially charged words in the English language.

I have written about it on the blog before. You can read the full post HERE.

My opinion about it really hasn’t changed much. So I’m just going to repost the most relevant parts of what I already wrote.

 I don’t want to debate the N-word and it’s use in every day life and/or pop-culture. If you choose to use it as a term of endearment in your life to refer to your friends and loved ones, that is your choice … There cannot be words that are OK for some people but not OK for others in [the work]place where everyone is supposed to be held to the same standard. Period. And the same rules apply to the B-word and F-word (not to be confused with the F-bomb, which I confess is one of my favorite words). There is no place for it. So cut it out — or face the consequences!

I’m not advocating terminating every employee who uses inappropriate or inflammatory language immediately. [I’m also not advocating labeling everyone who uses the word as a racist. Prejudice? Probably. Ignorant? Definitely — that’s redundant since it’s part of the definition of the word]  When it happens, there is an opportunity to teach and coach about appropriateness and inclusion that should be seized.

Once upon a time, beyond work, I didn’t feel it was my duty to take advantage of those opportunities. I was content to let people wallow in their ignorance, including people that I knew and loved.

I don’t feel that way anymore. For I now know it is that kind of thinking that doesn’t move us forward. And I especially know it is that kind of thinking that allows closet racists to keep up their ignorance and oppression in secret without ever facing consequences.

Unacceptable.

Because if Black people and Women and other People of Color and people in the LGBT community have to suffer consequences for things they have no control over, you surely should have to face consequences for judging and mistreating people for things they have no control over. Period.

If you want to be ignorant and use inflammatory or stereotypical words to describe people and it is either in my presence or knowing, I will be calling you out on it. It’s the Year of the Savage.

You’ve been warned.


Tune in tomorrow for Day 26 – White Privilege So Fragile

Day 24 – Hashtag Activism

Welcome to the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge! Throughout the 28 days of February, my posts will not (necessarily) be about HR, Leadership or Management topics.


Hashtag Activism is a method of supporting a cause through social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using a common hashtag.

#BlackLivesMatter

#BringBackOurGirls

#LoveWins

#ICantBreathe

Hashtag Activism generally has a very positive impact:

  • It brings international awareness to an event or cause.  This often results in more media mainstream coverage than it would receive without it.
  • It allows an outlet for positive sharing about an event. While some of the emotions surrounding the event may be negative, the act of sharing provides a level of empathy that helps people feel better.

The problem with Hashtag Activism is that, for most, it never goes beyond the online sharing. While some may participate in rallies and/or marches following the event, most do not. While some may donate to the cause associated with the hashtag, most do not.

For most, their association and support of the event goes no further than the sharing of their sentiments online. This is where Hashtag Activism fails and falls apart.

Activism is meant to be active. Activism is meant to be ongoing. Activism is meant to last.

I also know we cannot always be active. Every fight is not yours to fight. You cannot protest every day and spend all your money donating to every cause.

Choose your battles.

But battle something.

If your only method is the Hashtag Activism, you are missing out on your opportunity and obligation to do more.

There is so much going on in the world today and it will impact you or someone you love. Yours and their liberties, rights and safety are being threatened.

Don’t just post something. DO SOMETHING.


Tune in tomorrow for Day 25 – The N-Word

Day 23 – Moving Up or Selling Out

Welcome to the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge! Throughout the 28 days of February, my posts will not (necessarily) be about HR, Leadership or Management topics.


We didn’t come this far to only come this far.

We have to move up in order to move forward. Individually and collectively.

This is good, necessary and essential.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with moving up. I’d don’t understand the criticism of Black people who choose to pursue the education and opportunities that lead to high levels of achievement. I really don’t understand how we criticize ourselves for these choices.

The problem is people don’t really understand the difference between moving up and selling out.

Selling out is about compromising your integrity and authenticity for personal gain. It is about betraying your morals and turning your back on your upbringing in order to make money. It is forgetting where you came from and your struggle. It is being unwilling to help others to achieve things similar to what you have through mentoring and sharing.

We all have a responsibility to be helpful to others. We all have a responsibility to give back. We all have a responsibility to share our testimony and inspire others. We all have a responsibility to be our most authentic selves in all times and in all ways.

When you choose or refuse to give back to the organizations and communities that have helped you, you are a sellout. When you act unethically or allow discrimination to go on actively or passively, you are a sellout. When you don’t help people you know so their road to success is a little easier, you are a sellout.

Selling out isn’t exclusive to Black people. Anyone of any race, creed, color, gender, nationality or sexual orientation can be a sell out. At times and in some ways, we are all guilty of it.

We didn’t come this far to only come this far. But we cannot go any further if we don’t help each other and work together.


Tune in tomorrow for Day 24 – #Hashtag Activism

 

Day 22 – Black Economic Empowerment

Welcome to the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge! Throughout the 28 days of February, my posts will not (necessarily) be about HR, Leadership or Management topics.


The economy of Black America equals approximately 1.3 BILLION dollars.

Yet only about $0.02/dollar is spent in the Black community before it is spent elsewhere.

This is the lowest circulation of any minority group in America. Far and away the lowest.

This was not always the case. 50 years ago, the $0.80 of Black dollar was spent in the Black community before it was spent elsewhere. After the Civil Rights movement, aggressive efforts to integrate resulted in a decrease in Black owned businesses and banks. It became increasingly for Blacks to start new businesses in integrated environments where the regulations were often used to exclude them from participation.

So while Black America has the buying power of a mid-sized European nation, it still does not have the same level of influence because it is lacking empowerment.

Empowerment = Power + Influence + Wisdom

Black America is lacking economic wisdom.

It doesn’t realize its economic size. It doesn’t realize its influence over the economy of its nation and, by extent, the world. It doesn’t realize how much power it has or how to use the power that it has.

Wisdom = having knowledge + knowing what to do with the knowledge to improve your circumstances

Black America is lacking economic wisdom.

I’m not going to bastardize my people by accusing them of wasting their money on material items over saving and investing. While I know this is accurate in some pockets, I know that this isn’t the driving force. Contrary to what is perpetuated, we’re not lacking in Economic Empowerment solely because we’re buying rims or handbags instead of putting money in our 401k. This is a myth perpetuated by the same idiots who want you to believe that the only wealthy Black people are athletes, actors and music artists who used their talent to escape from poverty.

Not true. Not even a little bit.

What is more true is that we’re lacking 3 things:

  1. Education. In many Black families and communities, we are still fumbling thru the trial and errors that come with being the first and only to do what we’re doing. We are the first to go to college. The first to own a home. The first to own a business. The first to make a 6-figure salary. Being the first and only doesn’t always afford us the examples and mentors needed to cultivate the habits that lead to economic empowerment as individuals, families or communities. Our counterparts in other communities aren’t always willing to share this information; some assume that we already know it. We are left to fake it til we make it, which makes our pace slower and our path more rocky than others.
  2. Opportunity. If you are starting a traditional business, it is more difficult as a Black person to get the capital and legal permissions needed. Discrimination and disparity against Blacks, Women and Minorities in this area is still very real. Further, our exposures are often limited so we end up competing in the same categories for the same small pool of resources. Not everyone can make it when that is the case, which makes us susceptible to crab mentality and/or less willing to try where we see someone else already having success.
  3. Support. Black businesses are not allowed to fumble, falter and rebound the way that others are. Excellence is all that is allowed. And, while it is great to be able to brag about our brilliance at overcoming, it is also demeaning, exhausting and unfair that we cannot have a day off or off day without risking collapse. No one should be required to perform at that level by other humans. Because others are unwilling to support us, we are often unwilling to support ourselves — because we still imitate the habits of those we have been conditioned to see as “better,” no matter how hard we try.

Without these 3, the Black community will continue to look outside itself to gain understanding of how to attain, maintain and build wealth. And we will continue to model the flashy behaviors of the wealthy role models that we see without understanding the habits that go along with it.

Black Economic Empowerment cannot be attained without the education, opportunity and support needed to have the wisdom to know what to do with the power and influence we already possess.


Tune in tomorrow for Day 23 – Moving Up or Selling Out

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