Freddie Gray, Almost Eclipsed by the Baltimore Mom #momoftheyear #racism #perception

FreddieGrayPrecinctProtestI knew as soon as I saw the article that it would go viral. Angry black woman: check. Fighting: check. Child abuse — of a sort: check. How could it lose?

Sure enough, the media took the image of Toya Graham, a mother at the end of her tether, and made her the face of the Baltimore riots. She even had her own hashtag: #momoftheyear. Many called her a hero, and suggested that if more parents took their duties as seriously as she did, the riots might not have happened.

But perception is a funny thing. Another black young man had just lost his life at the hands of the police. Why was the media so eager to splash this image across every media outlet? Continue reading “Freddie Gray, Almost Eclipsed by the Baltimore Mom #momoftheyear #racism #perception”

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Does Diversity Mean Improved Race Relations? #diversity #race #inclusion #racism

The short answer is, no. Racism is not a location. It’s not about ease of proximity. It’s a system, and system’s are not as easy to change is it is to get along with a new, different kind of neighbor. Diversity is great, but unfortunately, it’s not a straight line to a bias-free, racism-free workplace … Continue reading Does Diversity Mean Improved Race Relations? #diversity #race #inclusion #racism

Chill, People — It’s an Emoji, Not a White Hood #racism #diversity @Clorox

CloroxBefore you write in blasting me and Diversity Executive for insensitivity, I want you to know I chose that title deliberately. The point? Don’t overreact. Some things deserve your time and angst — Clorox’s April 9th tweet is not one of them.

I saw the news when it came out, and I was planning to ignore it — but just today someone brought it to my attention, again. So I’m going on record saying, chill people. Not everything is race related.

When I first read the tweet: “New emojis are alright but where’s the bleach,” I didn’t even get the racially motivated furor. I thought, oh, they want a little bottle of bleach. And why not? They seem to have an emoji for everything else. Someone had to explain to me that the upset was related to Apple’s new emojis. Continue reading “Chill, People — It’s an Emoji, Not a White Hood #racism #diversity @Clorox”

Do What You Can #diversity #inclusion #opportunity

helping handsSo much of diversity seems to be attached to a problem. Someone did something wrong, someone mistreated someone else, this data on the state of whatever is gloom, doom and oh, my gosh, when will the pain end? But that’s only a small part of the real story. The underlying truth of diversity and inclusion is actually quite hopeful and positive.

I like to think of diversity as this vast and varied canvas of untapped possibilities, and less about taking every chance there is — and unfortunately there are many — to point out what people are doing that you don’t agree with. Pointing a rude, crooked finger at what’s wrong in a situation hasn’t worked that well to effect change thus far anyway.

Under a more positive and hopeful umbrella, strategic diversity management becomes a toolbox stuffed full of different ways to promote equality, build awareness, share the wealth — whether that be via knowledge or support — and find creative new ways to tackle existing problems. Continue reading “Do What You Can #diversity #inclusion #opportunity”

Mike Brown: Today’s Hiroshima #diversity #racism #power

I had no plans to blog about Mike Brown. I thought, this happens so often, as tragic and horrible as it is, what more can I say that I haven’t already? Two things changed my mind.

One, I saw an absolutely stunning photo of a silent protest at Howard University where hundreds of solemn black faces stood with their hands up. No words were needed. It was peaceful, it was powerful, and it was in direct opposition to the fear and violence that swept Ferguson, Missouri this week.Howard

Then I read a beautifully written piece in Salon by Brittney Cooper: “In defense of black rage: Michael Brown, police and the American dream,” discussing the mentality behind racism, and I had to chime in.

Cooper says: “We live in a country that is so deeply emotionally dishonest about both race and racism. When will we be honest enough to acknowledge that the police have more power than the ordinary citizen? They are supposed to. And with more power comes more responsibility.”

That’s the bottom line.

Continue reading “Mike Brown: Today’s Hiroshima #diversity #racism #power”

Are White Gay Men Stealing From Black Women? #LGBT #diversity

Double StandardMy gay friend Travis sent me a blog he found in Time, “Dear White Gays: Stop Stealing Black Female Culture” by Sierra Mannie. In the piece, Mannie kvetches that Black women’s hair styles, clothes, language and dance moves are being pillaged by gay white men. That they are taking all of the glitz and glam and leaving behind the degradation, humiliation and stifled opportunities that characterize the black female experience. Essentially she’s saying there’s a line between appropriation and appreciation.

That’s very true. It seems like every time I turn around some black person is squawking about something we created being stolen by white people. And the list is long of black inventions, tangible or cultural, that have been appropriated by other races, for which we see a pittance, if any, of the resulting dividends.

My problem with the squawking is two-fold. One, what other races appropriate are often the most base, ridiculous and silly traits, things perpetuated by the media and a very small percentage of black people. I say, let ‘em keep that neck-popping bull crap. It has very little if anything to do with real – yes, I said real – black culture and history. Continue reading “Are White Gay Men Stealing From Black Women? #LGBT #diversity”

Don’t Be Distracted by the N Word #diversity #racism

This week, the WestView News got a lot of attention when it used the N word in the headline for an op-ed piece on President Obama, “The Nig-r in the White House.”Obama

Of course everyone’s on fire about it. It’s been a long, twitchy chorus of ‘how dare he,’ and ‘I’m so offended.’ But for me, all the kerfluffle that has ensued is just another example of the public allowing itself to be distracted from an important message. The media articles I’ve seen have been quick to assert that the piece was pro-Obama, calling out the racism of far right voters, but that message has been almost completely obscured by that one controversial word. Continue reading “Don’t Be Distracted by the N Word #diversity #racism”