“The heartbeat of anti-racism is confession, is admission, is acknowledgement, is the willingness to be vulnerable, is the willingness to identify the times in which we are being racist.” – Ibram X. Kendi
Learning through engagement.
My goal in writing the last email was to increase our collective empathy. I received several responses pointing out factual errors about what happened to George Floyd that were included in the message. Thank you to those who took the time to engage. I have since taken a couple of days to consider the implications of these errors in order to respond appropriately.
In my last email, I attempted to get all of us to imagine being in Mr. Floyd’s situation and to consider times that we may have “bent the rules” and were not punished with force that ended our lives, as happened to Mr. Floyd.
However, in truth, there is no evidence that Mr. Floyd intended to “bend the rules” by using a counterfeit bill, or that there even was a counterfeit $20 bill presented at Cup Foods. We don’t know any of that. The misstatements made in the prior email obscured the message I was intending to convey, and unintentionally dishonored the life and memory of Mr. Floyd. For that I am genuinely sorry.
In my last email I stated that “the particular and overwhelming circumstances of this moment have created a potent opportunity and we must not let it pass.” That is the truth.
This is a moment for all of us to learn, to grow, and to be counted. There is no such thing as perfection in nature and there is no such thing as a perfect response. There is only process. I believe that the best way to serve the process is to be honest and vulnerable and contrite when appropriate.
This email is my attempt to engage with my own process of learning. My hope is that what I take from this experience is real, actual growth to check my own assumptions in the future and to be a part of the change that needs to happen in this world.
With humility and sincerity,
P.S. If you know anyone who might be interested in receiving these daily emails, feel free to add them to the mailing list.
P.S. #2 We are hosting regular virtual breakfasts. Click here if you’d like to join us.