Last summer my job got all eight of the senior Black people at work together because George Floyd got killed. We all said versions of the same things that every black professional at every job says. Our executives listened. They asked for a follow-up to hear more. Then they went into closed-door meetings and talked amongst themselves.
On Monday we get to find out what the white people decided to do.
I’m not whining. We were part of the discussion and our perspective was heard. Nobody dismissed us and we spoke freely and fully. But the power dynamics are clear. They decide what to do and the speed by which it will be done.
That’s how the Keystone Pipeline went. The Lakota said it impacts sacred sites. The Sioux said it pollutes the community. Their perspective was understood. They spoke freely and fully without the power to do anything. Trump wanted the Keystone XL to continue and approved it. Biden stopped it. The native tribes get to wait and see what the next powerful white person wants to do.
We just had this conversation last week about Asian-Americans the way vile rhetoric over the past year has become physical violence and how they’ve always been made to feel like strangers in their own country. It was a long overdue discussion. But even with a few elected Asian-American officials saying how they feel, Asian-Americans are still waiting to see what, if anything, the white people are going to do.
Georgia just made it a lot tougher to vote because the demographics of their state changed, and Democrats won the past three state-wide elections. Black people have been in the streets for 160 years fighting for the right to vote. Our perspective on this is understood. Now we’re waiting to see what white people decide to do.
We’ll do what we always do. Beg and plead that you see our humanity for just long enough to do what’s right. I’m waiting to see.