I have a regular article to post, but given the recent events in the world, I feel it would be tone deaf to talk about business right now. I’m going to break my self-imposed professional/personal barrier for the first time, to share something I posted on Facebook recently that seemed to speak to people. Regular posting will resume soon.
I saw something yesterday comparing a Martin Luther King Jr march to a looting scene. It made me think (most of the night). I think most of us agree MLK is admirable, looting is not, but there’s so much more to it.
1. MLK and fellow marchers were also beaten by police and arrested. He was assassinated. It didn’t matter that they were peaceful.
2. Medgar Evers, another civil rights leader, was gunned down in his driveway in front of his children. It didn’t matter that he was peaceful.
3. James Reeb, a white minister, was beaten to death by other white people, for participating in the peaceful marches. It didn’t matter for him either.
4. There were riots after MLK was murdered too.
5. MLK was killed in 1968 — over 50 years ago, and some people are still fighting so other people don’t literally get away with murder.
6. The phrase “when the looting begins, the shooting begins,” comes from the 1960s, when several states met the peaceful protesters with force and violence. The mindset hasn’t changed for some. Note the president at the time enacted the most far-reaching civil rights laws since the end of slavery a century earlier.
7. Saying one way to protest is good and another way is bad (especially after the good ways have been ignored for so long), feels like telling POC how to behave, which is part of the problem.
8. Colin Kaepernick took one of the most peaceful forms of protest I’ve seen — just a moment on a knee. People lost their minds and he lost his job. And nothing changed.
If you’re interested, here are links for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).