I’m not going to make a long drawn out statement here. The events of the past few weeks disgust and shock me. But they do not surprise me. The murder of George Floyd was the spark that ignited the powder keg. Until the rest of us can acknowledge that there is in fact systemic racism in our cultures we can never properly deal with it. The great American, Canadian or Kiwi dream of success and prosperity can never truly be achieved when a segment of our population are directly or indirectly sidelined, ignored or abused. It has to change if we value the culture of our society.
Black lives matter because all people are created equal. When we have systemic racism and bias, especially at the core of our justice and policing systems, we all will suffer. It has to stop. Police need to be trained to de-escalate, not rush in with guns raised, and to use appropriate measures for the circumstances. I get that policing is a tough and dangerous job. I value the work done by our law enforcement – I would never want them to not be there when I needed them. There will always be people looking to take advantage of others, so we will always need police to enforce the laws. But it has to be done humanely, with respect, and without bias.
At Fuel Accounting we don’t ask about a person’s skin colour, race, religion or sexual orientation when recruiting staff or selecting clients. And when these things do come up – it is to celebrate our uniqueness and to get to know each other more deeply. I do not need to be like you to like you, and I do not need to be the same as you to respect you.
As a white male I know that privilege is a hard thing to let go of. As a man in a bi-racial marriage I could never tolerate my wife being treated differently from me just because of the colour of her skin. And I pray that my children are able to enjoy the benefits of their dual heritage without judgement. If I want these things for myself and my family, I have to want them for others as well. Because if others are excluded, then I must be too!