News > Racial Injustice: We Can No Longer Turn Away or Be Silent
“I can’t breathe.”
Those words, choked out repeatedly by a dying George Floyd, still run through my head.
I have difficulty breathing when I see the footage of a Minneapolis police officer crushing the neck of a handcuffed man for more than eight excruciating minutes.
The scene is so ugly that most of us want to look away. We also want to look away from the violence tearing through the streets of that city. But I cannot look away, and none of us should.
How has our society devolved to this point, where we can watch someone suffocating another human being, videotape it on a cell phone, and not intervene?
As part of a diverse cultural team striving to stick together, grow together and dream together, I cannot sit idly by or stay silent in the face of injustice.
The violence in Minneapolis has inspired me to deviate from my scheduled management blog to talk about acceptance and humility. Ultimately, and at their core, these messages are the same.
When I witness the breathtaking ugliness of hatred, it underscores why we choose love at Dasher, Inc. It is why we choose to foster an environment and culture of trust and acceptance. It is why we attract and retain economically fragile team members and support them when life threatens to crush their spirit.
Sometimes I am asked why a blonde-haired, blue-eyed business leader from Harrisburg would care about racial injustice a thousand miles away.
It is simple. Because racism is everywhere. And it is wrong anywhere. And it is not just a problem for people of color. It impacts all of us. We all have to do better, including me, and we have to speak out every time we see wrong.
Sadly, discrimination is not new to me.
Soon after I acquired Dasher in 2015, we received a death threat on our phone. The threats to shoot up our company turned out to be from a former employee who worked at Dasher before I took it over. He was angry that I was gay, and I hired people of color.
My sense of outrage over his insensitivity, not against me, but at my team, was unshakable, and I could not let the death threats go unpunished. They did not.
I often recall Martin Luther King, Jr.’s heartfelt refrain: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Choosing love in our society and in business makes so much sense. Choosing love creates a culture of acceptance. Where there is acceptance, there is sharing and collaboration. Where there is sharing and collaboration, there is opportunity and growth.
Peace is not the absence of differences or disagreements. We are all different, and we all see the world differently. We all want to live life in our unique ways. Peace is valuing life so much that we will not kill or reject one another because we are different.
These are themes we live out consistently and often discuss at Dasher in our weekly meetings. The Minneapolis violence led to some profoundly emotional discussions for our team, now working remotely in the pandemic. Some of my team members have friends in Minneapolis who were protesting. It pains me to hear that my team members must teach their kids how to keep their hands on the wheel of the car if they get pulled over, lest they risk being hurt, or worse.
In Minneapolis, there were no heroes. Many people stood by in silence.
All of us must confront hate. Do not look away because it is ugly, and never think it is not happening here. Racism and discrimination hide in plain sight.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” Edmund Burke said.
Let us do something together. Let us truly love our neighbor. Dasher is a small pebble in the ocean, but we want to be the pebble that creates a ripple effect in society.
It is up to all of us to decide the kind of community we want. I hope you will join me to ensure it is a community of equals, espousing a culture of love and acceptance and not hate and divisiveness.
Dasher is a data-driven, customer contact services operation with a focus on communicating complex messages to diverse populations. Specific capabilities include face-to-face communications provided by our field teams, customer engagement strategies provided by our call center and member engagement staff, and secure, complex, variable mailing services provided by our production team. Dasher is an experienced Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (MWDBE) with a bestselling book, “The Talent Pool,” and is certified by AICPA with the SOC2SM Type2 data certification and validation.