A lot of us are feeling anxious and angry and helpless right now. We are witnessing history as all over the country people are rising up to speak out against injustice.
While it has always been there, this week we are seeing continued violence against the black community on centerstage. In play are generations of systemic social and racial inequality stoked by empowered white supremacy. The unnecessary and brutal deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery join countless others to prove it.
It’s heartbreaking and infuriating to see violence perpetrated by those sworn to protect all citizens. I saw it first hand at the protests in SF and Oakland over the weekend. This is the America we need to contend with and change.
I also saw brave people rise up against this system to lift the voices of their neighbors, friends, and fellow Americans. People rising up to say that we as a people can’t and won’t be complicit in a system that isn’t built on foundations of equality and justice. This is the America we should embrace and take pride in.
Mark Twain once said that History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does often rhyme. This is not the first time we’ve seen a death like George Floyd’s. If we don’t speak up and take action, it won’t be the last. “White Silence is Violence” — it can be uncomfortable to hear or embrace. I ask that we spend some time to feel that discomfort. Now is the time to recognize privileges, exercise them, and raise our voices to demand change.
Nylas stands in support of justice and equality. It’s important now more than ever that we band together to show support for marginalized people. So, what can we do to show our support?
We have donated to The Bail Project (https://bailproject.org/). This organization provides bail relief for people in need, reuniting families and restoring the presumption of innocence in a system that disproportionately targets and punishes people of color. We are also matching donations made by employees to any organization that works towards the goals of racial equality through all of June.
Notable organizations to consider are:
I urge you to truly listen to and hear what is being said by the black community. I encourage you to show solidarity by speaking out wherever and however possible against oppression, racial inequality and injustice.
How we cope with trauma differs from person to person. I, for one, find solace in the arts, especially poetry. One poem in particular – The New Collosus, by Emma Lazarus – provides me with hope, and speaks to our ability to come together and build towards our highest ideals, even if we’re not there yet.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”