when you hear your internal voice automatically discriminating. Stop and don’t speak words that belittle another human being. If you can’t acknowledge the bias you carry around, you won’t understand the impact of your words and actions.
If a problem is showing up in your world, own it. Could you do something about it? Protest with all your heart, compassion, and voice. My voice matters. Your voice matters. End the violence, end the racism, end the hatred, and learn to listen. Not just with one family, but with all families. Make it personal. Who do you hate? How do you stop?
How do you replace hatred with an unclouded view? It starts with training. But, how do you train a hater to be a lover? How do you change behavior? One way is to separate the behavior from the person and address the behavior. I practiced this approach for decades on the job. For me, if I can’t break through a person’s discrimination habit – then action must be taken, and choices must be made.
I had an employee who was demeaning to anyone of color. It came to my attention, and I did an investigation. When I collected the evidence of this behavior across his shift, I spoke with him and shared the documentation his fellow workers brought forward. He acknowledged the truth but didn’t get why it was a problem. He didn’t own his communication because he thought what he said was harmless. It wasn’t, and no amount of conversation or behavior modification changed his mind. I terminated him, not in anger, but in sorrow for the state of the world we live in that produces this behavior. I held him accountable. It wasn’t easy or comfortable. But if we’re going to make a change in our organizations and lives, we must embrace the discomfort.
I say to all who will listen; the world depends on you to take a stand, tell the truth with love, and hold all of us accountable to be the change we want and need to make.
May your day be peaceful and productive.
Paulette Sun Davis