Getting rid of Aunt Jemima on the label.
Making Juneteenth a holiday.
Posting BLM on your website.
Taking down statues honoring Confederate or racist “heroes.”
Symbolic gestures that address the racial inequality that exists in the United States.
Don’t misunderstand me: symbolic gestures make a statement, but they must backed by meaningful policy, hiring or legislative changes. To borrow a cliche, if you are going to talk the talk (symbolic acts), then you’d better walk the walk (meaningful acts).
When systemic racism is chipped away, one policy, hiring practice or legislative decision at a time, then real change will start happening.
Consider data I gathered from the June 13th edition of the Economist:
-Four of the Fortune 500 CEOs are Black
-Median Black family income is 60% lower than Whites’
-Whites have ten times the net worth of Blacks
-Black unemployment consistently is double that for Whites
-Research suggests 75% of Whites have no Blacks in their social circle
-79% of Black professionals in the Midwest say they’ve been victimized by prejudice at work
When meaningful changes occur — one after another, like the freight train that seems to go on forever as it rolls down the track with one full car after another — then we can be confident the day will come that systemic racism will collapse upon itself.
We are nowhere near that point.