If you've spent some time with me or heard my thoughts on words, you've heard the phrase, high-vibe. High-vibe simply means using the better parts of our humanity.
After George Floyd got killed, companies reacted and put up statements making commitments to anti-racism. Here is one from Omada Health:
To a logical brain, the opposite of “anti” is “pro.” So, have companies been saying all this time they have been collectively pro-racism?
Companies that have never educated on anti-racism will receive issues in the process. Their employees will shut down as a defensive mechanism because of the double negative nature of the wording mixed with the company's lack of context.
What followed next was surprising. Companies are paying people to come in and teach anti-racism specifically geared or tailored to white people– as if white people were the only ones who could become racist.
Over the past few months, I've observed how this low vibrational content blocks humanity from transcending something that goes back at least 9,000 years. Hate of and belief in the inferiority of someone who looks, acts, or sounds different than us, sparks the “need” to self-preserve, be apathetic, and allow our egos to make the decisions our humanity should.
Anti-racism are two negative words trying to transcend a negative problem.
It's not working. It won't work.
Using the word “anti” is to negate any collection of life experiences that come after it.
Anti [fill in the blank]
I once shared my deep thoughts on abortion with a friend. She proceeded to tell me that she is a conservative (who, from what she shared, are anti-abortion), and she had an abortion. She hasn't told her friends because they are anti-abortion.
How shitty is it to have friends who you can't talk to about something that deep and personal? If you can't talk about it in a safe space, you can't heal.
I'm curious about the diversity training that did or did not happen at Coca-Cola. When they say be “less white,” are they talking to ALL white people? What if someone is mixed? Should they deny their humanness? Is being "less white" the solution to the problem?
It would be helpful to understand which white people we are talking about. How much "whiteness" do they need to have?
Does this include those who are mixed or have been raised by people who aren't white?
If someone has two Black parents and lacks the ability to produce melatonin, do they, by a glance, appear to be white?
These questions are important because we can't go around condemning an entire ethnicity because of their skin color.
My own people have told me to stop "acting white." From the way, I speak to the activities I was participating in.
The model is flawed.
We are trying to teach white people not to be a certain way with Black people by teaching the same flawed system in the workplace that started this whole thing? It makes no sense, which is why again, this isn't working.
Listen, I get companies want to educate out of a macro culture shift. But can companies pause for a second and think about what they are actually doing and how they are not helping? They are continuing to perpetuate a low vibrational message expecting it to transcend to higher consciousness.
Companies don't know what the fuck they are doing, so they build in a silo. Surrounded by people so eager to stay within their comfort zone, conform, and prioritize convenience that, again, nothing transcends as it is supposed to.
I love LinkedIn. I truly do. However, there are better things to think about and promote than anti-racism in their learning platform. Perhaps they should teach people how to create job descriptions that are inclusive and don't state non-Asians at the beginning of the job description.
Hell, if an Applicant Tracking System can disqualify people based on what school they've gone to, this shouldn't have happened. This same broken system is and has been established into our school system.
We see this come out specifically around Black History Month (BHM).
In school, we are force-fed the negative representation of the Black people during a month designed to celebrate it.
I speak openly about how BHM is the worst month for me; every year in school was the same shit.
The focus: Celebrate Black People
The Narrative: We are slaves, Roots, Harriet Turman, Abraham Lincoln MLK Jr., civil rights.
More recently, my daughter came into my office with a distant look on her face after a school Zoom call and said that "we just watched German Shepherds,"...and then she stopped talking.
She proceeded to say "attack"...then stopped again, and I said, “Black people?” She nodded.
Son of a bitch, I thought, the schools are still at it. Little do they know or care that one of Marlee's parents and two of her brothers are Black, and we have a German Shepard.
Imagine on your 15th birthday you are forced to walk around a cemetery as a form of celebration for all who have died. Talk about confusing a child! Obviously, I’m still affected by this experience.
I explained to her how things were fought because we were never taught.
Don't tell me what you are fighting against. Tell me what you stand for.
I teach a workshop called How to Become A Racist. I've been hosting it for the past six months. It solves racism without calling out "white" people. Why and how?
Because racism isn't a Black and White issue, it's a Humanity issue.
A close friend of mine once told me that I have more compassion for white people than she does, and she is white. The truth is, I have compassion for all people.
Coca-Cola, Linkedin, Microsoft are Billion dollar companies y’all. This is the best they can do?
It reminds me of a trick I used to pull as a kid when I was younger. To get out of doing the dishes, I would do a horrible job or even break them. I wasn’t asked to do the dishes again.
Are companies doing this on purpose?
This quote comes to mind:
“When someone says, I can't change,' some part of them wants to change, but the payoffs for their present behavior are greater than the payoffs for changed behavior, or their fear of change is too great.” –Harold Griswold
Reassess why you are doing what you are doing. If it is reactionary or performative, it will only be cosmetic and won’t last or have the depth of impact you seek. Be honest. If you don’t care, say that. People can decide on whether or not they want to work or do business with you. If your business survives, great; if it doesn’t, it might be your time.
Attend a How to Become A Racist workshop. Hell, at this point, I’ll give it to you for free.
Rethink the language you are using around solving a universally primitive problem.
Using the words Anti-racism isn’t going to end racism. Period. If you are still using the world minority, you are drinking the poison while still making the antidote. No one should have to educate you that minority isn’t a good word to be used to talk about a human. It’s not a hard problem. It’s a heart problem.
It's time to rethink the shit we've got ourselves into.
Thank you for reading.
Light, Love, and Gratitude,
About Culture Circle Humanity. Ubuntu. Efficiency. These key values create the foundation for inclusive and healthy workplace cultures. U.S-based Culture Circle, founded by Charisse Fontes, is the only Black-owned, Woman-run Culture Consulting Agency that transforms the employee experience through the lens of anthropology and humanity. Learn more and connect with us here.