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Why Being an “Anti-Racist” Company Won’t End Racism.

So when I heard companies committing to being anti-racist organizations, I know things would get interesting.

I get the intent.

We want to be a company or organization that is actively ending racism inside and outside of the workplace.

And if that is true, the statement of anti-racism isn't the right word to use.

I speak about this more in-depth in an article called Be Less White - inspired by Coca-Cola.

Many companies focus their anti-racist education and actions on calling out white employees, white people and highlighting Black trauma. If no one has said this — that isn’t how to end racism.

Something is off if we are condemning and guilting each other, perpetuating more of what we don’t want to see.

There is more understanding that needs to happen. It goes beyond donating and taking training that condemns one ethnicity.

Companies committing to being anti-racist happened so quickly that they missed critical thinking and asking the right questions.

I teach a workshop called How to Become A Racist; over 70 participants have answered what I call the million-dollar question: How do you become racist? Not one answer says by not donating or not hiring Black people. Yet, that is what a lot of companies committed to in 2020

Racism isn't a hard problem. It's a heart problem.

Money can solve most hard problems - it can't solve what is enclosed in the heart.

If companies are serious about this work, they would re-evaluate the company culture and foundational parts of the business.

The truth is if you become focused on DEI, anti-racism, or hiring “more Black people” after George Floyd was killed, there is a big chance you have done it wrong, upset a few people, and wasted valuable resources.

Companies will need to restart and rephrase the language they have been using if they wish to see change.

Racism is not a Black and White issue. It's a Humanity issue.

Racism is oppressive. If there are other forms of oppression within the workplace, how can you effectively address racism?

And since racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, colorism, and classism carry the same vibration - if companies don't use a different approach, these other 'isms will continue.

Fix your internal oppression first.

When employees are afraid to speak up, that is oppression.

When employees are being yelled at in the workplace, that is oppression.

When someone is bullied in the workplace, that is oppression.

When employees are treated wrong, that is oppression.

When employees are overworked, that is oppression.

When employees are underpaid, that is oppression.

Stop the performance. We need authentic companies.

We need more companies like Darrell Davis that are willing to do what most won’t.

We need companies that don’t follow the in-trends because everyone else is doing it.

We need companies that dare to be the Miles Davis, Michelangelo, Rosa Parks of the world.

We need companies that recognize that traditional business won’t outlive humanity.

We need companies to honor the humans they have, and by doing so, they create environments of empowerment, and those empowered humans will go out into the world and assist in the change in the world.

We need companies that will dance first. Not follow the next sheep off a cliff.

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”— Friedrich Nietzsche

I'll end with this:

Racism is an antiquated problem. We are one race with a blend of beautiful ethnicities that have come here for a purpose. Our words have cut out and brought humanity down for so long - suffocating process and disempowering solutions.

If you are a company that wants to have a positive impact on end racism - use words and actions that transcend beyond the basic narrative.

Start with doing the internal work that will be the light that will shine from your organization.

Racism has been a part of our humanity for a long time, thus requiring a different approach that goes beyond isolating two or three ethnicities to solve it.

There is simplicity in ending racism; however, there is a balance of complexity in the simplicity, and the complexity is rooted in our society that often does not go quietly.

Companies need to rethink the words they are using to actively end racism inside and outside of the workplace.

Ubuntu (I am because we are).

Light and Love,


p.s. Stop calling people minorities: read this post, watch the video.

Culture Circle is a culture consultancy that partners with growing companies on culture, inclusion, and everything in-between.

If you've been tucking culture under "HR," we need to talk. Connect with us today.



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