Black Lives Matter… Diversity, Inclusion and Equality Part 2

Aloha Everyone,

I want to first thank you for the countless kind words of gratitude, thanks and hope, from this past week, following my first messaging on Black Lives Matter. And, of course I would be remiss, in not mentioning those who stand opposed to my messaging on black lives matter… I listen and I hear you, thank you for sharing.

There are many thoughts and ideas to share with regards to our current topic of “Black Lives Matter”, but I thought we might first address something that seems to resonate with some readers, the use of the phrase, “Black Lives Matter.” I won’t spend time trying to change anyone’s philosophies or try to convince you otherwise, but I wonder how many who oppose the current messaging, can actually say those words… “Black Lives Matter”? This is about the disparities, inequities and vulnerabilities experienced throughout history, and now during recent times. A former United States President said it best when addressing “black lives matter…”

“Black Lives Matter’ simply refers to the notion that there’s a specific vulnerability for African Americans that needs to be addressed. It’s not meant to suggest that other lives don’t matter. It’s to suggest that other folks aren’t experiencing this particular vulnerability.”
Barack Obama

Nelson Mandela was another world leader in the fight for rights of the racially disadvantaged… an anti-Apartheid activist, which means that he fought for those who were disadvantaged by the system of racial segregation. His legacy is so much more. Mandela’s vision and who he was, encapsulates todays messaging of black lives matter. Through hard work and informed collaboration, he shaped a better world through his work and initiatives, in joining organizations and alliances throughout his lifetime. His messaging continues to be a symbol of power that “one individual has to make a difference.” Nelson Mandela said it best in one of his many motivational moments during his life…

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
Nelson Mandela

These notable leaders, share their thoughts as well. I only ask you to pick one or two of leaderships “words of wisdom” below. Ponder the thoughts of those who have led the fight and went before us, and consider those who continue to lead.

“Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eye and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too frightened, when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.”
Robert F. Kennedy

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
Audre Lorde

“To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.”
Rosa Parks

“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.”
Maya Angelou

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
Audre Lorde

“For too long politicians told most of us that what’s wrong with America is the rest of us. Them. Them the minorities. Them the liberals. Them, them, them. But there is no them; there’s only us. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice, for all.”
Bill Clinton

This week I have three videos for you. The first:

Episode 2 – Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man – Emmanual Acho

Matthew McConaughey sits down with Emmanuel Acho to have an uncomfortable conversation with a black man.

The second/third videos, need no introduction, they will speak for themselves. Each of you will have your own thoughts and will hear and see your own messages, from these brilliantly filmed, by chance, rendezvous of destiny. A per chance meeting and of being in the same place at the same time, with someone else. As you “listen” and watch, please feel free to stand tall while, place your hand over your heart if you wish, and/or “feel free” to please take a knee. I hope you’ll enjoy!

(this second video is the full newscast as shown on ABC…)

Impromptu National Anthem… Symbolism… remember their words, “not to out sing the person next to you” and “it’s essential for us to raise our voices in empowerment and in love for one another.”

“Words Matter, Actions Matter, Outcomes Matter”

Remember, you don’t have to agree with everything I’m saying, it’s not about that. It’s about providing information, learning, listening, collaborating, beginning to make a difference… baby steps, taking those first steps toward positive changes. And asking ourselves “are we part of the problem, or part of the solution?”

Aloha,
Stafford

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