When I watched the murder of George Floyd, I cried, then I became angry. Really angry. Legislation is overdue and critically needed, but racism is a systemic problem. We have to root it out from our personal, social groups. You can make racism unacceptable. Black Lives Matter.
My husband, Danny, and I went to a peaceful protest in Boulder, Colorado.
Have you read Lord of the Flies?
In Lord of the Flies, a bully becomes a leader of a pack of stranded boys and slowly dehumanizing one of them. In the end, (SPOILER ALERT) the entire group attacks the poor kid. This book was written in 1954 by William Golding. It won the Nobel Prize.
The book is about groupthink. When people band together socially there is a human need to fit in. It’s ancient. In our DNA. Our survival used to depend on being a part of a tribe. Not anymore, but that hasn’t stopped people from avoiding conflict to be accepted into a group.
The problem arises when, according to Wikipedia, the group has a tendency among its members to agree at all costs.
Have you ever been out for dinner when someone gossiped? I bet everyone leaned in. Some might have even shared similar stories to support what the gossip was saying. People want to relate and build friendships. If anyone felt uncomfortable about what was being said, they probably didn’t call the storyteller out in front of everyone. That would cause a scene. You might not get another invitation to dinner. That’s groupthink at play. Now, imagine someone making a racist remark. Would you have the guts to say something?
Don’t accept racist comments as the status quo.
Don’t let groupthink take over in a hateful way. Now’s the time to take a stand. We need to change what’s acceptable. Stand up to racism.
If someone says something racist, don’t ignore it.
Start a discussion. If the person won’t back down, maybe you should rethink your friendship.
If everyone takes these simple steps, maybe George Floyd’s death won’t only depend on legislation to make a difference.
What about All Lives Matter?
That equalizes the problem. Racism is about treating someone with inequality, discrimination, and prejudice because they think their race is superior. George Floyd died because he was black.
We can make a difference.
The people who believe that Black Lives Matter need to become outspoken. It doesn’t take a majority of numbers to sway a group. Imagine, rooting out the core of racism by taking a stand that racism is unacceptable. A racist would think twice before speaking their mind.
It will never be a perfect world. There will always be narrow-minded hateful people in society, but we are already on our way. People are talking about it. Let’s keep the conversation going.
Don’t look the other way and pretend you didn’t hear a racist comment.
I have spoken up against racism. It’s hard and there’s fallout.
Your time will come too. Don’t be silent. Looking the other way accepts racist comments as the status quo. We can change the groupthink. It starts by speaking up.
Have you ever had to take a stand against racism? Did you protest? Were you angered by the video of George Floyd’s death?