Am I Doing Enough? This is a question I first explored in a blog a couple of years ago. The context was avoiding the ‘not good enough’ mindset which creeps in when we are self-critical. The question is coming up again, this time in a different context. Am I doing enough to stand up for what I believe? Namely equality and justice.
I am strongly opposed to racism and I recognize I have unconscious biases, as we all do. My intention has been to support everyone, regardless of background, color, circumstance, etc. I am satisfied with the contribution I’ve made, but is it enough? Perhaps now is the time to be self-critical.
Is it enough?
I had a couple of conversations with a Black friend and a Latino friend last week. I asked them the same question and they said no by illustrating what it is like to walk in their shoes. There are many times they don’t feel safe walking down the street. One of them said he had been routinely stopped by the police while driving safely in the past few months. In contrast, I can’t remember the last time I was pulled over and I’m not the most patient driver.
When they told me they need me to be a visible advocate, I recognized I am not doing enough. My personality is naturally to avoid public controversy. Perhaps it is my British upbringing. We don’t air our dirty laundry in public, it’s not the British way. Well, that’s no longer good enough. There comes a time to speak up and that time has come.
I see too many blatant examples of racism and racist actions from people in power in this country. The images of police beatings are disgusting and completely unacceptable. It is especially saddening for me because my brother is a retired policeman in the UK and I know he stands for justice and equality. The terrible behavior of some taints everyone. I am never going to say, ‘All police, politicians, etc are bad’. This is the same as being racist, labeling everyone by association. But the current situation is unacceptable and those at fault must be held to account wherever they reside, up to the highest office.
Violence creates more violence
Lastly, I don’t condone violence. Violence creates more violence, especially under this current regime. There are other ways we can make a point and lead change. Yesterday I found an example of how humor can drive serious change. Here’s a short clip from Chris Rock.
He’s definitely doing enough!