The racial reckoning in this country has opened my eyes wider than ever before, and it is just the very very beginning of what will be a lifelong process. Social media often encourages reactivity, and it has been my goal to slow down and explore how to effectively and sustainably integrate anti-racism work into my personal life and here at Thoughtful Human.
On the personal front: This excerpt from @ibramxk encouraged me to acknowledge and own the undeniable racism that lives within me, and I hope it does the same for you. I now understand racism and anti-racism are ebbing and flowing through us at all times — present within each thought, choice, and action that we have to actively monitor and manage on a moment-to-moment basis. This is not something I/we can continue to defend, debate, or be offended by. As a white woman, it is my responsibility, opportunity, and privilege to dig in — name it, explore it, and proactively root that sh*t out.
I am/was definitely not proud to uncover or admit certain problematic behavior, vocabulary, conditioning, and prejudices that I’ve discovered within myself, but honesty and accountability is simply the only way forward. It has been at times overwhelming, at times shameful, and at times hopeful. It has been wildly uncomfortable and caused/will continue to cause friction in many of my relationships, and that’s ok. Growth hurts.
On the Thoughtful Human front: By now we’ve all seen and grappled with performative vs. authentic allyship for brands, and this too will be an ongoing process. There are some practical limitations to what and how a business of our size can contribute, but I can assure you that race will be an important consideration at each business juncture here forward. This means a more diverse and critical lens on existing and new products. This means broadening our non-profit partnerships and product/monetary contributions. This means surveys and focus groups. This means thinking really hard about how we’re marketing and reaching customers. This means serious consideration of how we’re operating and benefiting within larger corporations and systems — where/when we opt out, and where/when we try to effect change from within.
I will be frank, there are very real challenges to dismantling white supremacy while trying to bootstrap and scale a business in our capitalist system. If we dig deep enough, we will undoubtedly find unethical and racist practices, funding, etc. within so many of the companies we know and love. I am by no means giving passes or making excuses, but I’m also not going to oversimplify and act like I have a solution for how to entirely divorce the white supremacy that is so deeply embedded within our economy. That said, we are committed to asking the questions and making important changes, some of which you’ll see here and some that you won’t.
As with all things Thoughtful Human, I welcome questions, feedback, and ideas. I also welcome any/all callouts and accountability checks along the way. Let’s keep talking about it and lead these difficult conversations with empathy and kindness.