Top Three Takeaways – April 20th, 2021
- The jury is out. Hours? Days? Weeks? We don’t know but what we do is that whatever the jury comes back with in the case of Derek Chauvin will be one of the most consequential verdicts in modern American history. The problem regardless is that there are no winners. In fact, Gallup has consistently polled on race relations since 2001. According to us, they’re the worst they’ve been during the course of those twenty years and by a lot. In 2004, 68% of Blacks and 74% of Whites said race relations were good. Today only 36% of Blacks and 46% of Whites say that’s the case. Is that because racism wasn’t pervasive in 2004 but is today? Is it the case that we’ve increasingly failed to listen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and apply his principals?
- Dr. King’s dream was that one day we’d judge people based on the content of character rather than the color of one’s skin. Now, think about the implications of the inverse of that dream. What happens the more we focus on superficial differences, like skin color? And then think to yourself about what’s changed since 2004. In 2004 no sports leagues or corporations were engaged in racial social justice. Black Lives Matter didn’t exist and yet 68% of Blacks and 74% of Whites thought race relations were good in this country. Now consider that today, with corporations and sports leagues engaged in the racial social justice game and groups like Black Lives Matter on the scene, race relations are only good according to 36% of Blacks, and 46% of Whites. Funny what’s happened the more that our society has defiled Dr. King’s dream. And the main reason Derek Chauvin’s case is what it is, is a result of those factors. I seriously doubt Americans are significantly more prejudice or racist than 17 years ago. I do think we’re far more exploited than we were 17 years ago. Look for superficial differences and you’ll find them. Focus on them and you’ll have lost focus on the person.
- We’re better than this. In fact, as a society we’d told Gallup for nearly twenty years we’re better than this. In the wake of the Capitol riot on January 6th, I mentioned it was important to be the best versions of ourselves rather than playing into the extremes. The same applies here. Whatever happens with the verdict it’s important to be the best version of ourselves as opportunists abound. It’s also time to get back to basics like listening to King’s dream and ignoring those who play to superficial differences. There will always be racists, but they’ll always be the outliers – it's only that we’ve been manipulated by those set to exploit differences for power, money and political change who’ve recently convinced most otherwise.
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