Category Archives: Race & Ethnicity

Racial and ethnic cultural differences

White Allyship and Racism – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes, Margie Crowe

 Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

Racism is real; it has always been on display even if some continue to deny its existence. Our society has accepted, allowed, sanctioned, and even encouraged discrimination and violence against Black people for over four hundred years. When we see or hear people chant Black Lives Matter, they are essentially saying that sanctioned or unsanctioned, covert or overt racism, continued discrimination, conscious or unconscious and violence against Black people must come to an end. These people who have seen and experienced racial inequality in all aspects of their lives in a society where the discriminatory practice is embedded within federal, state, and local communities recognize how profoundly their lives have been affected on a daily basis and in some cases, lives that have been lost.  Continue reading White Allyship and Racism – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes, Margie Crowe

Diversity & Speech Part 12: Systemic Racism – by Carlos E. Cortés

For the past two years I have been writing a series of columns about the complicated intersection of inclusive diversity and robust speech.   Although my last column appeared just two months ago, in some respects it seems like ancient history.  Maybe it is.

Because on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, a Minneapolis Police Officer named Derek Chauvin jammed his knee against the neck of George Floyd, an African American man, for eight minutes and forty-six seconds, until Floyd was dead.  Those 526 excruciating seconds, recorded and widely disseminated, may have changed the course of U.S. history.  That incident has certainly changed the way that we are currently talking about race in particular and about diversity in general. 

Continue reading Diversity & Speech Part 12: Systemic Racism – by Carlos E. Cortés

Understanding Systemic Racism Part 2 – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes

Is this the beginning of a revolution that finally addresses racism honestly?

Part 2: The Present and A Way Forward

The continuum of violence against African Americans and the Black Community

What has happened in the past is not different from what continues to happen today because racism is generational.  Racists who have committed crimes use all the tools of systems of privilege built in their favor to avoid being held accountable. In doubtful circumstances, lawyers have changed venues for trial to predominantly White communities where their White accomplice juries can unconsciously and consciously exercise bias. 

Continue reading Understanding Systemic Racism Part 2 – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes

Understanding Systemic Racism Part 1 – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes

Is this the beginning of a revolution that finally addresses racism honestly?

Part 1: Understanding Our Shared History

When people say, “enough is enough!”, Do we really understand why? Why is it that we consistently deny the traumatic experience of racism that pains African Americans every single day? Why do we vote for leaders who effectively support policies and practices that are racist or discriminatory? What propelled so many Americans of all ethnicities including White, African Americans, Asian American, European American, Hispanic Americans to come together despite the Covid-19 pandemic to protest on the streets? Why do African Americans continue to endure racist and discriminatory practices generation after generation? These are some of the questions we ponder here given the recent events and the Black Lives Matter movement that has taken the world by storm even as a pandemic rages, propelling people to deprioritize their personal safety in order to stand up against racism and a history of subjugation and discrimination.

Continue reading Understanding Systemic Racism Part 1 – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes

Some of us – by Rosalyn Leavell-Rice

I am not happy when I read some of your posts and ask who are these people? Have they always felt this way about me and my people? Some of us are minimizing what happened and trying to justify police officers brutal attacks. However, this particular policeman had no concern for another human being’s life as we all watched his face that lacked any emotions. Yes, there are good and bad people period but this is not about that it is about watching a black man die before the WORLD’s eyes by the hands of corrupt police officers.

This is being done on a regular basis like it is open hunting season on black males. Some of us want to bring up George Floyd’s past to once again minimize what happened as I have stated before if he was butt naked running through the streets, screaming he did not deserve to die like that. Some of us want to question the looting and rioting. Believe it, a lot of that has been agitated by people who infiltrated in the peaceful protest with one agenda to make it chaotic.

Continue reading Some of us – by Rosalyn Leavell-Rice

At the Crossroads of Good and Evil – by Howie Comen

 WHICH ROAD TO TAKE

We are at a crossroads of Good and Evil in civilization. Standing with Faust. Robert Johnson, and  Joe Hardy. Do we continue to sell our souls to the devil or do we defeat him?

We are in the middle of a war against evil. Some of this evil is external and in the media hourly. However much  is internal, homegrown, Godless feelings that I’m better than you based on my race, creed, national origin, faith, or which side of the tracks I live on.  Continue reading At the Crossroads of Good and Evil – by Howie Comen

Reducing Police Violence – by Marc Brenman

It’s a very hard thing to figure out what to do about reducing police violence in the US, especially reducing and eliminating racist violence. These issues keep coming to our attention largely because of undue and inappropriate police violence against unarmed African-American men. Recording of videos on cellphones and subsequent distribution on social media have made these tragedies much more public and apparent. These tragedies have been occurring for a very long time. Progress has been spotty and inadequate.

In classic strategic planning, we talk about what to stop doing, what to do more of, and what to do less of. There appear to be issues of organizational culture, where a substantial number of police departments are disconnected from morals, ethics, humanity, cultural competence, and the surrounding communities. Clearly, if an organization is being overtly discriminatory, they should stop doing that. But most of us aren’t overtly discriminatory, so our connection to the larger society must be producing discriminatory effects. The issues are complicated by the fact of about 19,000 largely independent police departments in the US. Continue reading Reducing Police Violence – by Marc Brenman

What Does George Floyd’s Murder Teach about Accountability? – by Vincent I. Phipps

Foremost, my heart goes out to the family, friends, and supporters of Mr. George Floyd.  As a professional communication coach, it can be challenging to remain poised when you are emotional over seeing such an egregious act of what we were victimized to witness.

How is it that the world saw Mr. Floyd have his life extracted and we as viewers are also victims?

The answer is accountability.  We all saw the video.  Former Police Officer Dereck Chauvin, age 44, mercilessly kept his knee in Mr. Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes.  Although Mr. Floyd desperately pleaded for his life and although civilians videotaped and did their best to inform Former Office Chauvin of Mr. Floyd’s depleting condition, those pleas were unrequited by Chauvin.

What is accountability?  According to Dictionary.com, “the fact or condition of being responsible”.

Continue reading What Does George Floyd’s Murder Teach about Accountability? – by Vincent I. Phipps

Perspective on Being Black – Gail Dawson

I woke up this morning with recent events and names like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Christian Cooper swimming through my mind and decided to take a walk to clear my head. As I stepped outside, I took a quick pause to consider my safety. Since the tornado on Easter, I have been staying with friends in a different neighborhood and I wasn’t sure of how I would be received.

As I started my walk, another friend’s Facebook post also crossed my mind. She posted her comments and a tweet from Quinta Brunson which says, “Being black is having a good day and then seeing another black person was killed for no reason. Then you have to think about/talk about that all day or don’t and numb yourself. It’s a constant emotional war. . . Meanwhile you still need to work and worry about everything else.”

Continue reading Perspective on Being Black – Gail Dawson

Bridge Memorial in the Pandemic – by Deborah Levine

bridgeWe are still dealing with the Atlanta area shooting of African American jogger, and now the death of George Floyd by law enforcement. In the midst of this violence, Chattanooga announced progress in creating a physical space to remember the lynching of an African American more than a century ago. The memorial will be a contemplative space near the Walnut Street Bridge and despite the pandemic, the expectation is that people will come to learn, reflect, mourn and learn from history. And hopefully, to apply those lessons going forward

Continue reading Bridge Memorial in the Pandemic – by Deborah Levine