Illness of inequity

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I’m not sure which TV channel I was watching when I heard the words illness of inequity. As I observe our nation conversing about race relations in new ways, I hear commentary forging new perspectives. And it’s resonating with me…

“We’ve got to stop with the speech blocks. Let’s discuss this. Put it to rest because it needs to get off our chest. Mouths be our muskets, words to bullets not to be fussed with. This his how we shoot back.” Daniel J. Watts 

These words are from a YouTube video by WalkRunFlyProductions featuring Daniel J. Watts. I discovered the video after reading my latest Elon Magazine issue. Watts is a fellow Elon alumni currently living in New York City. I watched the video silently and wept loudly. I also sent a tweet to Watts thanking him for his poetic words.

“We have across this country a generation of young people who are simply saying that we believe based upon lived experience, empirical evidence, we’re living in the midst of a pandemic of police misconduct.” – Cornell Williams Brothers

I was intrigued by a recent lead-in for the TV program Face the Nation. Host Bob Schieffer interviewed New York Police Commissioner William Bratton and NAACP President Cornell Williams Brothers. While the segment provided valuable perspective from both sides, I was drawn to Brothers’ analysis.

Dr. King also eloquently stated, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’ Yet many citizens of color are still waiting for equal justice under the law, a bedrock principle of the American legal system.” – David Grinsberg

As an active LinkedIn user with an interest in workplace inclusion and diversity, I read an amazing blog by David Grinsberg, a strategic communications advisor and former journalist. He connected current events, applied them to the workplace and then asked questions. His query forces us to reflect and demands that we be present versus removed from current events.

“People don’t want to talk about racism. People do not want to dig to the root of the issue. It’s so much easier to stick to your belief and avoid engaging in dialogue with someone that you don’t share the same opinion/view/belief with.” – Jen Hart, mother of Devonte Hall

Hall is the 12-year-old boy who captured our hearts with his ‘Free Hugs’ sign at a protest. Sgt. Bret Barnum equally captured our hearts by taking him up on his offer.

[Tweet “Our national dialogue on race relations begs communities to rewrite the story.”]

Movements are fueling conversation and for that single aspect, they are a beautiful thing. They are inclusive of all ages, not just youth. They encompass all colors, not just one. They know no lines drawn by politics, geography, class or culture. Communities are coming together to say we want change that is not just retrospective but introspective and deeply encompassing.

I say YES! We are long overdue but may 2015 be the year we eradicate illness of inequity.

Devonte Hall, a 12-year old boy, hugging Sgt. Bret Barnum at a Ferguson protest held in Oregan. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Johnny Huu Nguyen

Devonte Hall, a 12-year-old boy, hugging Sgt. Bret Barnum at a Ferguson protest held in Oregon. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Johnny Huu Nguyen


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Đào Thu Hằng · at


It’s always nice receiving our blog post. I’ve gone through this post and agree that ” Communities are coming together to say we want change that is not just retrospective but introspective and deeply encompassing.”

This reminds me of a talk by Thich Nhat Hanh that I want to share with you on the compassion and non-discrimination is one of the ways to a true equality in society everywhere, I believe.

“The session of deep and compassionate listening can be televised so that the whole nation can participate in it. If the quality of listening is deep and good, people will feel that they are beginning to be understood, and then the level of anger, violence, and suspicion in our society will come down.”

Wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Theresa · at

This blog needs to be longer! Well written and well thought out. I have been torn intrinsically about this race debate and police conduct. I think what the greater good is trying to say is that we must examine this issue and take the racial inequalities that remain around us and still exist today seriously. It is not okay to choose any side without all the facts present and it is also not okay to turn away from the words and feelings of those with darker skin that have known this kind of injustice. We must listen to each other and learn from each other. I do not walk in your shoes but I can hold your hand as we walk together. Thanks Debbie for this amazing read and for your thoughts on this issue.

SD Caldwell-James · at

I can definitely feel a movement. It’s hard to talk about things and I am discovering, even harder to listen. My husband talks about this a lot. Sometimes we have much to say about our own beliefs and are afraid of what we may hear. I would take it a step further and say that we are also fearful that there is nothing we can do about it. The beauty is that we can and we will. It’s happening. Thanks for your post.

cooldeb · at

Ladies – Dretta, Theresa and Hang – Thank you for your thoughtful reflections. I’ve had several readers say they liked this post but didn’t comment. I wish they would. This topic requires voice and discussion to grow and expand in its understanding and resolution. I appreciate your perspectives from your lived and cultural perspectives.

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