A message from the BGS CEO
The protests in the United States over the past week are about expressing outrage for the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. They are about the killing of many more people before him in violence against black lives. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Michael Brown. Jamar Clark. And countless others.
Beta Gamma Sigma supports all who work for justice in honor of George Floyd and those lost before him due to racism.
We must stand up for each other. Empathy is not enough. We can read the articles and watch the news and try to understand, but it can’t begin to convey the feelings of people who are scared every day for their safety or the safety of their children, friends, and family. Many of us don’t know what that feels like. We’ve never had to think twice about living our lives and worrying we might be judged for the color of our skin or for who we are.
Let’s not think of racism as only about vicious attacks. Systemic racism means that we have systems and institutions that produce racially disparate outcomes regardless of the intentions of the people who work within them. It can result in lack of access to education, health care, food, housing, and employment. It also results in unequal treatment throughout the criminal justice system.
A protestor in New York was carrying a sign that said SILENCE IS VIOLENCE. It’s a remarkably powerful statement because it is easy to be silent on racial injustice if it’s not happening to us. But if we don’t speak up, if we are silent, black people die.
It’s uncomfortable to talk about if it’s not happening to us. Am I saying the right thing? Do I understand the deep roots of racism and the impact on education, social justice, housing, or economic reform? Will I offend a black person if I ask questions about racism or their own experiences? Wow, this is a lot to consider. I’m not sure I’m up for this. There are a lot of other people doing something about this; they don’t need me. I’m just one person.
See how easy it is to talk ourselves out of speaking up?
We have to accept the discomfort because if we don’t talk about it, racism will continue to grow beyond the horrific events that have already occurred. If we don’t talk about it, more black people will die.
Beta Gamma Sigma has a resource for our members to use if you want to be a part of the discussion. ConnectBGS is our private members-only forum that can be reached from the top right corner on the home page of our website. We encourage you to help and support each other. Be a force for good in the world.
Chief Executive Officer
Beta Gamma Sigma