Don’t Allow Supremacy On Your Watch!

“Go back to where you came from!”

It saddened me to no end that the president of the United States had the audacity to say this about four members of Congress recently. It sickens me to know that so many of “my fellow”  Americans seem to support and share in the hateful sentiment. It enrages me to learn that not only do they support and share it, but they are willing to kill for it.

I read an NPR article a few weeks ago in which the author quotes Michael Cornfield, a scholar of rhetoric at George Washington University. Cornfield is attributed to explaining that the phrase,

plays to the fear that somehow America is getting too full or that the mixing of ethnicities and races would somehow aggravate issues.

Cornfield’s use of the word “fear” resonated with me. My mother used to say, “fear was an extremely powerful thing.”

Indeed, it is.

Powerful enough to stifle.

Powerful enough to sabotage.

Powerful enough to kill.

We are at a tipping point, folks, and the tensions are critically high. The incidents of the past week prove they are fatally high for too many.

How are we, as leaders, dealing with this at work?

Perhaps the better question is :

How should we, as leaders, deal with this at work?

Pro-actively should be the answer!

No one should be afraid for their safety at work. No one!

Racism, discrimination, hateful rhetoric, and/or exclusion have no place in the workplace. I believe that if you are in a position of influence, you need to stand up and pro-actively assert that NO bullshit supremacy is allowed on your watch – NONE!

  1. Tell your team members they are safe while you’re around.
  2. Tell your team members they have value and are wanted.
  3. Prove to your team members their merit is what is important to you – not their color, their race, their religion, etc.
  4. When bigotry rears its nasty head (and it will) address it immediately and shut it down.
  5. Repeat as often as necessary, and then some more for good measure.

Fear is a powerful thing, indeed, but so is good leadership.

Powerful enough to stifle hateful rhetoric.

Powerful enough to sabotage exclusionary activities.

Powerful enough to kill supremacy and bigotry.

Not on your watch – let that be your legacy.