Why HR Cannot/Must Not Ignore the Racial Tension in America, Right Now.

Why HR Cannot/Must Not Ignore the Racial Tension in America, Right Now.

I’ve been part of the social HR community for nearly 7 years now and one thing is clear to me, for the most part, we do not like to talk about RACISM.

We want to pretend it’s not happening. We don’t want to talk about it. We convince ourselves that if we “take the high road” it will go away. We don’t talk about it because we don’t want to deal with the realism of racism. We want to put on a front that everything is alright and we are all even in HR’s eyes. It’s just not true. It’s simply not true.

When I talk to employees, I mean real employees at work, they are dealing with racist/sexist co-workers and bosses. When our leaders can sexually harass people, and get a slap on the wrist, other leaders see that and some think well, “I can do it too.” When the president calls black athletes “sons of bitches” and white protesters with torches, marching through the streets screaming, “blood and soil”, “good people” – what message does that send to the country and your employees.

Recently, I have been outraged and outspoken at the follow true occurrences:

Fireman says, “saving the life of one dog is more rewarding than saving a million niggers”

Fire Chief says, “Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach) just added his name to the list of no good niggers”

President Trump says, “Don’t you wish that when one of these guys disrespects our flag that the owners would fire those sons of bitches…fire them.”

Jourdan Rodrigue, the reporter who Cam Newton childishly said, “It’s funny to hear females talk about routes.” Is racist. In a May 2013 tweet, Rodrigue said, “The earth moves at 450+ mph that’s 10 times triller than NASCAR Dale Earnhart’s a BITCH NIGGA.”

In other tweets from August 2013, Rodrigue said she was enjoying racist jokes from her father as they drove through Navajo country.

Dove soap just pulled another advertisement which was at the least racially insensitive, but I want to call it what it is, racist…it’s not Dove’s first time being on the wrong side of a racist ad.

With all the overt, bold, and blatant issues today, we must stop pretending this isn’t real. At some point, silence becomes complicit.