Updated: Jan 26
We’ve talked about all the BS and why excuses are no longer acceptable. Now, let’s get into action! All of us can do better by making ourselves aware and stopping pretending we don’t see what we see.
Below are three steps that even my four-year-old niece can follow, so again, no BS or excuses.
Step one: Check Yourself
Before you can hold anyone accountable, you need to check yourself. Are you the type of person that says one thing and does another? Are you trying to fit into the current trend of “diversity?” Because if you are, there's an opportunity to hold yourself accountable. Ask yourself, should diversity be up for debate? Should there need to be a committee to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are taking place? If you agree that it is necessary, here’s another opportunity to hold yourself accountable. Should It be necessary to have a diversity and inclusion expert in every corporation? Or could we just do better? Could we just accept that diversity is a fact, and that inclusion is a choice? Is that a statement you agree on? Ask yourself which side of the line you’re on. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Step two: Educate Yourself
it’s important to understand the difference between diversity, equality, and inclusion. They are all crucial, but they play different roles, especially when it comes to blacks and minorities. This is not the time to contact your black friends, neighbors, black colleagues and just bombard them with questions. That’s lazy. It’s also incredibly insulting. So do your damn homework! Read books, read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, join webinars, and online classes. You must understand the difference between stating equality and being treated with quality. This will likely be an uncomfortable journey, but important nonetheless. It’s important to remember that this isn’t about you becoming a social justice warrior. It is about you understanding the differences and how you can help change your environment. We all have a role to play. This is how you prepare for yours.
Step three: Hold Yourself Accountable
This is the most important step by far. This is not the time for fragility or hurt feelings. If you’ve done your homework and you’ve checked yourself, being accountable should be no problem. Remember, accountability is about the greater good. It’s not about you. When you see something, say something. If you witness someone mistreating another person due to race, gender, religion, etc., it is your responsibility to say something. No more making excuses for why that person deserves to be mistreated. Or that it’s not your business. If those thoughts pop into your head, trying to remember how you felt when you witnessed Derek Chauvin with his knee on a man’s neck choking the life out of George Floyd. Try to remember how you felt seeing that other police officers were standing by witnessing a man being murdered. And all they had to do was say something. Again we all have a role to play. It’s important to remember that.
Now how does all of this tie into corporate America or the business world? Equality plays a role everywhere. And it’s no longer acceptable to pretend that you don’t see things that aren’t right.
It’s no longer acceptable to not care about others.
It’s no longer acceptable to develop diversity and inclusion programs to avoid the risk of appearing racist but not do anything to make employees feel included.
It’s no longer acceptable not to be held accountable.
This is the era of accountability.