Stand Up Against Racist Bigotry and the Violence it Brings!

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Jun 23, 2020 in Firm News


By Richard Rizk 

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. These are not the names of every person of color who has been subjected to attacks in the name of “safety.” These are only the recent victims – that we know of.  Minorities, immigrants, and people of modest means have absorbed injustice for years, decades, even centuries. Enough is enough! Who will be next? The problem is not “out there.” It is inside, in our own hearts and minds.

A very smart lawyer I know, in response to my concerns about racism, replied in apparent earnest: “I do not know one person who is racist.”  He is not a bad guy. He is not malicious. He is just a very smart person who happens to be completely ignorant when it comes to racism. Quite simply, he does not know what racism is.

As evidence of his lack of racism, he offered an anecdote. “I know a black gentleman; he is very well spoken…” and then continued his story. The preamble to my acquaintance’s anecdote is the story. He simply does not know what racism is. His anecdote boils down to this: “Most black people are uneducated and live in the ‘hood, but I associate with one who is educated and well-spoken, so I am open-minded, and you are uptight to think that racism is a big deal. It may exist somewhere out there, but it is rare, and I have not seen it.”   

Think of racism as a bad habit. Acknowledging the problem exists is the essential first step in committing to change. Self-educate. Rhetorically ask, “What historical, cultural, and institutional norms (i.e. the criminal justice system, income disparity, education, etc.) are embedded into everyday life that contribute to racial prejudice?” Then take action to become part of the change!

The journey to racial enlightenment is not a “one and done” event, nor is it a journey to travel alone. Consider joining conversations about race, engaging in differing points of view, and declaring an anti-racist stance with your co-workers, friends, and family.

Passiveness has led us to the dark place where we are now. Let us join in the conversation, listen with an open mind, and then tell it from the mountaintops! Racial bigotry normalizes violence against those who are most vulnerable. We will not silently tolerate racism anymore!