It’s easy to say what a year, what a week.
But that’s a shortsighted, privileged point of view. I’m guilty of holding that occasional perspective. It’s moments like these that jolt me into recognizing the deeper reality.
What we’re seeing is the culmination of years – decades, generations, and centuries – of unjust treatment against black people, minorities, and other marginalized communities.
This country’s racist history is shameful, and so is its present.
Deep systemic racism + the militarization of police (both physically in terms of gear, and mentally in terms of mindset) is a powder keg. We’ve seen sparks before, now we’re seeing the explosion.
If you’re surprised, you’re not paying attention.
I don’t like the violence, but I get it. This is what happens when people are squeezed, compressed, and backed into a corner with no way out. For years, for generations. We’re all humans – if your lot in life was different you just might do the same.
I support peaceful protests, I support the fight against racism, against oppression, and against injustice – wherever it hides.
There’s exceptionally hard work ahead. I recognize this work has been happening for years, often ignored or unappreciated by many people, including me. How frustrating it must be to work so hard, and see such little progress, on something so elemental.
Change will require a massive, sustained effort by millions over many years. A change in perspective, mindset, and approach. And that work will certainly be met with future setbacks, which is why change requires optimism, too (which is in short supply in moments like these). I hope we can find it, and support those who need it.
I’ll be working to educate myself, and break my own patterns of ignorance. This sense of urgency is, embarrassingly, new to me, so I have a lot to learn – which organizations to support, what books to read, what history to absorb, and who to listen to. I’m starting on that today. If you’re like me, I hope you’ll do the same.
-Jason Fried, CEO, Basecamp