Updated: Jul 6, 2020
When I saw ED Dudley, a father, a grandfather, a brother, a son, a professional, a Vice-President, board member and a friend to many, black and white, expressing his pain, his suffering, his concerns and his personal experiences, I just wanted to wrap my arms around him.
As I watched this BLACK AMERICAN MAN publicly express his feelings of hopelessness, I felt the greatest respect for ED, to me, ED demonstrated COURAGE.
In Ed’s video, there are many lessons, learnings, and a call for a united front. Please listen with the intent to drive this much-needed Change.
The following is not intended to be a history lesson, it gives perspective on the journey to date:
In the USA, the 19th of June, Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day. It signifies the emancipation of the remaining enslaved African Americans. Despite more than 150 years of Freedom, only a few are truly Free.
In South Africa, on the 16th of June 1976 more than 500 black youths were killed by police in what was meant to be a peaceful protest.
As I watched ED’s video, I reflected on my life growing up in a racially divided South Africa, I remembered the sacrifices of the many freedom fighters of which some were white. They all played a significant role in mobilising our freedom.
The torture, the loss of lives, many sacrificed their own freedom and family life so we can live free! In this reflection, I realised, that freedom and respect for all lives do not emanate from regulatory/legislative changes. As in South Africa, the Bill of Rights affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality, and freedom. More than two decades into South Africa’s democracy many of our people are still emotionally, physically, and financially constrained.
Those who fought relentlessly for freedom and equality needs us to end this struggle. Despite their many sacrifices, the regulatory changes, transformation on the ground is minuscule in relation to their pain, suffering and commitment to Changing Lives. The African stories and the stories across the globe confirm this sad reality.
Real change requires individual commitment to change mindset and behaviour. Each of us is the catalyst for Change. I am the Change and Free
What can we do to drive these changes?
Executives should stop wasting money on diversity and inclusion training. This does not work. Rather use that budget to transform the lives of people outside of your engagement circles by providing training and skills that give them the confidence to generate an income. This action will in time lower crime rate, as some of the crimes are because of the lack of income and the related pent-up anger and frustration.
People follow the actions of the leaders they admire and respect. So, commit to being a servant leader who demonstrates respect for ALL Life. Greet and engage everyone you meet. A smile and a sweet hello will drive this much-needed change. Create an environment that promotes the honest expression of thought and feeling.
The SEEDS of RACISM and DISCRIMINATION are planted in our homes. CALL out family, friends and associates who continue to drive these negative behaviours.
Make it our duty to support transformational Change.
Encourage, support, and commit to employing and giving opportunities to people who do not look, think, and act like you.
Take a STAND and STOP racist, discriminatory, and disrespectful behaviour.
Black is one of my two favourite colours. Black is beautiful, black is strong, black is pure and black is sexy. Be comfortable being black and step into your power. Make our time in this world count, choose to leave a legacy that improves All Lives.
When we all commit to the related causes these racist and discriminatory battles will be conquered. This way we honour the sacrifices of those who started this Change.
It angered me when I watched the death of George Floyd. His death was videoed. His cry for help was ignored by both the police and the bystanders. Why are we not stepping into our power and continuing the fight for dignity and respect for ALL LIFE.
It keeps playing in my mind, if George Floyd was white would he have been subjected to the same degree of force and would he be alive today? I cannot change history, but I sure can influence the future.
Last Friday ED and I chatted, shared our stories, even tattoo-related stories but more importantly, committed to taking action to drive respect and equality for ALL LIFE.
Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi and many people have committed their lives for equality, freedom, and human dignity for ALL LIFE. Each of us should honour these heroes by committing to taking on this movement to ensure that equality freedom and dignity for ALL LIFE.
In the words of Nelson Mandela “ It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it”
Racism and discrimination will not be eradicated by our silence.
I STAND with ED DUDLEY and COMMIT to taking a STAND AGAINST RACIST and DISCRIMINATORY BEHAVIOUR, as ALL LIFE MATTER, DO YOU?
Please share your ideas on how we can drive this Change successfully! Thank you!
I am sending you all love, light, happy and healing energy!
Thank you for stopping by:
I wish you love, light, happiness and Freedom
I Am the Change and Free - Founder
Each One Hold One (Eoho) - Co-founder