There is nothing new we can add to the conversation about racism today. We are not a moral authority on this topic. But we cannot stay silent.
LIFE ElderCare recognizes that to be truly anti-racist, we must state - clearly and unequivocally - that we stand with Black Lives Matter. We know that we cannot just settle for
that black individuals are equal. We must explicitly act against the deeply rooted, institutional culture in the United States of 'black people are less than...me/you/anyone'.
Nonprofits often tread lightly, not wanting to offend those who might feel differently. But this last week has knocked all tiptoeing to the ground. Killing people with disregard for their very humanity because of the color of their skin is the most offensive thing of all. And so is the assumption that some kinds of people deserve more power than others.
The cruelty behind what happened to George Floyd was nothing new. We help people aged 70, 80, and 90+, and so many have been red lined, turned away, and hurt. We wish we could go back and prevent every injustice and every brutal act both for the individuals involved and because each act was - and is - part of the heavy blanket of shame on this country.
What all of us nonprofits and for-profits and anyone who hasn't already, can do is that we can vow today to start looking hard at every aspect of life, even those we think we know to be fair, and identify and call out inequities without fear of meaningless things like reputation. The entrenched laws and processes that contribute to seeing black Americans as less than human are everywhere and there are sorely insufficient protections against it. There's such a long way to go that every day must count.
On behalf of LIFE ElderCare, I will say that we vow to always walk toward the hard conversations rather than walking away from them, and
rather than just standing still
. We will do everything we can to promote equity for black Americans, young, old and in between, so that one day elders can tell different stories about their lives - stories of alliance and fairness and opportunities.