It’s been two weeks since the death of George Floyd.
We’ve waited until now to make a statement for several reasons. We’ve questioned if it’s our position as a company, as founders, and as employees to wade into this sensitive social issue. We’ve questioned whether getting involved makes sense; after all our mission is digital marketing, not social issues. We’ve questioned whether speaking up will make a difference in the situation, in the movement, and at what cost to our company and clients for getting involved.
We knew that instantaneously responding out of perceived pressure to do so, like we’ve seen so many other companies, brands, and individuals do with banal and sterile quasi-statements, was not the answer. So we discussed internally and thought through this.
As a company, we believe Black Lives Matter.
That recognition does not diminish the righteousness of any other lives. This is bigger than a social issue — it’s a human rights issue.
The reality is that black rights, and deaths, remain a human rights issue in America. It’s an injustice that we all — individually and collectively — have explicitly allowed, implicitly ignored, or taken a stance against.
There is no room for waffling on this issue. We must not allow racism to continue or to be condoned. To do so is shameful. It’s illegal. It’s immoral. We are against racism in all its forms.
This letter won’t itself improve the race problem in America. But, it’s at least another voice speaking out for what is right.
You too, can help right this wrong.
Speak up for what you believe in without reservation of the consequences. More importantly, be open to learning and having uncomfortable conversations to help you and your friends grow.
If you feel that all lives matter, including those that are different from yours, then when someone privately expresses racist views towards an individual or a whole swath of society, counter them immediately.
Tell them you won’t have it and you’re not open to racism. Counter their opinions with hard facts. Give them the resources to broaden their perspectives. Your private affirmation of righteousness will be much stronger, and have more of a lasting impact, than any public one you can make.
Reach out to others and get them talking about this. It may be hard, it may be uncomfortable, but it’s important. The issue of racism is literally a black or white issue – there’s no place for gray.
Be good to each other.
Erik J. Olson
Founder & CEO, Array Digital
P.S. Below is a short list of additional references on the topic.