Like many people, I’m pissed off about the senseless death of George Floyd. Today, in response to my frustration about not knowing how I can keep my Black son from getting senselessly murdered by the police, a white friend on Facebook asked me what she could do to help protect our children.
I thought about this and I have three tips for white people that could help my Black son and Black boys and men everywhere from being brutalized and murdered by the police.
I have a real treat for you today. As I start up the new foundation to give grants and resources to ParentPreneurs, I’m featuring remarkable people on the blog.
There are not many people more remarkable than Seth Godin!
A little back story before I get to the interview with Seth. A few years ago I got an email from Seth Godin when he was on my business website and it wasn’t working properly. When the email came thru I pinged him back and I was like, wait, is this THEE Seth Godin?
He was like, “Yep, it’s me.” Needless to say I was completely embarrassed. Seth was gracious then and he is gracious today by agreeing to answer five questions to inspire you guys in life and in your business.
Below are Seth’s answers along with my occasional $.02.
Black people are not even safe from the harassment of the Karens and Amy Coopers of the world while minding our business in our own homes.
Sunday evening I dropped my kids back at their mom’s house and hit the patio for a glass of wine, a cigar, and to listen to music, as I regularly do, and do so conscientiously so as to not disturb the neighbors in my townhome community. I’ve been doing this without incident for years.
My relaxing moment was abruptly interrupted though when my girlfriend came outside freaked out to tell me that someone was banging on the door. Not ringing the doorbell, but banging on the door.
What you don’t see in the video, which was recorded via Facebook live, is the woman, Karen, said the music was freaking her and her dog out. Her dog? Seriously? Confused, I turned the music down a bit and apologized for disturbing her.
Then Karen asked me if I rented or owned my home.
Awwww hell nah!
My girlfriend then said something to her in response to her racist question and she told my girlfriend to shut up.
You DO. NOT. TELL. A BLACK WOMAN. TO SHUT UP. Especially not a Spelman woman. When my girlfriend told her to shut the f#@k up, that’s when she started getting in her car.
After Karen left, we were both shook by this encounter. With everything going on now with COVID-19, Amy Cooper, and the death of George Floyd, we were already on edge. I went to the back yard where my neighbors adjacently behind me were hanging outside and I asked them if the music was loud. They said they could hear it a little bit, but it was absolutely fine.
I told my neighbor what happened with Karen and she alerted the neighbor directly behind me. Both neighbors told me Karen lives an additional house over from the adjacent neighbor, and that she has been a problem for other people in the community and they think she has a substance abuse issue. I’m like, substance abuse issue or not, she has a racism problem, too. Because like I said in the video, she would not have asked me if I owned the house if I were white.
Then I was like, “How could she have known which house to come to on a different street?” My neighbors said that she was probably looking out of her top floor window and counted the houses. Then I asked about the dog and the neighbors said the dog is fifteen years-old and is deaf?
The neighbors suggested it’s best to ignore her because she isn’t well and she is harmless. I don’t think Karen is harmless. People like Karen get Black men killed. I do feel a little better though after talking with the neighbors, but I’m definitely edgier after the experience.
What would you do now if this happened to you?
P.S., I want my 40 acres and a mule. In today’s dollars.