A message from Aryaka’s CEO on recent events
Like all of you, I am deeply disturbed by the recent events that have swept across the U.S. In the midst of a historic pandemic that is killing many people, and disproportionally more people of color, the killing of Mr. George Floyd by the police is a horrific reminder of the deep-rooted racism that has plagued our society for too long.
Compounding the angst I feel about Mr. Floyd’s death at the hands of law enforcement, is the fact that my Dad was a police officer. Growing up I knew many fine police officers most of whom, like my Dad if he were alive today, would be outraged to see someone who was sworn to serve and protect treat any human being the way Mr. Floyd was treated. It is the most disturbing video I have ever seen.
My parents always taught us to live by the cardinal rules. One such rule is to treat others as you wish to be treated. Unfortunately in our society many people of color have not been accorded the same respect and dignity. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others lay bare for all to see that not all Americans are treated equally. No one deserves to have their life cut short because of the color of their skin. Everybody deserves a life of dignity, respect and compassion.
I tend to be very measured about commenting at work on broader social issues. My thinking has always been that there is a time and place for these types of discussions. We all come to work with our varied life experiences and we respect differences, diversity has made us a stronger organization. However, seeing the peaceful protests, from all around the world in response to these tragic killings has led me to believe this is a moment that must not be lost to speak up. Mr. Floyd’s death touched people in very profound ways. For some, it was a wake-up call that something like this could happen. For others, it’s a call to action. Whatever it may be for you, I know none of us ever wants to see another person pleading for his life with a knee pressed down on his neck.
Collectively as an organization we will lend our voice to these matters by celebrating and embracing the humanity of us all. Individually, we can use this as an opportunity to commit ourselves to combating racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. in our everyday life. As Bishop Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” ALL forms of bigotry, hatred and discrimination are unwelcome. Let’s do our part with a shared humanity and hope for all.