Yesterday a business associate called me a racist online. It’s a first in 30+ years of published social activism that began with opinion pieces published as a college newspaper columnist and editor. I replied that I think all of us are predisposed to racial bias in our environment. I am quite aware of this bias in my life. The difference is how we respond to this bias through critical examination of our own thinking and taking individual affirmative actions to address deficiencies. My critic disagreed.
Yet as much as I champion equal opportunity for all people regardless of where you were born or what you look like, the fact remains that there are many real barriers to equality today. Many would say those barriers grew within the last month.
This morning I declined an invitation to do business with a firm solely on the observation that the firm’s principal and staff members are not English-speaking natives. In the past, I have found it too difficult to communicate with them on complex business discussions. So now I reject the premise outright. Yes, this is racism and bigotry. I admit it, and move on to bigger battles.
If you’ve read this far, you may want to know that there is another purpose to this post. I am testing the readership of social activism posts against my business communication posts in the new post-election environment. Essentially, I am evaluating the premise that “all publicity is good publicity” doesn’t hold true for a small business adviser.