White self-abasement, begging the Racial Justice Warriors not to come after Them.
From the management at Best Buy:
We are, I believe, in one of the toughest times in our country’s history, as we continue to battle a deadly pandemic and the resulting economic havoc while, once again, coming face-to-face with the long-term effects of racial injustice. Watching tens of thousands take to the streets to speak out against fear and inhumanity is, on one hand, inspiring for the commitment it represents and, on the other, heartbreaking for its profound need.
But what’s next? What do we do to change the cycle in which black men or women, with tragic frequency, are harmed by those who are supposed to protect them? Or the gut-wrenching truth that to be a person of color in America is often to not feel fully safe, seen or heard?
For me, it starts with seeing the situation for what it is, acknowledging these experiences for what they are and, quite simply, apologizing for not doing enough. As important, it includes committing the company I lead down a path of systemic, permanent change in as many ways as we can find.
I don’t have the answers, but I am no longer OK with not asking the question: If everything were on the table, what could Best Buy do? With that in mind, I am appointing a diverse group (by demography and level in the company) to challenge one another and, ultimately, our senior leadership team and Board of Directors, with substantive, enduring ways we can address the inequities and injustices to which all of us bear witness every day.
In many ways, we have engaged in these issues for years. We have long been focused on the opportunity gap and its companion, the digital divide. More than a decade ago we began building a national network of what we call Teen Tech Centers, places where teens from disinvested communities are exposed to and trained on a range of technology that, we now know, can make a critical difference in helping them find success in post-secondary education or the job market.
We are looking to create more than 100 of these centers, open year-round and typically hosting hundreds of young people who begin in middle school and leave when they graduate high school. We do not do this alone, of course, as our employees, vendor partners and dozens of nonprofits are actively engaged in bringing this mission to life.
Additionally, we have brought our resources to bear on the issue of remote learning. In our home state of Minnesota, we helped found a public-private effort to provide computers and internet access to hundreds of thousands of youth from disinvested communities who have neither. Without this technology, learning from home, should it be necessary this fall and winter, would be impossible, widening both the digital divide and opportunity gap.
This effort is reflective of our broader view that we must continue to be an important player in the communities we are a part of, especially those hardest hit. This includes continuing to serve the neighborhoods in which our stores were damaged.
As for those who rely on us the most — our employees — we continue to focus on their safety. Just as we did in response to the pandemic, we closed some stores around the country when we felt the risk was too high. Some remain closed, and any affected employee will be paid for their time. As always, no one is compelled to come back to work if they feel uncomfortable.
From the Vanguard Group Web site:
When clients come to our website, they are generally looking for perspectives on markets, insights into investment strategies, or details about a specific fund. Today we would like to share something about the people you invest with. As a company, we are appalled by the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and we are troubled by the systemic issues that led to their unjust deaths.
Our team of 18,000 people from all walks of life comes together to serve you, our clients, and to support the communities in which we work. Our employees—our crew—live by a mission that includes taking a stand for investors and treating them fairly. The recent tragedies remind us that this commitment must extend beyond the realm of investing to shape how we support our colleagues and clients.
We condemn racism, xenophobia, and prejudice of any kind, all of which run counter to Vanguard’s values. We stand united with the black community and lend our voice to the call for meaningful and systemic change.
We’re on our own journey. As an employer, we strive every day to make Vanguard a more diverse and inclusive company—a place where each individual can reach their full potential. While we are not yet where we want to be, our crew are leading the way with open conversations about race, religion, gender, and sexuality. We’re particularly grateful to our Crew Resource Groups, such as the Vanguard Black Professional Network, which have challenged us to do better and strengthened our sense of corporate community.
Our crew are passionate about improving the social disparities in our communities and give more than $10 million of their own money each year to drive change. Unfortunately, the recent social injustices underscore that there is so much more to be done. Vanguard will pledge an additional $5 million in immediate giving to support organizations committed to addressing injustice and racial disparities.
These actions are steps toward a future where our communities are safe and our crew have equal opportunities to excel and to do their best work on your behalf. We won’t settle for less and are ready to work hard to make that future a reality. On June 9, Vanguard’s U.S. offices will open for business 8 minutes and 46 seconds later than normal, as we observe a period of silence for George Floyd and reflect on what more we can do.
This makes me sick. Neither of these entities has ANY history of racial discrimination in any way.
STOP THE WHITE GUILT.