Happy 4th of July. Taking A Stand Against Racism.

02:20 04 July in Culture, No Need To Study, Thoughts

Happy 4th of July. Before the most recent high-profile incidents surrounding altercations between white police offers and black young men, discussion of race and racism was waning in this country; to the point that many people no longer believed it was an issue. We were entering the “post-racism” world. No matter your personal opinion on those incidents, it is impossible to ignore that racism is still alive and well in America today.

This Huffington Post article, for example, discusses fifteen ways that minorities still experience oppression—not necessarily in large, offensive ways, but just in their everyday lives. Another great published in the New York Times by Nicholas Kristof discusses the effects of racism, not just how people with a certain skin color are thought of by those outside of their race, but how races oppress those within their own culture, on top of outside oppression. You’ll recognize the title (“Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist?”) if you are a fan of the satirical musical Avenue Q.

Racism is an extremely touchy and polarizing subject, one that makes even seemingly rational people reveal they are insane, both for those who have been oppressed and for those that have never experienced racism, but are part of a race that is often accused of oppressing others (was that politically correct enough?). Because of this topic’s sensitivity and it’s propensity to cause heated arguments and altercations, until recently, most businesses tried, if anything, to take a completely neutral and non-confrontational stance on racism.

That all changed earlier this year when Starbucks launched their “Race Together” campaign. Essentially, Starbucks’ goal was to promote a healthy and friendly discussion about race, inequality, and how those with more opportunities can do to help those with fewer opportunities. Anyone following the story (or who watches Saturday Night Live) can tell you that what it achieved, more than fighting racism, was to stir up more controversy and negativity. Of course, that the outcome that Starbucks envisioned when the company decided to take a stand.

Though “Race Together” did not exactly succeed, the endeavor highlights something important about the need for corporations to start speaking up when it comes to important social issues, instead of simply relying only on individuals to take up the charge. Companies have a much broader reach and audience than most individuals, which makes them much better positioned to enact social change.

That is why No Need To Study has decided to make it a point to join the charge, along with many other companies in the recent pasrt, to end racism, not only by ensuring the company is run from a standpoint of equality, but also to help spread the word and raise awareness of the issue.

Why now? Partly because of the backlash against Starbucks and their campaign. While some of the backlash was, in reality, harmless, much of it proves the point made by the two articles linked above—that racism is still a huge problem in this country, despite mainstream media’s attempt to claim that we are beyond stigmatizing someone or a group of people because of the color of their skin.

Have you read a YouTube video’s comment section lately? We wouldn’t recommend it. Besides rampant sexism, closeted racists find an outlet on this free-comment section, as well as across the rest of the internet, basking in the perceived anonymity (nothing you do online is really anonymous, unless you are actually a member of the hacking group Anonymous), to spill hate and negativity. If you watch the news, you know there’s enough hate and negativity in the world; we definitely don’t need more.

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? For The Kids…?

That is why No Need To Study has decided to do their part in the fight against racism and inequality, starting with a diversity hiring program. Realizing that those who most often need a job are sometimes those who have not had the opportunity to become well-qualified for that job, we have started to look for not just those that fulfill the “checklist” we need for a specific position, but those who are willing to learn, with a special initiative to find new voices from different cultures and communities. Part of breaking the cycle of racism is breaking the cycle of poverty that makes it impossible for talented, motivated individuals to remove themselves from bad situations and break the molds that society tries to press them into. Also, we’re in the process of launching an employee recruitment. training and development program that will focus on spreading STEM skills to minorities across America.

We got tired of waiting around for other companies to take that first step. Only when we all stand together, not just those who are oppressed, but those who have the capability to reach down and lift others out of oppression, will we begin to see real change in our society.

You’ve probably heard the adage, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” This is true especially in the fight against racism—because many who do want to oppress others are actively promoting racism. No Need To Study is choosing to no longer do nothing.