Serial Entrepreneur |Blockchain 4 Social Impact |Sharing/Subscription Economy Researcher|
There is always a breaking point in anything that tests people’s limitations. Some take action to make a change. Others become tolerant. Still, some become wiser. We saw this happen in the face of the merciless pandemic (in this case COVID-19), which broke plans for billions and deprived millions of their family members, friends, relatives, and loved ones.
It felt like any further crisis in every shape and form, especially when shutdowns overloaded systems, testing moral strengths along with the economic stability of hundreds of countries.
George Floyd’s death or murder (click here to learn more) added fuel to the fire, resulting in a burst of social riots across the U.S., which is one of the most diverse countries on the planet in which immigrants shaped its current entrepreneurial spirit that the world has aspired for ages.
The country has gone into political paralysis over its COVID-19 response and domestic business bailout program. Now George Floyd’s is death testing public institutions of the most powerful country in the world -- The United States of America.
The incident united all ethnic groups across all 50 states, demanding justice and equal treatment.
This is not the first time minorities like African Americans, Latinas or Asians have experienced injustice and challenges in being accepted or integrated into the social fabric.
It doesn’t happen in the U.S. alone. There are hundreds of other countries across the globe where migrant workers, smaller ethnic groups, skilled workers, and immigrants face similar issues.
While writing this piece, I am listening to Michael Jackson's song, "They Don't Care About Us" which is the fifth single from his album HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I, released on June 16, 1995. It is a protest song. It is one of the most controversial pieces Jackson ever composed and the best reflection of what is happening in not only less developed, but also in well-developed countries where democracy is a shining pillar of the society on which it leans on, relies on, and hopes for when tragedies hit like a tsunami or wildfire.
Hollywood movies call America the land of opportunities where people’s intelligence and diligence can determine your luck, unlike other countries where corrupted politicians, monopolized forces and biased politics run the countries, ignoring the public good.
I have been traveling for almost a decade now, and have visited over 40 countries. I have personally witnessed biased attitudes and treatments in which people make snap decisions based on citizenship, the color of skin, ethnic belonging. These are personal and professional attitudes that one can always adjust and improve in new realities. (After all, everyone deserves a second chance in life. We are imperfect creatures for God`s sake.)
After observing the chaos in the U.S., three lessons stood out to me while reflecting on the overall situation.
Martin Luther King's Legacy and Message
I have always aspired to Martin Luther King Jr`s eloquence, both verbal and written. His pacifist nature, intelligence, and natural leadership qualities inspired thousands of African Americans to organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott under his leadership. He also organized a life-changing march to Washington, D.C., and gave the speech, that changed generations and resulted in the Civil Rights Act of 1964
This landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It prohibits unequal application of voter registration requirements, and racial segregation in schools, employment and public accommodations.King’s civil rights campaign played a pivotal role in ending racial segregation and the denial of voting rights to African Americans in the Southern states. It also created a cultural, economic and political shift in attitudes on race issues across the United States.
In less than 50 years, there was the first African American President, Barack Obama, Secretary of the State, Condoleezza Rice, media mogul, Oprah Winfrey, and dozens of others. Yet, in the face of all seemingly important adopted and signed documents, there is still invisible racism that is living in among American societies and continues to plague the lives in the U.S. and the world.
The informal segregation of Black and White communities in some parts of the U.S. is almost as great as it was back in Dr. King’s day. The best example that I could think to convey this is Bryan Stevenson`s TED Talk:
Although the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. can be expressed in two powerful nouns, equality and nonviolence, we should never forget to address injustice non-violently prior to taking on streets and demands, especially during the importance of social distancing due to a pandemic.
Redefine Diversity in Culture and Educational Context
Today, we celebrate diversity, internationalism and globalization. Obviously, some countries, groups of people, and IT/digital nomads benefit from selling and sharing their expertise, including myself. Speaking multiple languages opens up dozens of doors to partners to team up with in short- and long-term projects.
The rise of cryptocurrency and blockchain solutions amplified my interest in practicing my digital nomadic lifestyle. I would never have had a chance to join forces with overseas partners, engage in various projects, form strategic partnerships, and relate to many problems unless I traveled and educated myself about other cultures and values, and improved my listening skills to make sense of conversation.
The more I observed the more obvious it became that travel and cultural exchange related programs for current and future generations potentially could help solve any type of challenges, whether it is between multi-cultured families, communities or countries. Consequently, I believe more of the world’s problems could be solved diplomatically not militarily.
Racial, cultural and ethnic stereotypes still affect societies. Chances are high this tendency will continue, and results are going to be dire unless we educate ourselves by traveling, talking, and engaging in win-win activities. Letting diplomacy take the lead seems to be the only way forward.
Racism in the 21st Century should be treated like a plague or cancer of some kind. Sadly, subconsciously or consciously, we have been biased since our childhood about being physically disabled, Asian, White, Black, fat, skinny, and many other prejudices. The list is long. Even worse, if biases remain at their current state we will only face more interracial challenges and problems until we act together and start learning who we are.
Only by educating ourselves by traveling, talking and engaging in win-win activities can we reach consensus diplomatically not militarily. That is the only way forward. The following video made by VICE "" is a manifestation that if all involved parties are ready to adjust and adopt whatever it takes, there will always be a solution.
hat do you think?
EQ over IQ
While writing this article I took some time to remember those people who taught me the most valuable lessons and whose company was so enriching and energizing. Most of them, if not all, had natural EQ levels (emotional intelligence) that I could never equate. Yet, my Vipassana meditation has helped me to improve my self-awareness and productivity, and see the importance and real value of learning and practicing EQ.
Tim Cook’s take on the role of ‘Chief Empathy Officer’ In Response To George Floyd Protests exemplifies that EQ-centric people are going to be an essential blood vessel within entities of any type, shape or form if they are to succeed and transition in remaining competitive and keeping their workforce diverse.
On May 5, 2018, American rapper Donald Glover, under his musical stage name Childish Gambino introduced a song that took the United States by storm.
"This Is America" debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, becoming the 31st song to do so in the chart's history. It debuted with 78,000 downloads sold and 65.3 million U.S. streams in the first week. Its music video accounted for 68% of the song's streaming total.
In less than five minutes, the song covers a number of historic injustices. Even Wired released an inspiring piece named Childish Gambino's 'This Is America' and the New Shape of Protest Music.
he reason I am ending this article with this song is to convey that one way or another, discontent nations, communities and people of all nationalities, ethnicities and race will always find the way to speak out against authorities that disguise or ignore their right to be heard and to be treated equally. History keeps repeating itself. Despite our so-called technological and scientific advancements, we seem to continue to face injustice and inequality.
As we strive to improve these views around the world, our environment is constantly shifting, which makes the need to speak up more important than ever. There are many reasons to make statements and take action, especially with a message that focuses on making positive change. There are times when people need to communicate their anger, frustration, and pain to the world. Doing so may not always be persuasive and spur change, but that does not make it any less necessary or important.
It is not until people speak out and are no longer silent about how they feel can everyone come together, no matter what group or population they are a part of. We have seen it happen with other injustices in our history like the right to vote.
We know change can happen; it is just not always easy, quick or diplomatic. We also know that acknowledging the diversity of all kinds, practicing acceptance of everyone regardless of their skin color and points of view, and learning from other people leads to better and peaceful relations as well as winning situations.