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Michaela Greer

Michaela Greer

Associate Editor, Audience Engagement & Distribution at LinkedIn News

Generally, I try to keep my work and home life separate. But the reality is that for me, and many people like me, the issues within my community cannot be placed in a metaphorical box until the workday ends.

And this week has been especially difficult.

I’d like to preface this by saying that I don’t speak for an entire group; and I’d never want to. I am simply sharing my experience because I feel a duty to – even if I am speaking into a digital void. This post is also not related to my current role, so feel free to place it within the “a bit of personal news” pile.

This morning, I almost had the police called on me over a misunderstanding at the post office. In the moment, I was just angry. Once I left and my mind was able to run free — in all honesty, I broke down thinking of all the ways that situation could have played out.

As a person of faith, I thanked God that He placed a clerk on shift at the right time to intervene; and then I found a way to carry on with my day.

Come Monday, many persons in my community will report to work as usual. Some of us cry between meetings and during our breaks. Others keep our heads buried, consumed with projects, in an effort to stay too busy to see breaking news notifications jumping across our screens. We worry about our family members in other parts of the world. More of us numb. We hurt.

I’m fortunate enough to be a part of a team filled with caring allies and a manager who looks like me. I fully understand this is not the standard.

What’s happening in the U.S. is maddening. It’s even more upsetting that it continues to happen worldwide. However, time has proven that ignoring an issue doesn’t make it go away. We can argue about the methods of protesters — from a kneeling athlete to a rioting crowd — but it doesn’t change the fact that at the very core, something is truly broken.

I can admit that it would be foolish to think that things will change overnight, and I don’t expect anyone to have the solution Black people have been searching for for centuries. What I do ask, is that if you care for your coworkers or anyone who looks different to you, do or say something. The silence can be deafening.

Whether you choose to join in a protest, sign a petition, engage in an uncomfortable discussion, be an ally on the job, or simply check in on someone, have the guts and compassion to do it.

To my community, I ask that when non-Black persons speak out, don’t be so quick to condemn because you didn’t like their tone or method. Relish in the fact that you have an ally and educate. It takes a lot of courage to speak out and the fear of saying or doing the wrong thing can be crippling. We’re all doing the best we know how.

The only way forward is going to take an effort from all of us. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a trek ahead. So, as they say back home: walk good.

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