On behalf of Tilo and The Board of Directors:
I have been trying to process the mindless violence of Black and Brown people that our country has witnessed over the last two months. The recent events felt like an attack by way of a machine gun. Loaded in the chamber were
- George Floyd
- Breonna Taylor
- Ahmaud Arbery
- Tony McDade
- Christian Cooper
It has left me oscillating between anger, frustration, helplessness, confusion, and sadness. We can no longer accept the oppressive systems that are rooted in the fabric of our nation:
1. Institutional Racism
2. Structural Racism
3. Interpersonal Racism
4. Internalized Racism
Now more than ever, our country must stand united. We can no longer tolerate the mere perception of taking action. We have to be bold and brave in shifting beyond "I am not racist" to Pro-Black and from "I am not homophobic" to Pro-LGBTQ+, to name a few. Paramount to the success of our country moving forward is directly and unapologetically addressing both covert and overt white supremacy, and accepting the reality that our humanity is interdependent on the humanity of others. Inherent in that belief is understanding that until we fully embrace and accept those who are different from us, we can never reach true acceptance. Paraphrasing Sir Harry Burns, "What we need is compassion that stands in awe at the burdens our Black community must carry, rather than standing in judgment for how they carry them." It is a difficult and challenging time in our history, and we must find empathy, love, and compassion for ourselves and others within our hearts. If I could speak to those who are opportunistically rioting, I would ask them to please stop. It isn't helpful in our fight. If my words could reach those of you rioting as a result of intergenerational trauma, I'm sorry. Be brave, stay strong, and continue to take action to dismantle oppression; vote, advocate for policy change and do not accept degrading rhetoric or lack of appropriate responses from law officials, policymakers, and politicians.
I am here to let you know that we stand with you and are ready to listen. We are here to cry, be angry, advocate and unite with you. There will be a time to examine our trauma and the science behind its impact on all of us. For now, we need to listen, learn from our Black community's experiences, and begin to heal through authentic human connection. Let's take this opportunity for unprecedented change and reach new heights together. Stay safe and be well.
Founder of Tilo