We write the beginning of June and this year 2020 will for sure write history, after all the Corona/COVID-19 pandemic scenarios, lockdowns etc. there is an outcry about the constant problems around racism. I have been very clear in the past that comdivision has no room for any form of racism or suppression being it by culture, skin color, origin, religion or orientation. I do not agree with other corporate leaders that there shouldn't be any political statement by an organization. I agree that we shouldn't influence any form of election or the freedom of choice of employees or others, but whenever it comes to any form of anti-democratic behavior, extremism or discrimination this is a spot where we shouldn't be silent. I come from a country with a past which I had NOTHING todo with, we often have the feeling that Germany still is guilty. I strongly disagree. But we are guilty if we don't ensure that history doesn't repeat and that requires one first step and that is to not be silent. My grand parents were silent, they thought that it can't get that bad, they thought others would handle it and ensure nothing would happen. So for me it is clear, I will not repeat history and do the same mistake.
Over the past few days I went thru the list of contacts and friends and spoke or chatted with some of them who might have been affected by racism or other forms of extremism in the past. The sad news is it is all present, why do people not talk about it? They don't want it to always be the topic, they don't want any conversation be reduced to what they experience because of their skin color, religion or sexual orientation. But it is true and it doesn't matter whether it's because you are gay, black, muslim or christian (yes fun part depending on where you live this might also be an issue) or whatever these things happen. Thankfully they do not happen to the extreme to what happened in the US and George Floyd to be realistic is just one more case. Statistics show this is a common scenario. And when I hear or read people describe that although they live in a privileged environment they explain to their kids that if a security guard stops them they need to ensure they have their ID etc. and cooperate in hope to get home. This is nothing I want ever to explain to my daughter. So racism is real and it affects not only criminals or underprivileged people.
I do not want my daughter to grow up in a world where racism is still a constant threat and how can we judge what we call 2nd or 3rd world countries if we experience 1st world democratic governments to call the military against their own people on their own soil? Seeing pictures of demonstrations getting out of control from both sides is threatening.
Violence is not the solution at present, in the past or future. Open communication and the clear commitment for change is the solution. We can all help by showing that we are willing to listen first and secondly to act.
Wherever I can, I am willing to listen and help, reach out to me, I am happy to use my voice for good and support the constant fight against racism or extremism of all kinds!
CEO of comdivision