At The Acne Treatment Center we stand firmly with people of color and denounce all forms of racism. We stand opposed to all forms of criminal behavior, including, and maybe especially, by those who are sworn to uphold the law and protect our communities.
While it is important to state that, what actions do we take to best uphold these positions?
Many colleagues are donating to causes that support blacks. I applaud that, but deep-down worry that this isn’t a problem money can fix.
I am in awe of Todd Winn, a retired United States Marine who was awarded two purple hearts. He stood a one-man protest before the Utah State Capitol for three hours in 99 degree heat in full dress uniform with thick black tape over his mouth that read “I can’t breathe” holding a sign that read: ‘Justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Countless Others.’ It was so hot his dress shoes were melting against the pavement. Will his action change hearts? I hope it does.
Friends have been flooding social media with first person accounts of blacks who have been stopped by the police for literally nothing more than being black, and of mothers of black children who have to teach them how to behave if they ever get stopped. The stories make me feel sick and sometimes make me cry. I read every one of them. I hope others do too.
I have gone back and reviewed many, many stories of blacks, usually men, but women and children too, who have been severely beaten or killed by police, going back to Rodney King whose March 7, 1991 near-fatal beating by police was, I believe, the first to be caught on video and broadcast widely on television. The subsequent acquittal of the four officers involved led to 6 days of rioting in Los Angeles. I wanted to include the names and stories of all the blacks who had been killed in the years since, but the list was impossibly long when I had just reviewed one year’s worth.
Can this murder of George Floyd have any more lasting effect than all of those did?
Maybe. It does feel different in the level of engagement than those did, but for the effect to be lasting we all have to do something. The “something” is more than giving money, or standing protest, or sharing stories. The “something” actually involves some very powerful tools that are at all our disposal.
It involves paying attention and then voting.
Paying attention to the Supreme Court and their doctrine of qualified immunity. Learn more here.
Paying attention to what laws are being enacted by Congress. Paying attention to what’s going on at the White House. Paying attention to what actually happens to those “few bad apples” whose community calls for their removal. Paying attention to your local police force. Paying attention to your local city council and county council. Paying attention to your local courthouse.
I know. That’s a lot of paying attention. It’s lots harder than writing a check or reading heartbreaking stories, or even than standing at attention in the hot sun until your shoes melt. But if we really want to see a dent in this terrible affliction of racism that is tearing our country apart, we have to start by paying attention.
And then voting.
Voting on a local level where community culture is made manifest. Voting on a national level where national culture is given sway. But voting only works if we are paying attention.
And one other important tool we have. Serving on a jury. It is a pain in the neck to take time out of your life to go sit in the courthouse, and it never comes at a good time. But if we don’t stop getting excused, juries will never be made up of our peers.
Join me in using the powerful tools at our disposal so that what feels like an important moment in history, actually turns out to be one.
Acne is an equal opportunity employer. It afflicts every single shade of human skin, so our clients come in all colors. At The Acne Treatment Center we look forward to the day when racism is a thing of the distant past and the only skin thing we have to worry about is acne.
Written by Jane N. Dudik, Owner and Founder of the Acne Treatment Center