It's About Reputation, Stupid
White people: Your behavior is what matters in our Trump-damaged society.
This morning, I read about immigrant mothers separated from their children who are not likely to be reunited because they only speak indigenous languages (not Spanish). Federal officials, compelled by the court to reunite them, have no way of communicating.
If this doesn't touch your heart, you're in trouble.
Families walked the length of Mexico arriving at our border as refugees to seek asylum from drug-related gang violence in their home countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The violence stems from the huge market for illegal drugs, mostly consumed by white people in this country.
The Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on immigration led to the separation of families. It was enacted to "teach people a lesson." Support for this president is directly tied to feelings about immigration.
It's depressing. This is our country. We have people working for the federal government who followed immoral and viciously cruel orders. ICE must be disbanded, office space cleared out, furniture sold, supervisors, and above, forbidden to ever work in the federal government again, and all uniforms and insignia burned.
We have crossed the line. Support for this president, from now on means that you hate people who look like my loved ones, friends and the people who work for me. I cannot tolerate that neither forgive nor forget.
Yesterday, I received a white paper from Morning Consult, an organization run by white men and whose leadership awards went, almost exclusively, to white men.
They reached the wrong conclusions. "Here are three issues that aren't very controversial: civil rights, criminal justice reform, and LGBTQ rights," the paper states. "Here are three issues that are: abortion, anthem protesting, and immigration."
Taking a knee to protest injustice in law enforcement isn't "controversial" to anyone subject to that injustice, or anyone who loves someone subject to that injustice. Not controversial. Law enforcement misbehavior kills people. This is not an abstract concept, unless you're white.
Therefore, what IS controversial (and offensive) is saying ignorant things about athletes who are making a stand. Use that as an example.
Trump's nonstop racism and misogyny have turned what might be considered benign mistakes in the past into today's land mines. Casually bring up Rep. Maxine Waters or LeBron James in a diverse room and see what happens.
You can tell from Morning Consult's white paper that they didn't consider diversity in the results. Pew poll data shows that millennials favor Democrats over Republicans — 59 to 32 percent. They didn't come out to vote for Hillary (I had to drag myself to the voting booth).
But all indications show they are involved now. Since Trump can't give up the hate talk, logically, they will stay involved, and the snap back from Trump is likely to be huge — Medicare for all, universal guaranteed income, socialism.
Momentum is everything in public opinion.
If you lead a company, to build good momentum, and avoid negative momentum like CBS or Starbucks, you must think your way through diversity, understand the facts and understand that how you feel really doesn't matter.
It's your behavior that matters.
If you think that athletes are unpatriotic because the draft dodger and tax cheat told you so, keep it to yourself, and everything's relatively OK. But, if you speak up or attend a "rally" and share your thoughts about it on social media, that's building negative momentum.
If a CEO speaks at an event featuring a member of an organized crime family — THAT'S controversial to most of the people you want to hire.
If you are reading this and disagree, keep in mind that your opinion doesn't matter.
The opinion of the people you want to influence is what matters. Look at the evidence of the data – the polls. Read "Brown is the New White." Try to process this without Fox News running in the background and give it some thought.
You cannot try to rationalize evil and come out clean. There's no such thing as a "swing voter" at this point. There is a tidal wave building. You, your company, your stock price — all of it is going to be swept away if you remain an obstruction.
Or is a tyranny of old people and a lack of leadership skills, most importantly mentoring and sponsoring the next generation, open for criticism?
I received a comment from a reader on my last column.
Here's the gist of it:
"I did not tweet or post (your last column) because of the ageist comment/s made about Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. I have no problem with them being criticized as lackluster, but not because of their age."
Here's my response:
The hater-in-chief, elected by a minority of Americans, eliminates any cover for his supporters. Fair warning: after last week, you're either a hater, or you're not.
An inquiry from a reader inspires further investigation and the results are shocking.
A tale of a complete lack of diversity causing bad decisions, and shifting opinions nationwide, as well as a teachable moment for corporate America.
Having zero diversity, and by trying to make it "Kavanaugh vs. Ford," the old, white Republican men lost control of the nomination, and made it about them versus all women, a situation that, at best, will be a Pyrrhic victory.
We are long past needing to be understanding of his supporters.
It's been one year since the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. And now, we are all bracing for what is being called Unite the Right 2, planned for this weekend in the Washington, D.C. area. A state of emergency has been declared in Virginia ahead of the gathering of white supremacists and Neo-Nazis.
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Decades of incompetent Democratic leadership — and disregard for diversity — has taken us down this path.