Words feel so inadequate to express the emotion of the past 8 days. What began with yet another black man’s life being slowly snuffed out at the hands of a police officer has shaken our nation to its core with widespread protests calling for change. Social media provided a platform which brought this Memorial Day crime right into our homes, showing us again the ugly underbelly of racism that flourishes in this country. And we could not look away. Our hearts have been broken as yet another name, George Floyd, has been added to the list of people who have lost their lives at the hands of those sworn to protect us. We have had enough. This must end.
For far too long this nation has turned a blind eye to the suffering of people of color. We have enabled institutions that systematically oppress our black and brown brothers and sisters, and this week it has come into such sharp focus that our attention has been redirected from a global pandemic to this overwhelming national tragedy. The statistics tell the story for us. African Americans are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people even though they are less likely to be armed. But the story doesn’t stop with those facts. In almost every area of life, people of color face an unfair playing field. Black students are three times more likely to be suspended and expelled from school than white students, and the median wealth of white households is 20 times that of African Americans. Black women are 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy. We have had enough. This must end.
Malbek may be a young start-up, but we have been very intentional about our culture since the beginning. We are committed to using our voice and visibility to support those who are suffering and oppressed. At Malbek we acknowledge the privilege that many of us have enjoyed in life, and it is because of that privilege that we must not remain silent. We stand as allies with those who are marginalized, victimized, and voiceless and demand change from those in power. And to that end we challenge other companies, like ours, to do the same and become agents for change. Don’t hide behind “appropriateness.” Stand with us and call for an end to systemic oppression and violence. We have had enough. This must end.