No one deserves to die the way Mr. George Floyd did.
In 1963, before a crowd of over 250,000 people, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered an iconic speech on the Lincoln Memorial steps. He dreamt of the day that his “four little children would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Tragically, on May 25th, 2020, George Floyd was murdered because of the color of his skin. The death was uncalled for and we cannot be silent on the matter.
We must do better. I must do better. As a company, we must, and we will do better! We will use the breath that many have been denied to speak up for those that can’t speak up for themselves. 8 minutes and 46 seconds changed America forever; imagine what we are capable of with the rest of our lives.
We are the drivers of change, and it’s time to start the car! Ask yourselves how we can be better. How can we do our part? The actions we choose to take today will shape our children’s lives and the generation to come.
If I could paint you a picture, imagine two homes side by side within a few yards of each other. Now imagine if your house began to sink, but your neighbor’s house remains upright. At this time, we must use all our resources and efforts on the house with the improperly supported foundation to keep it from collapsing to a state of nothingness. That is #BlackLivesMatter. Today, our home is collapsing, and we need the help of all our friends and our communities.
De’Montray Slacum, Director of Marketing
As a kid, I remember my teachers telling us that we are the future and that we will change the world. Being children, we were ignorant of the harsh, cruel realities of the outside world. Back then, it was more about reduce, reuse, and recycle or D.A.R.E. and not what we needed to do to change the world. At that time, in my eyes, everyone was equal. Everyone had the same opportunities as I did. Everyone had the same experiences as I did. I grew up somewhere between the low and middle classes and only knew of my white and Japanese heritages living in rural America.
As I grew, I learned the history lessons of America as we all did, but, in my mind, it was history. We no longer have the dark experiences we once had in the early days of American history. I was wrong. I grew up in a bubble that did not allow me to understand what was still happening, the injustices others experienced that I did not or the difference in experience I had just by walking out in public. It is not that I was in denial, but it was the fact that I was uneducated.
Education does not happen overnight. It comes from continually talking to people, learning of their experiences, being compassionate, supporting, reading, and being there for all of our neighbors no matter who they are or where they have come from. The last few days have been trying for many of us. What happened to George Floyd is inexcusable and tragic. We have to get better.
We need to stand for something. We need to stand for getting better and growing as the human race. #BlackLivesMatter. I see people saying #AllLivesMatter. This is 100% true. But today, we do not need to fight for all lives. We need to fight for those who are experiencing more injustice than the rest of us.
We are all united as the human race; it is time that we act like it. It does not matter about your color, gender, orientation, or anything that makes us all unique. We must stand together. I ask every one of us to get better. Reach out to friends, relatives, and coworkers to make sure they are alright. Let them know that you support them and the cause. I am here to support all of you. Let’s not destroy but get better and grow together.
I am working on getting better and growing. Help support me while I support every one of you. Today, I listened to a TED talk that I discovered during one of my COO calls with other peers around the nation. Here is the link for anyone that wants to listen, Listen Here
Brent Durham, Chief Operating Officer
It is difficult to get your head around the true scope of the African American experience with the criminal justice system in America.
George Floyd’s encounter with it is shocking enough. Far more shocking is how the system as a whole has treated African Americans ever since they began to participate in it after the Civil War. This system has been used to enforce everything from Black Codes to modern era mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, guidelines which made the sale of the black drug of choice (crack cocaine) 100 times more costly than the sale of the white drug of choice (powder cocaine). A black person selling just 5 grams (.18th of an ounce) of crack received a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence in federal prison. A white person selling powder cocaine would have to sell 500 grams (17.7 ounces) to get the same 5-year sentence.
The point is Mr. Floyd’s murder did not soley result from his encounter with a racist cop. It also resulted from his encounter with a system that has long criminalized being black in America.
As disheartening as this living history is, I remain optimistic. Our country has changed, substantially, and more change is coming. I see it every day. I work with a group of people who all — regardless of background, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or political affiliation — share a core sense of fairness and equality that would have been unthinkable not that long ago, certainly in my lifetime.
I am proud to stand with all of you as we reflect on who we are as a nation and how we as a company can best live our core values. I want you to know that you inspire me and give me reason to believe that the past will not repeat itself forever. In the meantime, we will grieve the senseless loss of Mr. Floyd, and the thousands upon thousands who came before him, and we will do our best to change the system that participated in his murder.
Tim Wilson, President
We have a man who was murdered in broad daylight by the people who took an oath to protect and serve this country. We have small business owners who lost their investment overnight. We have peaceful protesters. We have hostile protestors. We have families grieving. This is yet another situation where our country is burning. This is our America right now.
I pray for the day when we can no longer have discussions about bigotry and hatred. My wife and I are expecting our first child in August and I remember us questioning the thought of bringing a child into this world with all this bigotry and hate. We ultimately decided we could do it because we knew we’d teach that human what’s right and wrong. We’d teach that humans that all human beings deserve equality no matter his/her gender, color, race. That is the legacy we vow to leave behind.
Let’s continue to teach our children, educate our adults, and pledge to make positive steps towards fixing our broken system. Together, with action, we can do it! Let’s take a pledge to stand for what’s right, not only for George Floyd, but for everyone who fights the battle daily.
Kyle McCracken, Chief Product Officer
This is a difficult time to think, listen and openly engage the issues of the day. However, some issues and events need to be far more than discussed; they need to be opportunities for learning and application of that knowledge. The issue for which I am speaking is the unspeakable death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer who is charged with making citizens safe. Kind of ironic that the person charged with public safety and well being used a brutality that caused great harm and eventual death to another human being.
I realize there will be those that focus on the fact that Mr. Floyd may have had a counterfeit $20 bill, but in my opinion even if true, nobody deserves to be treated the way Mr. Floyd was treated. It is time for us as a society to stop making excuses and start making a difference. And in no way do I support the folks looting, setting fires, harming small businesses and harming other citizens. Those misguided folks are hurting our peaceful movement and giving credibility to the indefensible.
No, meeting violence with violence is never the way. At iFrog we may be busy disrupting the industry with best in class marketing technology solutions, but we also want to do our part in making this country that we all love a better place to live. We are honored to have a diverse pirate team where we all come together in serving our clients and providing their businesses with a sustainable competitive advantage.
And it is for our employees and our commitment to social justice for everyone that we will be taking the following actions:
The 3 flags at the iFrog headquarters will be at half mast for the month of June 2020 so that we can properly recognize and respect George Floyd and all the other folks who have been killed by police brutality or other racist actions resulting in harm.
We will offer Inclusion classes to all of our employees so they can learn and study other cultures and histories. This will make certain our pirate team is educated in differences that actually make us stronger together.
We will be giving our team time off so that they can attend a peaceful protest if they choose. This way our pirates can participate in a peaceful solution to change
Today, at iFrog we stand together, undivided and as one both in creating a sustainable competitive advantage for clients and in creating a better America for everyone going forward. One team, one mission…