BONUS: What We Can Do to Be Antiracist
In light of the worldwide protests against police violence and in support of Black Lives Matters, we wanted to get in touch with Tanisha Robinson to elaborate on the interview that we recorded weeks earlier. We ask her: How do we take better action — the right action — and learn to do better when it comes to issues of racial injustice? Much of that starts with asking the right questions.
These are troubling times, but this is not a new fight. These are problems that America has faced since its inception and they are problems that will not go away without active antiracist efforts.
There is an overwhelming lack of diversity in all high-growth industries — which became the genesis for Tanisha’s 420 rule at W*nder. The company is reinvesting 4.20% of its profits into entrepreneurs from the communities that have experienced a disproportionately negative impact as a result of the prohibition of cannabis. We need equity in cannabis, especially as the original entrepreneurs in the space have been shut out by this recent gold rush.
Fighting against racism and for equality for everyone is not a political issue — it’s a moral issue. Businesses often say they don’t want to get involved in politics, but this is just a binary question of whether racism is something that should be allowed. There are actionable things that businesses can be doing right now to stop perpetuating the cycle of poverty that exists in this country: giving your employees paid time off, health insurance, and looking at the diversity amongst their own teams.
It is not enough to passively be “not racist.” You need to know what actionable steps you can take when confronted with racism in the world. Tanisha offers a couple of books that anyone interested in this fight should read. The first, “White Fragility,” helps us get context around white privilege and the structures that are enabling racism. Then, “How to Be an Antiracist” is a guidebook for actionable things you can do to be actively against racism. And if just reading doesn’t feel like enough, whenever you are in a situation where you see something happening, confront people on it.
Where can we be hopeful for a change? It seems now that good people want to do something. They want to take action, they’re trying to take action, and they’re asking questions. We need to take this anger and frustration and sadness into a productive movement toward real equity. More and more leaders on a local level are seeing that this is not a political issue but a moral one. We cannot enable white supremacists.
If everyone does what they can with the platform that they have within their community, we can make a dent.