Neil offers a perspective on the events in Washington, DC on January 6th, describing his observations, and urge to invite white allies to the conversation to share their points of view in a multiple part series. In closing, Neil invites listeners into reflective work around Leadership, Relationships, Wellbeing, and Inclusion as we all process what is happening in America now. If we do not learn to relate across divergent views and make sure all human needs are met, we will self-destruct.
At the end of last week’s episode with Dr. Cherry, I said I would begin offering content in a fast, more consumable way beginning today. And here we are. What a week. There is nothing consumable about it and the events which are ongoing and relevant to why this podcast exists. We had the first Black man, Reverend Raphael Warnock, and a Jewish man, Jon Ossoff, win elections to the U.S. Senate, both Democrats, from the traditionally Republican state of Georgia, which ultimately determined the outcome of the presidential election and the balance of power in the U.S. Senate. At essentially the same time, the President of the United States directed his supporters to disrupt the certification of a democratic election he claimed was stolen without any facts, and dismissed the findings of the entirety of the state and federal judiciaries, which confirm the legitimacy of the election. Essentially, the president led an insurrection, insurgence or rebellion against the union. You can choose your terminology. Like most Americans, I observed what happened on TV. What I saw was a crowd of people with a combination of American flags, Confederate flags, swastikas, guns and other battle fatigues and red hats rushed into the Congress while it was in session. They made their way up the stairs, climbed the walls, which happened to be right next to the stairs. I watched officers allow them to enter the building through the front door. I watched officers remove barricades. I watched people from the crowd taking selfies with officers. I watched the crowd bashing windows, enter spaces they were not allowed, and occupy the U.S. Congress building, displacing elected officials in the middle of certifying the presidential election. They broke up the place a bit. Then they walked out, gave journalist interviews and apparently went home. Presumably some went back to the office after personal time off. There’s a lot I cannot say. But I thought this is a great opportunity to invite other voices to opine on their experiences of what we all saw on TV. So I reached out into my social network and specifically invited white voices to join me for a conversation. Several people came forward willing to share their experience and their processing of what’s happening in America right now. It’s too much to share in one episode, so I will share their voices over a series of episodes, and what I can say is everyone is in a place of deep personal processing. My ask of you for today is to, one, consider your own leadership. Think about what you are taking responsibility for or not taking responsibility for in the world around you. Two, think about what you want your relationships to be like, what can be better about them, and what might you do to improve them. We are in an interconnected and interdependent world. It just simply cannot be undone. Three, check your well-being. Everyone is under a tremendous amount of stress right now, and stress has physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual impact. We are dealing with a world of uncertainty, chaos, violence, division, loss, and even death. We each need to care for ourselves and those around us, to consider what a more kind and just society might look like where everyone has all basic needs met. If you believe that is possible, then what might be a path toward that rather than in the direction of more deep seated division? I believe we can have divergent views and still see human needs being met. We have to figure it out or we will self destruct. Thank you again for listening to my musings, and do come back to listen to this series on Post-1/6 Allyship. As always, you can find me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com backslash N backslash N Edwards 07 or Instagram at Neil underscore Edwards underscore coaching. I look forward to you joining me on The Leadership Range in the coming weeks.