To Our Community,
The world is hard on the soul these days. We live in fear of a virus, of economic tragedy, of job loss, of deep-rooted racial injustice and for many, fear of all of them.
Individually and collectively, we are in pain – from events yesterday, the day before, from weeks ago and for the generations leading to this one. We mourn George Floyd and all those that came before him. I know I speak for all of us when I say, this must stop.
To make matters worse, we woke to find that certain elements had overtaken the call to action for George, and our desire for change was hijacked by rage, violence, vandalism and theft. Now, through the smoke and broken glass, it can be hard to see the way forward to peace and real change. That thought alone is deeply painful. But do not let the true narrative for positive change be hijacked, within you or around you.
This morning we found three of our cafes broken and looted and others tagged and targeted. We stopped production to ensure La Colombe people didn’t have to travel through the riots. Many of our neighborhoods were ransacked, broken and looted – our neighborhoods where we live with our families as well as the places we work. I spent the weekend with my beautiful, talented, stunning children who struggle to make sense of George’s murder, and all those murders before him, and now the images of violence, tear gas, burning cars and looting.
My message to them was simple, stay the course, open your hearts and minds, and listen – everyone wants to be heard, everyone wants to be understood, everyone wants to be safe and unjudged and everyone wants to be respected. Don’t let the violence of some bury the real message.
Even with this violence, now is not a time for closed-mindedness, now is not the time to lament our broken glass and our misfortunes. Instead, now is a time to listen to our people and the stories of communities of color, those among us, our neighbors, with an open ear. Now is the time to listen to your brothers and sisters. Now is the time to understand what bias and microaggressions look like – and make commitments to stop them. Now is the time to learn how systemic racism was built, so we all can begin to help dismantle it.
Now is the time to mourn George and the men and women like him, with our understanding and our commitment to stop it.
La Colombe may only be a coffee company, we may only be a misfit band of folks trying to make people happy with coffee. We may not be a huge company, but I assure you, everything good in the world has always been driven by a small group of people committed to good-ness – armed with an unrelenting commitment to making positive change.
We share our unrelenting commitment to finding ways to make a positive long-term change for the black community.
Be safe everyone.