A Broken Heart

by | Jun 1, 2020 | Commentary

This has been a hard week for America. Forget COVID for a moment, and the economic devastation it has wrought on so many. Let us take a break from discussing stimulus and markets, interest rates and debt. Something far more basic must be addressed.

This week has reminded us of the grave injustices that continue to plague our society and the intense anger that percolates through our communities as a result. It has reminded us that just as a few broken people can stain the reputations of good law enforcement professionals, a few broken people can twist a peaceful protest into something that further harms, rather than repairs, our collective wounds.

And while it is easy to bemoan the violent manifestations of racial bias, it can be much harder to acknowledge and address the more subtle biases that continue to affect other parts of society, such as the finance and nonprofit sectors. While most of us are not in an obvious position to drive reform in law enforcement or the justice system, we can look at our own personal and professional lives to see how we can better build bridges, confront our own biases, and live ever more exemplary lives.

Syntrinsic strives to empower all people because we believe that all people are worth empowering. Empowered people are healthy, generative, collaborative, and capable of fostering sustainable, cohesive communities that in turn empower others. Thoughtfully done, empowering people today empowers future generations as well. When senseless violence takes down an innocent person, we not only face the horror of that conduct. We lose so much of that victim’s potential. We all pay the price.

In 1994, while anger still simmered over the abuse of Rodney King at the hands of members of the Los Angeles Police Department, Ben wrote a poem about Fred Hampton. Hampton, a twenty-year-old black man in Chicago, had been killed in his bed by Chicago Police and the FBI back in 1969. Beyond the anger at the injustice of the situation, we lament the loss of what Hampton could have accomplished with another 40, 50, 60 years of community building in one of America’s most disregarded communities. “…he would have had such a time, Fred Hampton, had he been allowed to be alive.”

We wish you good health and financial security, and we hope you will join us in pursuing ever more effective ways to empower ALL people.