Black Lives Matter

The social conscience of the United States was left in a state of shock after the events at Charlottesville, VA. 32 year old Heather Heyer lost her life at the hands of a white supremacist who drove their car into a crowd of protesters. While the shock of Nazis marching in American streets was a moment of awakening for many, some communities have been living under a shadow of institutionalized racism and white supremacy for their entire lives. While we can disagree on tactics and specific policy, we cannot disagree on unambiguous facts.

  • African-Americans are 13% of the population and 14% of monthly drug users, but constitute 37% of all drug-related arrests in the United States.
  • Black and Latino Americans are far more likely to be stopped by police and searched than whites. In New York city alone, 80% of citizens stopped by police were black and/or Latino and 85% were searched. This is a 90% disparity compared to white New Yorkers who account for 8% of all stops.
  • African-Americans are 33% more likely than whites to be detained while facing felony charges.
  • In 2010, the US Sentencing Commission reported that African-Americans on average receive sentencing 10% longer than whites for the same crime.
  • In 2009, African-Americans were reported to be 21% more like than whites to receive mandatory minimum sentences and 20% more likely to be sentenced to prison.
  • Bureau of Justice Statistics research concluded that an African-American male born in 2001 has a 32% chance of going to jail in his lifetime, compared to a 6% chance among white males.
  • In a 2012 study, 51% of Americans expressed anti-black sentiments, a 3% increase from 2008.

While black Americans are facing broad inequality in our justice system and with anti-black sentiments on the rise, we cannot remain silent. This charge from some on the right that identity politics is the problem completely ignores white the facts demonstrate: Black Americans are not treated equally in our society. When inequality, discrimination, and injustice so disproportionately affect one identity group, identity matters; Black Lives Matter!

Businesses have a role to play in promoting justice. We cannot continue to serve those who perpetuate white supremacy, and as a political strategy firm, Method’s social responsibility is directly tied to the potential impact our work and our clients may have on society at-large. Public relations firms, marketing organizations, political consultants, and others play a direct role in reaching the general public on behalf of their clients. We have a moral responsibility to deny that voice to white supremacy and refuse to support those who shield white supremacy with their silence. Our Humanist values are nothing more than talking points if we fail to promote justice over profit. . If you refuse to say “Black Lives Matter” we will not accept your business.

Thank you Spectrum Experience LLC for taking the lead on this in Arizona. Your public relations firm’s dedication to Humanist values, justice, and equality is an example that all business should follow.