Brian Childers MDI Contributor
I am on a men’s team consisting of three white men and three black men. OK. So?
I have been associated with the men’s work (through Sterling Men’s Division and Mentor Discover Inspire) since 1991.
That’s 28 years, and this is the FIRST time I have ever been on a ½ & ½ team. The Dog Soldiers are homed in Atlanta, Georgia – a racially progressive city, perhaps “THE racially progressive city,” per a young black man interviewed on the local evening news today.
I am a Dog Soldier. And every time a new black man joined us I have had a specific conversation with him:
- The men’s division is for men – all men
- The Dog Soldiers are mostly all white – in a city that is way more black
- We don’t seem to articulate our message in a way that is attractive to black men
- Will you partner with me to change those things and invite black men to join you/us?
On my team are:
- An architect of social health equity initiatives
- An architect of hospitals, mostly
- A fluent German speaker
- A Golden Gloves multi-year boxing champion
- A former U.S. Army Ranger
- An architect of IT systems and structures – serving medical scientists globally
- A member of the Martial Arts Hall of Fame
- A professional opera singer
- A drummer
- A FOREX trader
Can you tell who is white or black? I bet not.
Does it matter?
Last month when George Floyd was murdered, we all saw it repeatedly on TV, and we were all affected – deeply. That week at our Zoom team meeting I started it off out of control – emotionally – because I had just before seen the replay of Floyd’s demise followed by Nora O’Donnell being moved by the vignettes of a small number of casualties who had died from COVID-19.
It broke me down – overload – too much – STOP IT!!!
How inhuman to calmly kneel and choke the life out of a human – knowing there is video being taken! How inhuman of the Asian officer who shooed the onlookers away while doing nothing to actually stop it. Over 100,000 people have died from COVID-19 and some people don’t seem to care.
- Don’t tell me I have to do ANYTHING – fucker!
- Care about somebody else? Why? Do they care about me?
- What about my business or my freedom or…?
- Should we wear a mask? Or, not? Does it really make any significant difference? Don’t I get to choose for MYSELF?
- Where does my freedom get infringed?
- It’s herd immunity man. Didn’t you see the YouTube videoSSSSSS$$$$$, man?
Yep, I‘m rambling. Kind of stream of consciousness.
So much division, but not like a men’s division.
I have always taken a firm stand AGAINST discussing politics or religion on our men’s teams. What we have has almost always risen above politics or religion and been about the man sitting next to you. His true identity.
Would you trust HIM in a foxhole? Not his politics. Not his religion. HIM?
It seems such a fragile peace, this thing we have.
The “movement” that is underway now pretty much demands to be discussed – among us. It may actually be big enough to also rise above the political or religious considerations.
I hope so.