We, as the white population, have talked a lot about racism, implicit bias, diversity, inclusion and equity. So why now are we finally acting on these words?
It is not just George Floyd’s awful and needless death under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.
It is the accumulation of undeniable evidence that bias, inequity and racism pollute every aspect of our society — from the justice system to health care and economic opportunity to education.
It is time the white majority faces up to these cold facts: Racism and unequal treatment in the U.S. are a sickness, a life-threatening, festering wound.
Race-based harassment, intimidation and discrimination are disheartening and a stark reminder of how far our society must evolve.
Black Americans have less at nearly every juncture of life. Having less costs more. Black students borrow more to go to college, do not finish as often and more frequently default on their student loans.
However, no amount of education, even a degree in nursing, may prevent experiencing inequities. Specifically, enrolling in college does not mean graduating with a degree.
Nationally Blacks have a graduation rate of 39%, while whites are at 65%. Bearing in mind these facts, as a proud MU alumnus, in 2015 my wife and I funded the Lind Diversity in Nursing Program, which has created scholarships and successful baccalaureate graduation for professional nursing students of color.
Our endowment coincided with the 2015 MU Black student protests. Unfortunately, some white people are tired of hearing about racism, but Blacks have lived with it for 400 years.
Gregory and Diane Lind live in Seattle. They started one of MU’s first diversity endowments five years ago, soon after the 2015 protests.