A Message from GCubed Founder & CEO Vernon Green Jr.
Black History Month
Before I begin, I do not consider myself to be a scholar or anyone of importance. I simply try to do what I can, when I can. I have made many mistakes, bad decisions, and done stupid things.
But if you will allow me, I would like to share a few thoughts. As we recognize Black History Month, I am torn. There is no way that I cannot appreciate the progress that has been made as I sit as the CEO of a multi-million dollar organization. There has been great progress as I stand on the shoulders of so many that have come before me, great progress indeed. However, a steady and firm reality check reminds me that we have not arrived at a true place of equality.
I am torn because I served this nation for over 20 years in the Army believing in the principles for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Yet I question, is there liberty and justice for all? I believe that there are great people in this nation of all races, genders, and ethnicities. While abilities are abundantly shared among all, opportunities are not. Should I be pacified by the progress or irritated by the lack of true equality?
Honestly, I fall somewhere in the middle. I believe over-generalization is always counterproductive. There is racism on both sides. I have struggled to maintain the peace within collaborative teams because of differences along racial lines. In many of these situations, I see that it comes down to lack of experience with diverse people rather than true racist intentions. The truth is that our backgrounds may be different, we may lack the experience and familiarity of other cultures. Until we genuinely try to understand one another, the issues will continue.
I communicate to my teams that we should operate under the understanding that, at least on this team, we all mean well. There will be friction and differences but it never comes from a place of hate. In all things seek understanding. Perspectives will always be different as they are a culmination of each person’s experiences. You will have those who say “by any means necessary.” You will have those who feel the best option is to become part of the system. There is a difficult relationship between the system and all people. When subsets of the system feel that the system does not represent or protect them, they look elsewhere for relief. They may even use that inequality to justify their decisions. Again, understanding is key.
It is hard for someone who has never experienced this feeling of exclusion or neglect to understand the mindset that the excluded and neglected perceive. And still, I will not allow the excluded and neglected to use that as an excuse for not doing the right thing. You cannot cure hate with hate. At GCubed Enterprises, Inc and G3 Community Services, we believe TOGETHER, we can do more! While Dave Chappelle is a hilarious comedian and I have never considered him to be a moral compass, he recently said something that stood out to me.
“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe, say or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”
Our politics and our leaders have transitioned from compromise to mud slinging and from governing to poor leadership.
Today, I challenge every individual to “Think Different”: to seek understanding and to show compassion, to dream. Not because its Black History Month. Do it because it will further your relationships with your fellow man. Do it because it will foster your understanding of the great people that comprise this nation. Do it because we have the capacity to be the great nation we long to be!
Dream like Martin. Imagine like John. Innovate like Steve. Create like Albert.
Vernon Green Jr.