Black. Lives. Matter. The fact that that statement is controversial is this country is unconscionable. Before you enter into the comment section with “all lives matter” or but the “riots” or any version of justification for discrimination - stop and really listen to what members of the black community are saying. We in the white community must continue to educate ourselves on the centuries of violence that have been heaped upon black and brown people in our country of America. From the institutional violence of hundreds of years of slavery, which made this country rich, to housing discrimination to banking discrimination to education systems that were never ‘separate but equal’ to police violence to the individual violence of every offhand racist comment, the violence of the accumulation of every ‘small’ daily discrimination that black and brown people face in their everyday lives (in quotes because they may seem small but aren’t) I say ‘we’ above as a member of the white community and I am writing as a ‘brand’ here but I am speaking here as me, Jennifer, as an individual human. I don’t usually use the platform as a vehicle for my own personal voice but in this moment it is time. (It’s also not appropriate for me to speak for my employees- some of whom are black and brown). This is a time for ‘us’ (speaking as a member of the white community) to take individual responsibility to be allies and to examine our effectiveness as allies. And it is always the time for us to do that, not just now. These moments flare up in the media and in our collective consciousness when there is a murder or an act of violence so egregious that it happens to get a hashtag but the violence of this racism is happening every day. I will be donating our profits this weekend to @brooklynbailfund @aclu_nationwide and @splcenter And I’ll be praying for this country.

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