Good Afternoon All:
This week has been fraught with anger, frustration, fear and violence across our country. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder—preceded by the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others—there is nothing that can be said to assuage the injustice felt by so many in the African-American community. To everyone, but especially my Black colleagues at Wolfe and my Black family and friends, Black lives matter. I’m with you. Wolfe Research stands with you. Racism, police brutality, and police murder must end, so must systemic racism prevalent throughout virtually every aspect of society including access to food, jobs, healthcare, the criminal justice system and security.
I have struggled with what to do and what to say and struggled to sleep or smile for over a week now. I’m supposed to be a leader, a father, a husband, an entrepreneur and a man of action, and the hardest part of living through these times for me is not knowing how to take action to fix these issues now or even what to say to bring comfort to those around me.
I wrote an emotionally charged and raw response to George Floyd’s murder and the ensuing violence last Friday, included with a link to Janelle Monae’s powerful protest song Hell You Talmbout. This song was written over five years ago about a string of black lives being needlessly taken by police activity and yet little has changed. David Byrne, of the Talking Heads, with Monae’s permission had been performing this song nightly on Broadway until the COVID virus shut down Broadway, and I was fortunate enough to get to see him and his talented multi-ethnic band play it live, and it’s incredibly powerful and unfortunately increasingly relevant.
Some of my Wolfe colleagues have recently helped me understand that I missed the mark, by never publishing my thoughts and staying silent publicly on the issue, until now. I am thankful for their guidance and courage and for them taking heed of my calling to always speak up at Wolfe when you feel uncomfortable or not respected and helping me now to change that.
I tell everyone we hire at their first orientation meeting at the Wheeltapper that Wolfe is a place with a culture of respect and that no one should ever feel uncomfortable at work. As an institution, I and our Executive Committee re-dedicate ourselves to working diligently to maintain a safe, inclusive, embracing, creative home for the widest possible expression of opinions and community. I apologize for not rising to the occasion and loudly pronouncing that earlier, for that I am ashamed.
You will hear more from me, Wolfe Cares, and Wolfe Research in the coming weeks on how we can all be more involved as the moment is upon us now to not be silent and to move forward to evoke necessary change, while we have the nation’s attention.
My door remains open now and always for anyone who wants to reach out, I value greatly your opinions and your thoughts on meaningful action we can take going forward to make a difference.
I wish everyone a thoughtful and hopeful weekend.
Love truly is the answer.
With great respect to all,
Link to Janelle Monae’s Hell You Talmbout https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fumaCsQ9wKw