Hearing the Screams

The following guest column by Gulf Coast President|CEO Mark Pritchett appeared in the June 20 edition of SRQ Daily:

Author, entrepreneur, and all-around big thinker Seth Godin wrote an incisive blog last week on privilege (without ever using the word). In his brief, thoughtful post, Godin riffed on a classic comic in which a surprised goldfish says to its tank-mate, “Wait, there’s water?”

The metaphor here: Those who benefit most from a system can be oblivious to the very conditions that make it so. Godin refers specifically to “the dominant culture.”

A dominant culture can easily morph into the “tyranny of the majority.” Alexis de Tocqueville saw this potential blind spot in our young nation during the 1800s. He suggested that the power of the majority can crush a minority without even hearing its screams.

Recently, we have heard those tragic screams in Minneapolis, Atlanta, and throughout our country. The outrage is real. And it is our duty as citizens of our representative democracy to check and transform the institutions that have turned a deaf ear to them.

American communities, including ours, face a reckoning. Persistent gaps in educational achievement, health status, and wealth have been laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our region’s communities of color and residents living in poverty are disproportionately impacted by negative health and economic outcomes. We can’t ignore their screams anymore.

Read the rest of Mark's column in SRQ Daily


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