CEO David McCormick shared the following email with colleagues in response to the protests and riots unfolding across the United States.
I have had discussions with many of you about the horrible incidents of racial bigotry that we’ve seen in America in recent days followed by outcries for justice, and rioting and destruction on city streets across the country.
These events remind us of what is deeply troubling in our country, and I know we all seek to find ways to help heal this very deep wound. My hope is that our hurt and outrage will move us, individually and collectively, to be agents of change within Bridgewater and in our broader community. Racism and discrimination more broadly thrive not just in overt actions, but also in omissions and willful ignorance. Benefiting from a system that quietly discriminates – without acknowledging it and helping to repair it – only propagates that system.
And while we stand in solidarity against any forms of racism, hate, and bigotry, I also recognize that I and others cannot and should not pretend to fully understand the challenges and barriers, both historical and present day, that many of our colleagues face from different races, backgrounds, genders, and experiences. With empathy and genuine conviction, we can and must show this solidarity by denouncing and eradicating structural bigotry around us. Doing so is in keeping with Bridgewater’s values. It’s also aligned with our belief that diversity isn’t just a nice thing to aspire to, it’s an essential condition of our quest for excellence and our idea of true meritocracy.
I’m hopeful that justice will prevail in Minneapolis and elsewhere, but let’s not focus our anger or our sense of justice only on one particular incident or on our deep and painful mourning for one individual. This problem is very big, and this is a moment for us to ask ourselves some very hard and uncomfortable questions about the kind of country we want to be. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions.” There are no easy solutions to the challenges we face today, but a willingness and commitment to do the hard work openly and honestly is the critical first step.
We clearly have much work to do as a nation, and so this is an opportunity to renew our resolve to do so. Together. Meanwhile, I hope that by supporting each other, we can find a way through this difficult time.