President Obama delivered somber and emotional remarks Tuesday afternoon at an interfaith memorial service with the families of the five police officers killed in the recent sniper attacks in Dallas and other members of the Dallas community. He was joined by a bipartisan delegation that included former President George W. Bush, and former First Lady Laura Bush, as well as leaders from multiple faiths.
The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center hall was filled to capacity, with five seats left heart-breakingly empty save for folded flags and duty hats.
“Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions,” said President Bush calling for tolerance. “At our best, we recognize the image of God we see in one another.”
President Obama began by memorializing each of the five officers, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Patrick Zamarripa, Brent Thompson, and Lorne Ahrens with touching and personal tributes.
He then spoke very directly to the many different constituencies who continue to clash over race – Black Lives Matters supporters looking for justice, law enforcement who feel unfairly maligned for the work they do, or communities at large who simply want relief. “We are not as divided as we seem,” he told the crowd. But, he said, “I confess that sometimes I do experience doubt. I’ve been to too many of these things,” he said, referring to the memorial. “I’ve comforted too many families.”
He appeared determined to embrace the complexity of the country that had brought them all to that moment.
The speech became, in between touchstones of scripture and confessions of occasional uncertainty, a challenge for everyone listening to do the difficult work of considering life through another person’s eyes. The call was not just for healing, but for empathy.
For more, click here.
Share your inclusion tips: raceAhead@newsletters.fortune.com
|Explaining tech’s lack of diversity at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference|
|Here’s the scoop: If you want to increase diversity in technology companies, you need the white guys on board. Executives from startups and Fortune 500 firms declared that ‘preaching to the choir’ gets you nowhere. “If you have a diversity island pumping things out, it’s not going to make a damn bit of good,” says Twitter VP Jeffrey Siminoff.|
|Stop the hype around technology|
|Design writer Allison Arieff takes a long list of the tech sector’s over-hyped recent accomplishments – a service that delivers new toothbrushes, an app that analyzes the way you kiss, a “smart” zipper that alerts you if your fly is open – and asks when everything is characterized as “world-changing,” is anything? She says techies avoid tackling real world problems experienced by “the unexotic underclass” because they’re unfamiliar. Could a homogeneous workforce be one reason?|
|New York Times|
|How bad policing hurts police|
|Ta-Nehisi Coates argues that the history of discrimination in America, and the specific role of the police in enforcing that discrimination, makes the kind of violent extremism expressed by Micah Xavier Johnson in Dallas both horrific and predictable. “A community consistently subjected to violent discrimination under the law will lose respect for it, and act beyond it,” he says.|
|China loses an outspoken advocate for openness|
|The death of Chinese Ambassador Wu Jianmin who was recently killed in a car accident, has ignited a heated debate within the country on what China’s role in the world should be. Mr. Wu had been an outspoken critic of the nationalism of the government, and had taken on the editorializing of state-run news outlets. “I have never seen a public figure whose death made so many people sad and so many people euphoric.”|
|New York Times|
|Three white guys designed the Airbnb platform|
|When Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, took the stage at Brainstorm Tech to discuss the persistent problems of racial discrimination on their platform, audience member Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, took him to task about the lack of diversity in the company: “I really would challenge you to look at what are the employee makeups at your companies and how can you do more to hire engineers, to hire designers that would be able to look at your product from this lens.”|
The Woke Leader
|Black British writer wins major German fiction award|
|As a young immigrant from outer London, Sharon Dodua Otoo wasn’t sure how she’d handle life in provincial Germany. Evidently, she blended in just fine. Her recent historical fiction short story about a former Nazi who went on to invent the chip card and won the Ingeborg Bachmann prize, worth 25,000 euros. Written in her adopted language, the story is partly told from the perspective of an unboiled egg.|
|The food industry steps up to help former inmates|
|The owner of Dave’s Killer Bread, the top-selling organic bread in the country, has started a foundation to help food service companies remove barriers for former inmates seeking employment. “The big thing for us is grounding the company in that idea of second chances, and how do we carry that forward?”|
|The erasure of Latina scholars|
|Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta, an expert in English/Latino literature, pulls back the curtain on the routine insults that black and brown women scholars face, and how it impacts their work. “The hard work of women scholars of color is erased every day when they are assumed to be students, grounds workers, or underqualified in some way.” She offers advice while encouraging young Latinx academics to push past barriers and open doors for others.|