November 22, 2018
A black man who was recently kicked out of a yogurt shop refuses to accept store owners apology for the actions of his employees.
Click here to read the full article http://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/black-man-kicked-yogurt-shop-says-police-store-apologies-arent-enough-got-keep-foot-white-supremacys-neck-202514205.html
The owner of the store has since publicly apologized for the actions of his employees, closing the store for a day and posting the apology on the door of the establishment. By all accounts he has tried to reach out to the victim to attempt to reconcile.
According to the article, Mr Ragland doesn’t feel an apology is enough. He is exploring litigation options and further feels the business owner should lose his business license. My question is, why isn’t an apology enough?
Well it could be because it’s a half ass apology as demonstrated by this photo courtesy of “A Glossy Life” (aglossylifeblog.com)
Real leaders own their crap and don’t make excuses for it. As the author of “In the Absence of my Father” I talk to a lot of parents regarding rebuilding relationships with the children they have hurt. They often ask, “What can I do to repair the breach?”
“Have you tried saying ‘I’m sorry.”
Many will claim to have tried but their kids still reject them.
I then ask, “Have you tried saying ‘I’m sorry without the-but…”
I try to get them to understand that the people you’ve hurt don’t really care about your reasons. They just care about the sincerity. They want to know you have put yourself in their shoes and truly understand how their actions have harmed you. They want to be ensured that if they put their trust in you again it’s deserved.
In other words, they want to know that YOU know what you did was wrong. Why what you did was wrong, and what are you going to do moving forward to ensure it does not happen again.
Speaking as someone who has been involved with helping friends successfully resolve discrimination settlements, I can attest to this fact-if each of the discriminating entities had issued genuine apologies, and worked to reconcile the problem, not one of them would have resulted in a lawsuit.
However, by all accounts this store owner seems to have done this. So why then not accept the apology? Why not work together to promote positive change? The owners last name is Cruz, which means he is also most likely classified as a “minority.” Therefore instead of hoping the doors of his business close, why not work with him on hiring more minority employees who don’t have the same “fears” as his current employees?
Being discriminated against hurts. I get that. I’ve been there. Like most people of color I’ve been there more times than any white person I know. At last count nearly 20 in my lifetime either directly, or indirectly while I was with a friend. That’s waaaaaaay too many. So I empathize with Mr. Ragland.
As leaders, and he appears to be one, when those rare opportunities for resolution arise, we should endeavor to be open. I hope he will change his mind and reach out to Mr. Cruz. I hope they can work together and be agents of positive community change. I hope the news will be as eager to report that news story as the current one.
This incident, from what I have read so far can and should be different.
Am I absolving those employees? ABSOLUTELY NOT. The manager who gave the thumbs up should at the least lose a couple weeks pay and be made to attend some type of diversity training before returning to work. All employees should have to take the training. All employees involved should have to write written apologies to Mr. Ragland, as well as the officers involved. Because this could easily have turned deadly. Thank God it did not.
Leaders, lead. I pray all the leaders in this incident rise up and do so.