Black Lives Matter

While we're steady trying to make a living, others are fighting to simply live. We had previously planned a month of content focused on #pride and artful smoking objects… 

Now, the Flower Pot is officially pausing our herbal education + outreach to focus on the most pressing issue — racism.

Los Angeles is a modern city, and America is a melting pot. For those living the "American dream," they continue carrying on as usual. For many others, they can't.  

I’m a Jewish woman, a grandchild of Holocaust survivors. I’ve been raised to have great awareness of the slow, systematic destruction of a minority group, but I’ll never understand the experiences of black Americans in our country. That’s why it’s time for us to listen. 

Racism isn’t a political issue. It’s a longstanding human issue, currently set against the backdrop of a global pandemic. Some believe racism is an issue of the past. "We've come so far from slavery and segregation". Sixty-six years, exactly. We even had a black president, right? 

Wrong. Black people are facing racism every day. And if you’re disheartened by the looting and rioting – we get it, but don't let that distract from the larger cause. Direct that fed up energy to the real issues – inequality, decades-long failure to reform police practices, and murder. 

The disparities are in the data. 

  • In one US survey, 15.8% of students reported experiencing race-based bullying or harassment. Research has found significant associations between racial bullying and negative mental and physical health in students. (US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.)
  • The U.S. makes up 5% of the world’s population, but has 25% of the world’s prisoners. One in 17 white males will do prison time, compared to one in three African-American males. (ACLU). 
  • School districts that predominantly serve students of color received $23 billion less in funding than mostly white school districts in the United States in 2016, despite serving the same number of students. (NYT)
  • On average, Black men in the US receive sentences that are 19.1% longer than those of white men convicted for the same crimes. (US Sentencing Commission)
  • About 70 percent of black people in the U.S. live in counties where pollution levels exceed federal standards. (EPA)
  • African Americans are eight times more likely to die from complications of HIV/AIDS than whites and twice as likely to die from diabetes-related causes as whites.
  • Nearly half of black males and almost 40 percent of white males are arrested by the time they are 23 years old. Having a record reduces the likelihood of a job callback or offer by as much as 50 percent. (NAACP)
  • Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, making the U.S. maternal mortality rate the worst in an industrialized country (CDC, The Lancet).  
  • Almost three times as many black people are dying of coronavirus compared to white people and at least 20,000 African Americans have died (Amp Research Lab).

Racism is so woven into the fabric of our country, it’s hidden everywhere. Even in our language. In the subtlest ways, we reinforce racism without realizing it, every single day. 

We refer casually to the dangers of the Dark web, and wait for a saving grace: the White knight. We face an ever-present dichotomy of Light vs. Dark and Good vs. Evil, represented in film, fiction, and folklore. We fight against Black magic, and the hope for the Good Witch in white sparkles to defeat the Bad Witch in the black hat. 

In truth, the issues are "black + white". 

I can’t tell you what to do, but I’ll tell you what I'm planning to do. 

I’m going to stand up. Every choice, every word, every moment counts. If I connect to just one single person in our community, that person can make a change. 

We at the Flower Pot are calling you. We’re calling for your compassion, bravery, and willingness to step into the discomfort. 

  • Have compassion in recognizing a systemic suffering you can't understand
  • Be brave in your own ignorance of black experiences especially with regards to authority
  • Own the discomfort in realizing you can and should do more to fight racism
  • Diversify your news consumption and align yourself with media outlets who uphold and prioritize standards for journalistic integrity
  • Avoid judgment when witnessing passionate yet aggressive activism, knowing there isn’t a right way to express trauma +  grief 
  • Step into your power by remaining curious, seeking truth, and embodying an open heart

It’s easy to think someone else is taking care of racism. And if it’s not interrupting your immediate world, it’s easy to use your privilege to look the other way.

While social media sharing brings awareness and ignites a fire, let's look beyond that. Let’s move toward anti-racism with an enduring commitment, in our everyday lives. 

In our bodies, our health, our hearts —  How can we recognize the humanity in each other? How can we see our shared desires? 

It’s that desire to exist— that chance at happiness —  that was taken from George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other black people. So many

When we unite, anything is possible. In times of fury, let's move towards the future with hope. Cast your ballots. 

Rebecca Kershberg

CEO & Founder, The Flower Pot 

**all proceeds for June 2020 will be donated to the Loveland Foundation, and 10% thereafter**

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RESOURCES: 

header photo cc: Charlotte Lapalus

Female Founded Brands

❀ We’re more than a wellness gift shop. We’re building a community of experts and business leaders who band together on behalf of women’s health. ❀

REBECCA KERSHBERG
Founder of The Flower Pot