a moment to pause...
With one thought, I think.."who really cares what I think" (that's usually our artist mind talking)...and another says "If I speak, I MIGHT affect one person to think better..."
So here we are, I'm writing this based on my view of our country at this time coming off of July 4th (and a very weird one to be honest).
I don't usually like to mix this in to my business/food talk...but this is HUMAN talk.
As a small business owner with my beautiful wife Sonia, I realize we have a voice. Recent actions against people of color need to be addressed, and quickly.
I have been fairly quiet before, please don't take that as having no opinion, but as I was trained as a bartender long ago "never talk religion or politics at the bar". But this is different...this is HUMAN talk. This is just being GOOD to each other. This is not putting up with the BS that has been exposed more and more as of late.
While I wouldn't assume anyone would care what I think, let me say this... Our country is great...for some. I believe we DO live with a lot of amazing people, but we have some real work to do. Our hearts go out to those oppressed, those unfairly arrested, those who have experienced a HUGE abuse of power...from some.
We all need to see that we DO have good bones in this country mostly, but we need to change / grow / evolve / educate / elevate a lot. As an example...Because one restaurant serves horrible unsafe food and just doesn't care...they get shut down for health department violations...we don't close all restaurants. We don't decide that we'll have no more restaurants in the country, or that the concept of restaurants was flawed, we FIX the system and eliminate the possibility that this can happen EVER again. We have some wonderful police officers, counties and policies...and we have some that are ABSOLUTELY horrible, and need to be corrected, retrained, or taken of the force. I know there are many officers that are solid, fair and reasonable. But they will never get the press they deserve, and who knows the balance? Where the "law" is not applied evenly, we have way too much opportunity for brutality, we are simply not going to tolerate that anymore. Defund? Nope, not in my mind...educate, clean up, raise the level, fire those who need to go, change policies, reinvest, take more time for training? YES. Now let me be clear, I'm an outsider, a citizen just out here like anyone else. I might have it wrong, but one thing I know that has to change IMMEDIATELY...the countless examples of NOT de-escalating situations has to stop NOW. I have grown up with mostly people of color, now that I think of it. Recent events don't hit me the same, but I had a few impactful discussions over the weekend, and as always, I tried to learn from them all. I put a lot out there in the world, but didn't want to get into a "me too" type situation by posting up something because it was the thing of the hour. Knowing how long the fight has been is one thing, but realizing that I might just have one person affected by my words, makes me realize that I need to step out and at least say what's on my mind... I pray that we can get more done with more protesting, conversation,action,videos and more happening.
Peaceful protesting, shouting, spreading information, videos and more are amazing...and my hope is that it moves people. There is a divide between protesting and looting in my opinion. Let's all rise above, open up the darkness to expose racism as it sits in front of us, expose this nasty destructive mindset for good. Give everyone the even chance to show you who they are, and let's ALL step up and grow up. Those that know better, now you need to DO BETTER.
I hope this made some sense, and hope that we can realize a brighter future very soon.
Don't skip the conversation that comes up every day, or disregard ANY sort of racist comment or thought...and let's try to get together at our universal table and continue the conversations which can turn into resolutions.
Chef Tony Marciante