At Waterboys, we don’t just work to make the world a better place. We work to make the world a better place everywhere. No borders. A lot of our work takes place halfway around the world. Some of it takes place right here at home.
But wherever the work is, if you’ve contributed to our mission, it’s more than likely that access to clean water isn’t a problem you personally experience on a daily basis.
The essence of what we do at Waterboys is to help solve problems that we don’t consider our own. Problems that don’t affect our daily, individual lives. As you already know, these factors should never be disqualifying when it comes to helping our neighbors at home and around the world.
“Not my problem” is not our mindset. And for many donors and supporters who look like me, I know that you’ve taken that same mentality into supporting our Black community now and always. But we need more in this trying time.
Systemic racism and police brutality are not “they” problems. They are “us” problems. America has long been heralded as the greatest country on Earth. And while I’ve only lived in one, I can tell you that I’m thankful to call it home. And I love my home. But this feels like a complacent declaration when not all of our neighbors right here at home feel the same way.
For all the evils in the world, apathy is one of the most dangerous. And unfortunately, it’s one of the most prevalent. If you’re reading this email, you’re not likely a culprit. Don’t start now. Keep leading with empathy, love & a desire to understand. Resist the satisfaction of saying to yourself, “I’m not a racist.” We must be anti-racist.
The murders of Philando Castile, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Alton Sterling, Eric Garner, and countless others are evidence that this is far from a new problem. But for some reason, the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police department has been the tipping point. And the conversation has rightfully expanded outside the confines of police brutality & accountability. Even if they’re inexplicably long overdue, we’re having so many necessary conversations.
Change doesn’t happen without being uncomfortable. In sports, in society, even in our own lives. The discomfort, chaos & heartache that all of America has felt the better part of the month is palpable. But this restlessness pales in comparison to the unrelenting discomfort our Black community has felt for far too long. So now that this collective discomfort is being heard, we’ve arrived at a crossroads.
Let’s seize this very necessary, uncomfortable opportunity. It will take listening, leaning into the moment & eventually taking action. We can change the world together. We can drive out racism together. We weren’t here to plant the seeds, or to see the roots, just as we may not be here to see the finish line. But let’s work faithfully, undeterred by neither scope nor timeline.
At Waterboys, we condemn systemic racism. We condemn police brutality. We condemn discrimination. We don’t think it’s radical to demand accountability. We don’t think it should be revolutionary to seek equality, nor are we threatened by its prospect. We know Black lives matter. But we won’t rest until it goes without saying.
You’ve helped us build a vehicle for good around the world. Apply that same empathy and drive to make the world a better place right now, right here at home. Apply it in the face of criticism & discomfort. Apply it faithfully. Thanks for being who you are. Let’s turn it up a notch.
Chris Long & The Waterboys Team